Catherine Ritz

Clinical Assistant Professor
Program Director for Modern Foreign Language Education

Dr. Catherine Ritz is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Director of Modern Foreign Language Education. Dr. Ritz has taught French and Spanish at the secondary level for many years, is a National Board Certified teacher of French, and was the Director of World Languages in a public school district in the Boston area before joining Boston University. Her areas of interest include developing proficiency-based thematic curricula and performance assessments, effective foreign language methods and pedagogy, and foreign language teacher development. Dr. Ritz regularly presents at national and regional conferences on foreign language pedagogy and technology integration.

Dr. Ritz has served on the Board of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) since 2012, and was the President in 2015 and 2016. Dr. Ritz is currently the MaFLA Programming Coordinator, overseeing professional development events. Additionally, Dr. Ritz serves on the Board of the Northeast Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL).

Appointments:

  • Project Advisor to “Professionals in Education Advancing Research & Language Learning (PEARLL),” a federally-funded Language Resource Center (LRC) at the University of Maryland.
  • Board of Directors & Programming Coordinator, the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA)
  • Board of Directors, the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL)
  • Project Advisor to Professionals in Education Advancing Research & Language Learning (PEARLL), a federally-funded Language Resource Center (LRC) at the University of Maryland
  • Grant Reviewer, STARTALK

Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction, Texas A&M University
A.L.M. in Foreign Literature, Language, & Culture, Harvard University
M.A. in TESOL/Foreign Language Education, New York University

TL 508: Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), 5-12
TL 511: Methods of Teaching Modern Foreign Language
BI 504: Seminar: The Student Teaching Experience, Modern Language
LS 658: Second Language Acquisition
TL 635: Language Program Management
CT 534: A Practical Approach to Classroom Management

Dr. Ritz's areas of interest include developing proficiency-based thematic curricula and performance assessments, effective foreign language methods and pedagogy, and foreign language teacher development.

Dr. Ritz is currently conducting a case study of foreign language teachers who are attempting to shift their practice from a traditional model to one using a communicative approach that focuses on developing students' proficiency in using the language. Her research attempts to document and understand foreign language teacher beliefs around the shift in practice, the challenges, impediments, and successes they experience while attempting to implement this shift, and what they view as needed resources or supports.

Additionally, Dr. Ritz is participating in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Faculty Learning Community (http://www.bu.edu/ctl/sotl-flc/) where she is conducting research into her course, "LS 658: Second Language Acquisition." The goal of the study is to determine what course sequence, assessments, and learning strategies are effective in helping pre-service language teachers make connections between second language acquisition theory and practice, and investigate patterns of learning that emerge through this course.

Visit Dr. Ritz's Faculty Profile

Ritz, C., & Rupley, W. (2018). The proficiency cohort: Shifting teacher beliefs through a collaborative curriculum design process. The NECTFL Review, 83, 31-55.

Ritz, C. (2018, March/April). Honoring learners with the Seal of Biliteracy. The Language Educator, 13(2), 30–32.

Ritz, C. (2018, January/February). The big impact of the little i : Shifting from an “isn’t-that-interesting” approach to culture to developing intercultural competence. The Language Educator, 13(1), 53–56.

Ritz, C. (2016, August/September). The proficiency cohort: Empowering teachers through curriculum development. The Language Educator, 11(3), 47-49.

Ritz, C., Allen, J.,& Eagan, T. (2016, March/April). Developing common assessment measures: A state and district collaboration. The Language Educator, 11(2), 35-38.

Ritz, C. (December, 2017). Assessing Performance: Moving from Chapter Tests to Authentic Assessments. Workshop presented at the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey professional development series.

Ritz, C. (November, 2017). 90-10: Planned and Purposeful Target Language and English Use. Session presented at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Annual Convention and World Languages Expo.

Ritz, C. (October, 2017). Core Practices: Backward Design. Session presented at the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association Fall Conference.

Ritz, C. (December, 2016). Planning with Backward Design. Workshop presented at a monthly seminar hosted by the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association.

Ritz, C. (November, 2016). Assessing Performance: Moving from Chapter Tests to Authentic Assessments. Session presented at the annual convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Ritz, C., Lu-Hogan, N., & Toro, C. (October, 2016). Go Global: Digital Connections. Session presented at the annual conference of Massachusetts Computer Using Educators.

Ritz, C., & Lu-Hogan, N. (October, 2015). The Proficiency Cohort: Making Shift Happen. Session presented at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association.

Ritz, C. (March, 2014). Teaching with Tablets: Using iPads to Deliver Instruction and Engage Students. Session presented at the annual conference of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Ritz, C. (July, 2012). Digitally Speaking: Free Resources to Improve Oral Proficiency. Session presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of French.

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