BLC Fellows Reports Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Teaching Russian Verbs of Motion through Early Cinema

For the intermediate student of Russian, there is no topic more daunting than motion verbs. Verbs that denote motion further complicate the language’s aspect system (already difficult to master), and for non-native speakers, these verbs express surprisingly precise ideas. This project and paper aim to improve upon static, pictorial models of motion that textbooks offer…

Italian by Design: A “Bridge” Course

We have grown accustomed to perceiving the arts and language as very different kinds of engagements: the former transgressive and creative, the latter structured and acquired. This talk presents a blueprint for an advanced Italian language course (102) that approaches language and design as analogous processes. Tracing how the coordinates of space and time are…

FrancoForniens: Bringing Oral History into the French-language Classroom

In this presentation, I will show how I borrowed techniques from oral history to build an archive of interviews with “FrancoForniens,” or French speakers living in the Bay Area. Oral history has long been employed in K-12 classrooms to “personalize” the experience of history for students; it asks them to consider how history has impacted…

Learning Russian through Art and Visual Culture

It is often assumed that foreign language students must reach a certain (usually advanced) level of linguistic proficiency before they can begin to engage meaningfully with authentic cultural materials and think critically about their own cultural position vis-à-vis that of the L2 culture. This presentation will show how art and visual culture can offer beginning-intermediate…

Graphic Novels in Foreign Language Learning

Over the past decades the graphic novel has witnessed both increased popularity among readers as well as cultural and intellectual prestige among critics and academics alike – but what is its place within the foreign language classroom? Through a case study of first-year Spanish instruction, this presentation will address strategies for how language instructors can…

Teaching Russian Cultural Competence and Listening Comprehension through Video Interviews

Driven by the goal of helping students at all levels appreciate the complex, multiple perspectives that exist among speakers of Russian, and to supplement existing video materials for Russian instruction, I spent the summer of 2015 videotaping interviews of native Russian speakers responding to various questions about their lives and values. These interviews allow students…

Cultural Literacy Through Art

This presentation investigates the use of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for viewing figurative art in Danish classes to enhance students’ cultural literacy. Although VTS principles have been tested in museums and in K-12 classrooms, they have never been applied in foreign language (FL) classrooms. My primary goal was therefore to test if VTS strategies would…

Thinking about Writing: The challenge of writing assignments at the intermediate French language level

My project addresses issues with composition in the second-year French language program. In response to concerns voiced in surveys by students and instructors, I designed four units and suggested lesson plans. The first provides color-coding analysis of sample essays, allowing students to visualize and parse the elements of an essay. The second unit walks the…

Two Revolutions: Teaching History in Fourth Semester Russian

In my talk, I will present some of the materials I have made for an interdisciplinary intermediate Russian cultural curriculum, intended to combine the study of literature and film with historical readings. I will discuss challenges of preparing intermediate Russian students to read complex non-fictional texts, focusing especially on the following three areas: the choice…

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