German Professor Recognized for Use of Technology in the Classroom

WASHINGTON, Pa. (Nov. 17, 2011)—Michael Shaughnessy, Ph.D., associate professor of German and chairman of modern languages at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J), is being honored nationally for excellence in the integration and use of technology in post-secondary foreign language instruction.

Shaughnessy is the 2011 recipient of the Faculty Development Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with International Association of Language Learning Technology. Recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), in conjunction with Cengage Learning, he will be presented with the award at the ACTFL Annual Convention Awards Ceremony Nov. 18 in Denver.

“This honor attests to Dr. Shaughnessy’s outstanding expertise in this area and his colleagues’ recognition of his commitment to the language profession,” said Barbara Mondloch, president of the ACTFL.

In 2003, Shaughnessy conceived the first authentic picture dictionary, with photographic representations of words and objects instead of drawings. The Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon (CAPL) was launched as a German language prototype later that year to provide teachers, students and the global educational community with authentic, high-quality photos for non-commercial use. The project was and still remains free of charge. 

“To this day, it is the only authentic image-based dictionary available, online or in print. It now includes 14 language databases with five additional databases in progress,” Shaughnessy said.

Shaughnessy also has published a CD-ROM for introductory German and has written numerous articles on the subject. He also does educational and commercial consulting for computer-assisted language learning and gives lectures on the subject of educational technology and humanities computing.

Shaughnessy is an advocate for foreign language education, an active member in the American Association of Teachers of German, and a lifelong member of the Society for German American Studies. He is an expert on the subject of German speaking immigrants to Pittsburgh and published the book German Pittsburgh in 2007.

“It is an honor to be recognized in this way and I look forward to accepting the honor on behalf of W&J and our language program,” Shaughnessy said. 

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Michael Shaughnessy, Ph.D.