Dr. Greg Ogilvie's experiences living with an impoverished family in a bleak factory town and attending school in both West and East Germany kindled passions for language, culture, and social justice. Subsequent travels abroad and teaching English in Ukraine and Ethiopia enriched and rooted his views and now informs his practice and research in the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Education.
In our globalized world, it’s crucial to help students be able to communicate with diverse groups of people,” says Ogilvie, who instructs future second language educators.
“Knowing all the mechanics of a language doesn’t lead to the ability to use it.” He advocates task-based language teaching (TBLT), through which students learn by completing meaningful tasks. Ogilvie and a team of his students developed numerous TBLT resources compatible with the Alberta French as a Second Language Program of Studies. Detailed lesson plans for grades four to eight, supporting multimedia resources, and a complete Grade 4 module for beginning French language learners are all available free online. “The materials provide a model that second language teachers can draw from to better understand how to apply task-based language teaching in their work,” says Ogilvie.
“Understanding social context is also important,” he adds. Effective communication between people of diverse cultures is as dependent on intercultural knowledge, respect, and equality as it is on grammatical accuracy.
Ogilvie is interested in creating linguistically and culturally inclusive classrooms, with a focus on restorative justice pedagogy in support of refugee students.
Because of the trauma and other issues refugees experience, a restorative justice approach to education allows English as a second language teachers to create safe environments in which students feel they belong,” he says.
Ogilvie has published and presented widely on restorative justice pedagogy, intercultural education, social justice, and French task-based language teaching.
Writer: Elizabeth McLachlan, Photographer: Rob Olson
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Bridging Neuroscience and Education: Riley Kostek (BSc’09/BEd’11)
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