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MFLL Monthly Newsletter

November 2020 Newsletter



Dr. Harriet Bowden and Dr. Bernard Issa (Hispanic Studies), along with co-authors, Mandy Faretta-Stutenberg (Northern Illinois University) and Kara Morgan-Short (University of Illinois at Chicago) presented a virtual talk at the Second Language Research Forum hosted by Vanderbilt University on October 24th, 2020. The talk, titled: Two versions of the Ortega et al. Spanish Elicited Imitation Task: Utility for longitudinal research, described a multisite methodological study conducted at UTK and Northern Illinois University designed to assess the reliability and validity of a test for measuring learners second language proficiency in Spanish. Dr. Harriet Bowden

Dr. Bernard Issa


Kami Lunsford, a UTK alumna who graduated with a minor in Italian wins the State of TN Teacher of the Year Award. Kudos Kami!!

Kami Lunsford

This is Kami’s testimonial:

“It's important that you visit another country before you graduate, and we'll figure it out,” my mom said as we were looking at paperwork to go to Urbino at the end of my freshman year. Unfortunately, financially, it wasn't in the cards at the time. I had two semesters of Italian under my belt and had fallen in love with the department, especially my teacher at the time, Renée D'Elia–Zunino. After one immersion weekend, I had eaten my first frittata and taken my first hike! From the moment I stepped onto campus, the UT Italian Department was changing me with new experiences and perspectives, and I was gaining new friends and family away from home!
Recently, I got congratulations on my TN Teacher of the Year award from Sig.ra D'Elia and I made sure to tell her: "You all changed my life, you know - on that day I came into Dr. DiMaria's office, and you all were going to give me a scholarship so I could go to Italy my junior year. I cried and skipped all the way home, because it had only been a dream to go there. As a single mother, mom taught me "You've got to show people you'll work hard. People will notice hard work and doors can open." ....that is what my Italian family said when I sat down: "We see you working very hard and want you to have this experience." I was fortunate to have D'Elia for all 4 of my Italian grammar classes. (The same mouth really helps!) By the time I had enough money to go, I had taken a lot of classes & was in conversations class and cinema with Dr. Brizio-Skov. I knew how to speak well enough to get around more confidently, and therefore I truly "enjoyed" my time there. My fondest memory was merely at a bus stop in Pesaro, when a sweet nonna asked me a question about a scar on my arm. We talked all the way back to Urbino - in Italian. I learned about human connection in an entirely new way when I visited Italy. I teach music, but that human connection I learned - is the most important part about my job. I still share stories and lessons I learned with my classes all the time - Recipes and advice from Renee, adventurous stories and life lessons from Flavia, and even a dance lesson from Sal! Survival tips, stress management, and even things I learned about being American - from my time abroad - come up often when teaching my middle schoolers! (My kids have heard me say "Dov'è!" and have figured out it means I've misplaced something!) I take travel seriously with my students. I am always looking for unique educational trips, working hard to save them money, and give scholarships to pay it forward. Thank you all so much for teaching this beautiful language and culture, but also promoting open mindedness and fueling students with a zest for seeing the world! I know these are hard times right now for "human connection," but hang in there and keep in touch however you can.
Salute e felicità,
Kami Lunsford
Choral Department
@ Karns Middle School


Chinese Movie Night — The Chinese Culture Club hosted a virtual Chinese Movie Night via Discord on Monday, Oct 12. The movie they showed was Ne Zha, which is a Chinese 3D animation fantasy adventure film. Students had an opportunity to take a break and had a fun night together.

Chinese Movie Night Chinese Movie Night

Chinese Cooking Live Stream — On Thursday Oct 29, the Chinese Culture Club hosted a livestream Chinese cooking demonstration on Discord. Jason Pan, the CCC co–president, demonstrated how to make a traditional Chinese dish: Noodles with Soybean Paste (Zha Jiang Mian). The livestream cooking event brought Chinese culinary traditions and culture to the light via an authentic and modern dining experience. This event was sponsored by the Office of Asia Engagement.

Chinese Cooking Live Stream Chinese Cooking Live Stream


Wednesdays is Tavola Italiana hosted by Brittany Roy — super fun sessions that involve any language level student in amusing conversations!
November is donation time for the Italian Club at UTK! We invite all our classes to donate $1 towards the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital of Knoxville. With the funds, gifts are purchased and donated on Christmas Eve. Last year we collected over $400, and we invite anyone to donate by using the Venmo account listed on the flyer..
Italian Angel Tree


Brazilian Cultural Night: Sarau de Música Brasileira All are invited to join us November 6th, Friday, 6:00 pm. for a night of live music with the talented André and Gabriela Parizzi (Portuguese). They will perform songs from the repertoire of five great divas of the Brazilian musical scene. Join us for a fun and exciting evening hosted by Dr. Eurídice Silva (Portuguese)! Check the details on the poster.

Zoom address:

Brazilian Cultural Night

The features of the Fall 2020 Brazilian Film Series are available online (click here) until the end of the semester.
This month our feature is Blessed Fruit (Uma divertida história de amores)
Click on the film series poster for the previous features that are still available:

Blessed Fruit Brazilian Film Series Poster
Bate-Papo — The Portuguese Table is meeting online, Fridays, 6pm.
Zoom link:

Methods Workshop - Revital Ganzi Methods Workshop Explores WordwallThe MFLL Language Teaching Resources Methods Workshop series began the Fall Semester series in October with a workshop by Revital Ganzi (Hebrew) on using for foreign language instruction. Revital discussed various ways to use to quickly and easily create engaging interactive activities and implement them in Canvas.

iPad for character instruction Upcoming Methods Workshop on Kahoot! The Methods Workshop series will conclude the Fall Semester series with a workshop on November 5th from 1PM to 2PM online (check your inbox today for the Zoom details!). In the workshop "Creatively Assessing Students’ Learning with Kahoot!", Renée D'Elia-Zunino will discuss the affordances and limitations of Kahoot! as an assessment tool in the online language classroom. A livestream of the workshop will be available on the LRC’s Facebook page as well as the LRC’s YouTube Channel. Have an idea for a presentation? Contact a member of the LTR Methods Workshop organizing team! [Laurent, Mia, Thorsten, Doug]. All are welcome.

Panopto Panopto is coming soon! — Panopto is a cloud-based service that allows you to record, share, review, and edit video captures from your desktop, laptop, and mobile phone. Panopto will replace Mediasite as the go-to video system for the campus beginning with the Spring Semester. You will have seamless Canvas and Zoom integration as well as support for 360• and VR video! You will also be able to search recordings for what is said aloud and what is displayed in PowerPoint slides. All Mediasite content will be automatically transferred to Panopto, but re-linking of previous Mediasite content will be required. Submit a ticket if you would like us to assist you with that!


Marginal Improvements: Using Annotative Software for Second-Language Reading (Thu., Nov. 12, 3–4 PM, online) Annotative software can give instructors the chance to engage in pre-reading activities with students outside of class. In this webinar, Corey Duclos (Director of the Keck Center for Language Study at Colgate University) will guide an exploration of (one of many such programs) to facilitate reading in the second-language classroom. You will learn how the program can be used at multiple levels and how it can help provide equal access during pandemic teaching and beyond.
Click here to register
What's New in Zoom? (Mon., Nov. 16, 11AM AM – 12 PM, online) In this interactive workshop, you will explore the latest updates in Zoom. Topics include content sharing and screen layout options, engaging on-screen feedback icons, managing participants, and many more! The workshop instructor will email you a Zoom meeting link the day before the workshop.
Click here to register
Instructor Training for LockDown Browser & Respondus Monitor: Prevent Cheating During Online Exams (Tues., Nov. 24, 1-2 PM, online) With final exams going online, this comprehensive training webinar is intended for instructors who need to better understand how to use LockDown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor with their online exams. The training will cover:
  • How to use LockDown Browser to prevent digital cheating in proctored testing environments
  • How to use Respondus Monitor in non-proctored environments, to protect exam integrity and confirm student identity
  • The student perspective using each application
  • Efficient review of the assessment data collected, including the Review Priority system, timeline, and milestone features
  • Best practices and tips for success with both applications

Click here to register
Online Training of the Month: Getting Familiar with Panopto Panopto will soon replace Mediasite as the go-to lecture capture and video system for UT Knoxville. While you wait for upcoming training workshops, documentation, and guidance for the transition to the new platform, you can peruse 35 video tutorials for many aspects of Panopto, from getting started with Panopto to how to use the Panopto Zoom integration.
Click here to view


Highlighting Black Communities and Culture in the Spanish Classroom — In Episode 143 of the We Teach Languages Podcast, Stacey Margarita Johnson invites Regina O’Neal, a secondary Spanish teacher and department head, to share her award winning presentation from ACTFL. Regina discusses concrete ways she highlights Black culture and communities in her Spanish classroom by connecting with other content areas and community resources, by discussing aesthetic beauty, and by guiding students to appreciate Black art and literature.
Click here to listen


Digital Dialects Digital Dialects: Fun & free language practice games — The Digital Dialects website offers interactive games and foreign language learning materials with audio for learning 80 languages. Designed for both independent language students and for classroom use, games are free to use and do not require registration. Included are materials for learning grammar, spelling, alphabets, verb conjugation, vocabulary and phrases. Games and vocabulary lists include audio for teaching correct pronunciation. Some language study sections include games that teach alphabets or scripts. All language learning activities are modern-browser friendly requiring no software downloads, are mobile-friendly and particularly suited to being played on tablets.


The next MFLL Newsletter will be published Tuesday, December 1. Submissions should be sent to prior to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 29. Please follow these guidelines as you submit your items:

  • Write “monthly newsletter item” on the subject line
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  • Please be prompt in submitting items in time to meet the deadline.