We are very excited to attend and to sponsor the 2021 Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL), an online, multi-day conference with an incredible line-up of speakers!
The theme of this year’s conference is “World Languages for Social Justice”. In this article, I would like to explain how we at Ilini position ourselves in this debate. As providers of authentic language resources, we have a role to play in helping teachers create conversations on social justice issues through intercultural learning in a safe, inclusive environment.
I would therefore also like to present the work we are currently doing for French language classes, and how we intend to contribute actively to the ongoing conversation, during the conference and beyond.
Social justice is an issue that should speak to educators in any discipline. Why? Simply because classrooms cannot be isolated from what’s happening in society, including from racism, discrimination and inequality (watch this TEDx talk by Sydney Chaffee, keynote speaker at NECTFL21).
However, the issue of social justice comes with specific challenges and opportunities for language teachers. World languages classrooms are not just open to the society around them; they are a window to the entire world!
This provides students with unique opportunities to learn about issues of diversity, equity and justice by analyzing other cultures, and to think critically about their own society through the mirror they’re seeing — and through other words, concepts and ways of thinking.
But this comes with a challenge, too. Words are never neutral. Language is political; it reflects and contributes to a society’s divides and inequalities.
Our contribution (and our responsibility)
As a provider of authentic materials for language classes, we have a stake in this conversation. We have a role to play in helping teachers create meaningful conversations on diversity, equity and justice. We also have a responsibility to make sure that the resources we provide contribute to a safe, inclusive classroom.
With this in mind, we have put together the following ideas and resources to contribute to the discussions
- On Ilini: 30+ authentic videos to address social justice issues in the French language classroom
- 40+ NECTFL Speakers to follow on Twitter 🙂
Where to meet us during the conference
- The Chair’s Reception (invitation only): We will have a chance to say a few words in the opening and to meet with attendees.
- Book your seat at one of our 4 meetups! Whether you are a teacher, a department/district leader, or an association representative, we will be happy to get to know each other and discuss how to create lively conversations through authentic resources in French language classrooms.
Who Are We?
Ilini (www.ilini.com) is a video platform that helps you create lively conversations in your French classroom. Every week, our team in France selects the best authentic videos from the francophone media, from politics to culture, music and entertainment. We provide printable and online activities that save teachers hours of class preparation time, together with an easy-to-use system to manage classes and give online assignments. We also offer live sessions with France for your classroom, including live Q&As and city walk tours with French insiders.
What is NECTFL?
Created in 1954, NECTFL is the largest of five regional associations of foreign language teachers in the United States, gathering representatives from 14 states from Maine to Virginia through Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Every year, the association organizes a multi-day conference packed with events and workshops by top quality speakers, providing a unique opportunity for participants to grow as language educators, to exchange best practices and to get to know each other. This year, the conference is being held entirely online from April 22 to May 1.