Workshop Descriptions

September 17, 2020: Achieving the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages through Social Justice Education 

with presenter Stephanie M. Knouse

In this interactive workshop, attendees will discover how to incorporate issues relating to social justice in their units and lesson plans and how these topics enable them to robustly integrate the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (W-RSLLs) and the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards. Likewise, attendees will leave the workshop with a draft of an action plan of how to add in some of these topics, lessons, or units in their courses.


This workshop topic might appeal to language educators for several reasons. First, social justice education allows teachers and students to confront stereotypes and sources of discrimination, to become co-constructors of knowledge by utilizing students’ backgrounds and perspectives, and to learn how to think critically about systems of power, privilege, and oppression in a particular society or culture (Nieto, 2010, cited by Glynn et al., 2014, p. 1-2). Language educators are in a prime position to facilitate lessons on social justice due to the interdisciplinary nature of our field. Furthermore, this pedagogy provides students with an additional purpose beyond oral proficiency of why they should study a second language. Social justice approaches can foster more sophisticated levels of empathy, global competence, and motivation among learners as well.


Stephanie M. Knouse is an Associate Professor of Spanish, the University Supervisor of Foreign Language Education, and the Executive Reflection Fellow at Furman University. She has facilitated more than a dozen workshops on reflective practices and issues related to second language (L2) pedagogy. Dr. Knouse’s research interests are social justice in the language classroom, students’ attitudes and motivation toward language learning, and variation in native and non-native speech. Dr. Knouse regularly presents on these topics at the ACTFL annual convention and has published articles in Foreign Language Annals, Hispania, Dimension, among other venues. Furthermore, as a firm supporter of experiential learning, Dr. Knouse has co-directed four study abroad programs to Spain, regularly integrates service and community-based learning into her courses, and collaborates with undergraduate students on research projects.


Check back soon to learn about future workshops!