I haven’t been this excited in a long time.
I recently blogged about how much I still believe that teachers need and want the research coming out of quality linguistics programs around the world. You answered my poll, you let me know what you think, and some of you volunteered to bring this project to life with me!
It’s going to happen. You’ll have freely available, easy-to-understand resources that get you the information you need about recent research in how people learn language. You’ll get it fast and you’ll be able to see immediately how to implement it. And you’ll get it regularly.
And we need your help.
Ready to help? Visit our GoFundMe project now!
The Musicuentos Black Box is a collection of video podcasts and other media resources designed to address the great disconnect in world language teaching: the lack of effective communication between researchers investigating how people learn language and the teachers working to help those people develop communicative language skills.
These resources are developed by a team of five world language educators.
Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell is an independent world languages consultant, the blogger behind Musicuentos.com, and the founder of the Musicuentos Black Box Podcast. She has an M.A. in Linguistics with an emphasis on Second Language Acquisition from the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include individual differences like motivation and aptitude, comprehensible input methodology, and interaction/output theories. Her dream SLA conversation would happen over DQ blizzards with Catherine Doughty, Rod Ellis, and Susan Gass.
Justin Slocum Bailey, operator of IndwellingLanguage.com, trains learners and teachers worldwide to maximize their joy and success. Himself a gung ho learner and teacher of both modern and classical languages, Justin has also conducted research on Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism at the University of Michigan. These days, his inquiries focus on learner habits, mental representation and processing, and content selection. After hours, Justin enjoys practicing JuJutsu, playing basement soccer with his kids, and watching mysteries with his wife.
Karen Tharrington is a Foreign Language methods instructor for education majors and a Spanish Lecturer at North Carolina State University She has an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from NCSU, where she conducted research on Dynamic Assessment, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Digital Learning and Teaching. Her research interests include leveraging technology for second language acquisition, both online and in the classroom, teaching for cultural competency, and foreign language teacher preparation and support. She is a believer that great teaching and sound pedagogy go hand-in-hand. Her dream job would be as a photographer for National Geographic Traveler.
Albert Fernández is a K-8 Spanish teacher in Central Florida and the person behind the FLES CI blog senorfernie.wordpress.com. He has an M.A.T. in Foreign Language Education from the University of South Florida. His research interests include student motivation and success, proficiency-based assessment, second language acquisition, curriculum development, and bilingualism/biliteracy. Outside of foreign language teaching and research, his interests include reading Spanish novels, playing music, and cooking.
Why raise money?
With the Musicuentos Black Box resources, we want to meet the need educators face for learning about quality research without spending money they can’t afford on expensive journal articles they can sometimes barely comprehend. Even trade organization periodicals that sometimes distill this research for us cost money or involve memberships that cost money. The Black Box resources will never cost a teacher anything.
But they will cost us something, and so we’re asking, if you’re able to help out the project in any amount, to contribute via our GoFundMe project page. Funds raised in this way will pay for two things:
1) a one year’s subscription to DeepDyve, where we can access otherwise very expensive research articles to summarize and illustrate for you.
2) a one-year 5-user license with VideoScribe.co, the software we will use to make the video podcast.
Any excess funds will be kept for future year’s subscriptions. None of the five language educators collaborating to bring you the Musicuentos Black Box will receive funds for personal use.
We believe the vast professional learning network of world language teachers on the internet can fund this project fast. What could your $5 or $10 (or more!) do to put comprehensible research in the hands of teachers worldwide?
Ready to help? Visit our GoFundMe project now!
And then watch and wait. The first Musicuentos Black Box resources are scheduled to appear on June 1, and should be released at a frequency of about every two weeks after that.
We can’t wait! Can you help?
The Musicuentos Black Box podcast is project sponsored by Musicuentos.com and Indwelling Language.