Molly Godwin-Jones (University of Kansas),
Margherita Berti (University of Arizona)
Shannon Donnally Spasova (Michigan State University)
People who are interested in language learning and technology have a variety of directions in which they can take their careers. They can become tech-savvy teachers and faculty members. They can become language center staff, school or university support staff, or instructional designers. They can also work in companies or non-profits that have an interest in the language learning and technology field. This range of choices is exhilarating, but can be daunting for people in the early stages of their career, especially since traditional graduate programs do not always directly feed into these trajectories and frequently lack people who can serve as mentors to assist those entering alternative career paths – the scenic route!
IALLT is now looking to fill this gap for graduate student IALLT members with the inaugural cohort of the IALLT Scenic Route Mentorship Program. Both mentees and mentors can earn an IALLT non-credit professional development certificate upon successfully completing the mentorship program.
The program was developed by Margherita Berti (graduate student representative), Molly Godwin-Jones (graduate student representative), and Shannon Donnally Spasova (IALLT secretary), with support from the IALLT Board and advice from Judi Franz.
The inaugural Scenic Route Mentorship Program will run from May 2020-May 2021. A cohort of graduate students will be matched with mentors who will meet with them online six times over the year to help them navigate some of the twists and turns that they may be facing as they make decisions about their future career. Mentees will also meet several times with their cohort of other graduate students who are facing similar problems and decisions.
Mentors can classify themselves as “gurus”, “seasoned travelers”, or “sherpas”, and they help “hitchhikers”, “roadrunners”, “wanders”, or “wayfaring strangers” along the way according to the Scenic Route Map.
Each stop along the map has discussion prompts on a relevant topic that can help mentors and mentees start a constructive conversation.
Mentors and mentees fill out a short survey after each meeting to document what they discussed and their progress through the Scenic Route.
Mentees will also meet with each other several times during the program to discuss topics like publishing in the FLTMAG, and will share what they learned from their mentors’ meetings. Mentees or mentors can also receive an “honors” certificate if they publish a piece in the FLTMAG by the end of the program. A webinar about how to publish in the FLTMAG is planned for August 2020.
Another important goal of the program will be that mentees can get support and feedback from mentors as they draft a presentation proposal for the IALLT 2021 conference in New Orleans. Hopefully mentors and mentees will be able to meet face-to-face for the first time at the conference, continue to network with each other, and help to kick off a new cohort for the Scenic Route.
Join us on the Scenic Route!
The finishing touches are being put on this program and we will be officially announcing it and looking for participants very shortly. If you are interested in joining us in the Scenic Route Mentorship Program, whether as a mentee or a mentor, please get in touch with Shannon Donnally Spasova at firstname.lastname@example.org.