Mary Wadley has received the Jacqueline Elliot Award from the Tennessee Foreign Language Teachers Association (TFTLA) at the 2012 conference held November 2-3 in Franklin Tenn. This award is presented annually to a foreign language educator at the post-secondary level for outstanding service to the profession.
Wadley is Associate Professor of Spanish and English at Jackson State Community College.
Wadley received her bachelors degree from Union University and her Master of Education from The University of Memphis.
She is a dynamic teacher that uses multiple ways to teach her students. For example, Spanish 1 classes at JSCC this fall have had the privilege of using En Vivo files that provide live practice time with a Spanish-speaking coach via the Internet. During the semester, students have had the opportunity to engage in a weekly, 30-minute online group coaching session with a native speaking language coach, Yocelin, from Guatemala. The role of the coach is to help the students reinforce what they have learned in class and provide them with ample opportunities for speaking and conversing in Spanish.
Yocelin is very patient with them, but she insists that they get it right before they move on. She doesnt accept excuses like I cant do this. She smiles and has them to repeat the models that she provides. Just 30 minutes of directed oral communication in the target language is making a huge difference, said Wadley.
I am seeing much greater motivation and better test scores already, explained Wadley. They wont be native speakers by Christmas but they are getting much more oral practice than they can get in a 50-minute class that meets three times a week. By the time I teach the content, there is not much time for practice during class.
Human interaction is key for learning a foreign language. Time is class is limited and students do not have enough opportunities to put in practice what they learned in class. Practicing with native-speakers is not always easy, depending where one lives. The stress-free and student-friendly environment provides students a great solution for practicing in a natural and fun way.