Episode 1: Melissa Baralt on Second Language Instruction, Global Learning, and Global Citizenship

Melissa Baralt

Melissa Baralt, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Applied Psycholinguistics at  Florida International University, with affiliations in university’s departments of Modern Languages and Biomedical Engineering, School of Education and Human Development, and Center for Children and Families (Psychology). Dr. Baralt specializes in first and second language acquisition, bilingual language development in children, sociocultural and environmental factors that affect parent-child interaction, and language learning and teaching. On this episode, Dr. Baralt shares an important message for all would-be global learning faculty. In her words, “global learning is not some massive endeavor, it’s about a change of instructional perspective and some tweaking of how you engage students in meaningful tasks and assess them.” Baralt explains that global learning is fundamentally about validating students’ diverse needs and perspectives and involving them in collaborative efforts to analyze and address complex problems that transcend borders of difference. She makes the case for why global learning must be universal--for Baralt, considerations of how students apply their learning in their personal and professional lives is a social justice issue.

Resources Mentioned

  • Task-Based Language Teaching
  • Languages In The World: How History, Culture, and Politics Shape Language, by Julie Tetel Andresen and Phillip M. Carter

Great Quotes

“As practitioners, we need to constantly be reflecting on our own practice and how are we growing as professionals, but also what skills are we giving our students, what we are equipping them with, so that they can go outside and be participants in society and help to make society better.”

“What global learning really equips us to be able to do is change how we are actually engaging students and learning, and frankly learning with them.”