Theory and Practice Merge in the Annual NATO BILC Professional Development Seminar
By Dr. Michael W. Campbell
Partner Language Training Center Europe
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies’ Peggy Garza, Chair English Language Department, and Dr. Michael Campbell, Language Project Officer, spoke at the 2022 NATO Bureau for International Language Coordination Professional Development Seminar which took place Oct. 17-20 in Provo, Utah, hosted at Brigham Young University.
The annual seminar is an opportunity for instructors of English and other languages to share effective and innovative classroom practices. This year’s theme was “Applied Research and Practical Experience in Teaching and Learning Languages.” Dr. Ray Clifford, Director of the Center for Language Studies at Brigham Young University and the Senior Advisor for BILC, was the host for the event as well as the unofficial tour guide and historian.
Forty-four participants from 22 NATO and partner countries attended this year’s seminar. Sen. Mitt Romney, a BYU alumnus, opened the event virtually, stressing the importance of language in a diverse world. In addition, 11 BYU faculty members presented their recent research on a wide variety of topics including teaching advanced language through debate, the intricacies of neurolinguistic research, and the innovative applications of machine translation.
Dr. Clifford explained that "the best-kept BYU secret is that BYU teaches more advanced-level language classes, to more advanced-level students, in more languages, than any other university.”
The closing speech by J. Scott Miller, Dean of the College of Humanities, reinforced the importance of this mutual sharing of knowledge. “You are inspiring and lead the way,” he said to the audience, “sharing your expertise with us.”