This summer I had a fortuitous reunion with a former colleague. In my first year of teaching, the educational consultant seconded to Alberta Education from the German government was Rainer Wicke. In the two decades since he encouraged me to write an article about a student letter writing project, both of us have received our Ph.Ds. Now he and a research collaborator are embarking upon a research project in which they would like to include research about the German Bilingual Program in Canada. We met again at the International German Teacher Conference and shared our mutual research interests, only to discover that we might be able to work together on our overlapping interests in the German Bilingual Program. So, he introduced me to his research collaborator, Dr. Kim Haataja, from Tampere, Finnland, who was able to tell me more about their project: Content & Language Integrated Instruction in German. I look forward to working with them and take inspiration in their interest in my work.
My pilot project is nearing completion. The data is undergoing analysis and I am presenting on the interview data at the upcoming Traditions and Transitions Conference in Waterloo, Ontario. The program can be found on http://www.wcgs.ca/www/index.php/transitions.html.
In the past, the group putting on this conference has produced a book and I believe that the organizers are planning to do the same with this conference. I am looking forward to feedback on the suitability of this study for the planned book. In addition, having this presentation deadline facilitates the writing of the report which is required by the participating school district.
The conference affords me the opportunity to hear Claire Kramsch one more time. I understand she is retiring, which does not necessarily mean she will no longer be speaking at conferences, but there is no guarantee. I am also looking forward to visiting the Kitchener/Waterloo area for the first time. As one of the areas of Canada with the most German speakers, I am curious as to what the city is like.