News

September 29, 2009

Professor Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger Receives National Teaching Award

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages has recognized her ability to integrate technology into her courses

Taking a German class with Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, professor and head of foreign languages and literatures, is a multimedia experience. In each of her classes, from beginner to advanced levels, Lamb-Faffelberger incorporates technology in innovative ways to enhance her students’ comprehension of German language and culture.

Her students use Skype to converse with students studying at the University of Paderborn in Germany. They use software such as Audacity and iMovie to create digital narratives and other creative projects. They watch German-language films and documentaries, and tune in online to view German news broadcasts and YouTube videos.

In recognition of her excellence in incorporating technology into her teaching, Lamb-Faffelberger will receive the ACTFL/Cengage Learning Faculty Development Programs Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT. (IALLT refers to the International Association for Language Learning Technology.)

The award recognizes Lamb-Faffelberger’s outstanding expertise in teaching German, and is a testament to her colleagues’ recognition of her commitment to the language profession. It will be presented during the annual convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Nov. 20 in San Diego, which will be attended by nearly 6,000 language teachers and administrators.

“I am extremely happy and deeply honored that my endeavor to enrich the teaching and learning of languages, literatures, and cultures with the innovative use of technology has been recognized by my peers,” she says. “Teaching with technology is never a lone task but involves many people: administrators who support the vision, IT experts who assist with technology, colleagues who embrace the challenge, and spirited students who dare to step out of their comfort zone.”

Lamb-Faffelberger takes advantage of the technology available in the department’s multimedia resource center, designing high-tech activities to complement the texts and workbooks used in her courses. She designed a computer-based enrichment program to improve listening comprehension, assist in vocabulary building, review grammar and spelling, and refine writing skills.

“Always seeking the best practices in my German language and literature classroom, I strive to design engaging activities. Since a second language is best learned and taught through interaction, technology offers seemingly unlimited possibilities to cultivate content-based interactivity,” says Lamb-Faffelberger. “Moreover, the effective use of technology allows our students to develop their own creativity. For instance, the department is currently supporting students of all languages taught at Lafayette in the creation of their individual comprehensive e-portfolios. The ‘LaFolio’ not only provides an ideal platform for assessing learning outcomes but also has great value to potential employers as it tells each student’s personal story of language and culture learning at Lafayette and abroad.”

Lamb-Faffelberger is the author of six books, several of them anthologies dealing with contemporary Austrian literature and film. Her most recent work is Elfriede Jelinek: Writing Woman, Nation, and Identity. A critical anthology (2007). A member of the Lafayette faculty since 1992, she regularly includes students in her research and guides them in their own independent research projects. She is a past recipient of the Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Award and the Delta Upsilon Award for outstanding teaching and mentoring.

She played an instrumental role in securing a grant for Lafayette’s Max Kade Center for German Studies, which was dedicated in 2003. In addition to funding the technologically advanced headquarters for the study of German at Lafayette, the Max Kade Institute awarded $5,000 toward a German library and a series of visiting scholars and writers-in-residence hosted by the foreign languages and literatures department.

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