Associate Professor; Program Chair, TESOL/TFL
A native of southeastern Massachusetts, Jason Martel began his career as a secondary school French teacher. He has extensive experience in the Middlebury ecology, having worked for the Middlebury School of French, the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy, and now the Middlebury Institute. At the Institute, he teaches courses in language pedagogy, assessment, curriculum design, and second language acquisition and maintains an active research agenda in these domains.
From 2014 to 2019, Jason served as associate director of the Institute’s Summer Intensive Language Program (SILP). His principal duties included providing professional development for faculty members and setting a pedagogical vision for the program. His teaching has been enriched very much by this experience, notably in that the program served as a laboratory setting for his thinking about language pedagogy.
Jason also participates in a variety of professional activities related to language education. He is an active member of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) and the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Currently, he serves as Chair of ACTFL’s Teacher Development Special Interest Group and is a recent recipient of the organization’s Research Priorities Grant. In addition, he consults around the country in the areas of foreign language curriculum design, pedagogy, and assessment.
Courses offered in the past two years.
- Current term ●
- Upcoming term(s) ○
Principles & Practices in Language Teaching 1
Along with Principles and Practices 2, this course provides students with a foundational pedagogical training in preparation for careers in foreign/second language teaching. Topics covered include an introduction to the field and its expectations, course/syllabus design, needs assessment, and unit design. Students will engage in a variety of real-world performance tasks, such as creating needs assessment instruments, summative language assessments, and unit plans. Students will also deepen their understanding of course concepts by conducting classroom observations.
Fall 2020 - MIIS
In which ways are France and the United States similar, from a cultural point of view? And in which ways are they different? How can understanding culture(s) help us cooperate with others in today’s globalized world? And better understand ourselves? These questions will be explored in this course through multiple thematic lenses based on areas of student interest (e.g., the environment, conflict, humanitarian aid). Class sessions will be predominately activity-based, with a balance among the interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes of communication. Assessments will highlight performance tasks in which students are asked to demonstrate their ability to engage in cultural inquiry in real-world situations related to their professional careers, as well as periodic vocabulary and grammar quizzes. There is no required textbook; all needed materials will be distributed during class. The course will be conducted in French and is destined for students with an Intermediate Low level of proficiency.
Fall 2020 - MIIS
Principles & Practices of Language Teaching I
Along with Principles and Practices 2, this course provides students with a foundational pedagogical training in preparation for careers in foreign/second language teaching. Topics covered include an introduction to the field and its expectations, course/syllabus design, needs assessment, and unit design. Students will engage in a variety of real-world performance tasks, such as creating needs assessment instruments, summative language assessments, and unit plans. Students will also deepen their understanding of course concepts by conducting classroom observations. The dates of this course are AUGUST 24 through DECEMBER 11. Registering for this course signals your interest in taking the course. You will be notified via email on August 21 whether you can officially enroll in the course.
Principles & Practices in Language Teaching 2
Along with Principles and Practices 1, this course provides students with a foundational pedagogical training in preparation for careers in foreign/second language teaching. Topics covered include essentials of lesson planning, authentic texts use, formative assessment, differentiation, and high leverage teaching practices. Students will engage in a variety of real-world performance tasks, such as creating lesson plans and performing microteaching. Students will also deepen their understanding of course concepts by conducting classroom observations.
Spring 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2020 - MIIS
You must take the Friday 10-12 grammar classes (for a total of 6 contact hours for this class) in order to receive 4 credits. Professor Jeremy Frye
This course will explore the intersection between access to sustaining food and human wellbeing. After defining the two foundational concepts of food security and public health, students will address these concepts’ relationship through case studies at multiple levels: the self, the community, the country, and the world. Content will be drawn from authentic policy texts and from students’ lived experiences. Aesthetic and spiritual aspects of food and wellbeing will also be considered. Key questions guiding course activities will be:
• What does it mean to live a life with dignity?
• What is the role of food in our lives and wellbeing?
• What role should government play in assuring our wellbeing?
Class sessions will be predominately discussion- and activity-based. Assessments and deliverables will include vocabulary and grammar quizzes, Integrated Performance Assessments (including interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication tasks), and a personal project related to students’ fields of study. There is no required textbook; materials will be distributed in class. The course will be conducted in French and is destined for students with an Intermediate Low level of proficiency.
Spring 2020 - MIIS
This seminar provides language teachers with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the challenges of becoming language teacher supervisors. It examines current models of, and research on, language teacher supervision. Students practice observing teachers and conducting post-observation conferences, developing their ability to provide professional feedback, differentiate between evaluative and developmental supervision, and examine the variables related to working with teachers in a variety of specific contexts.
Spring 2019 - MIIS
Areas of Interest
In his teaching, Jason draws heavily on content-based instruction (CBI), an approach to language teaching that involves the simultaneous learning of language and stimulating non-linguistic content such as culture, geography, history, etc. His research focuses on foreign language teachers’ experiences with innovative practices, primarily through an identity lens. Recent articles can be found in Foreign Language Annals, the French Review, and Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching. View his Google Scholar profile.
- Ph.D., Second Languages and Cultures Education, University of Minnesota, 2013
- M.A., French, Middlebury College, 2003
- B.Mus., Viola Performance, Boston University, 2003
Professor Martel has been teaching at the Institute since 2013.
- Martel, J. (2019). “Washback of ACTFL’s Integrated Performance Assessment in an Intensive Summer Language Program at the Tertiary Level,” Language Education & Assessment, 2(2), 57–69.
- Martel, J. (2018). “Three Foreign Language Student Teachers’ Experiences with Content-Based Instruction: Exploring the Identity/Innovation Interface,” Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 12(4), 303–314.
- Martel, J. (2018). “Postsecondary Students’ and Instructors’ Evaluative Comments about ACTFL’s Integrated Performance Assessment,” Journal of Applied Language Learning, 28(1), 1–18.
- Martel, J. (2017). “Is the Field of Foreign Language Education Disposed to Change? Modern Language Journal, 101(2), 431–433.
- Troyan, F., Cammarata, L., and Martel, J. (2017). “Integration PCK: Modeling the Knowledge(s) Underlying a World Teacher’s Implementation of CBI,” Foreign Language Annals, 50(2), 458–476.
- Martel, J. (2017). “Identity, Innovation, and Learning to Teach a Foreign/Second Language,” in G. Barkhuizen (Ed.), Reflections on Language Teacher Identity. New York: Routledge.
- View the complete list of scholarly contributions.