April 3, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
The Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association (TFLTA) has named DeKalb County High School’s Brittany Dixon as the “Best of Tennessee” for her presentation at the association’s state language conference.
From a pool of more than 60 presenters, Dixon was selected to represent Tennessee at the regional Southern Conference of Language Teachers (SCOLT) held in Mobile, Alabama. According to Rebecca Peterson, Vice President of TFLTA, “Mrs. Dixon’s evaluations were remarkable, and her session was highly attended.”
In her session, Dixon demonstrated how language educators could use short novels to promote language acquisition, even during the first semester of language study. When asked what this teaching method looks like at DCHS Mrs. Dixon explained, “In a nutshell, each semester my colleague, Brent Simpson, and I read a small book with our students, written completely in Spanish, and then we pair the main text with activities that increase students’ exposure to comprehensible language. Though I’m not always sure our students realize it, the time they spend working through a leveled-reader is one of the most valuable things they do in our classes because the end result is true contextualization and acquisition – not mere memorization – of high-frequency language that they can continue to build on for years to come.”
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, SCOLT wisely elected to cancel their annual meeting. However, Mrs. Dixon says she hopes to attend the conference in the future, presenter or not. “I’m sincere when I say that I love getting to see what skilled language educators are doing in their classrooms. It felt great to receive this honor, but more importantly, it feels great to be part of a larger body of educators that have a drive to constantly hone their craft.”