BLC Fellows Reports Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Highly Varied Proficiency Levels in the Same Classroom — Differentiated Instruction as a Means of Effective Language Teaching

Instructors of the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) often find themselves in classrooms where students' language proficiency levels vary on a broad scale, spreading from novice to advanced. The question that arises in these situations is how to teach all of the students in a way that will provide for each of their individual language-progression…

Developing Curricular Materials for Kurdish Language Instruction

The limited body of materials for teaching the Kurdish language has various shortcomings. While the outdated grammar books are specifically targeted for linguists interested in comparative linguistics or grammatical and linguistic analysis of the Kurdish language and ethnography, more recent textbooks suffer from numerous problems, most noticeably the scope and sequence of grammar topics as…

Developing Interpretive Insight through Reframing Texts

This project focused on the interpretive insight that second-semester students of French developed when reframing texts in the target language. The process of reframing texts in a collaborative setting followed a tripartite model involving preparation, enactment, and post-enactment reflection and was aimed at developing linguistic skills and increasing cultural knowledge in the target language. The…

From Communities of Practice to the Emergence of Thirdness: Voices, Identities, and Subject Positions of Chinese International Students in the U.S.

Based on data collected from in-depth interviews with 15 Chinese international students enrolled in a large public university in the U.S., this exploratory study brings to the fore the heterogeneous and contentious nature of negotiating one’s voices, identities, and subject positions as an international student in a transnational milieu. The findings of this study cast…

Cultural Memory in Focus: Designing a Travel/Study Program for the Former Yugoslavia

This report details work done in Fall 2017 to research and design a new travel/study program to Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia in summer 2018. This UCB faculty-led program is entitled “Balkan Bridges: Contested Histories, Shared Commitments” and treats ongoing legacies of war, as well as exemplary moments of peace, in the former Yugoslavia over the…

Teaching French Listening Comprehension and Cultural Awareness through Regional Variation

At the university level, French language instruction in the US traditionally includes a course on phonetics and pronunciation. While the major aim of such courses is to improve students’ speaking and listening competence, they also emphasize speaking ‘correctly’ using standardized, metropolitan French. In this project I propose a curriculum that emphasizes the diversity of spoken…

Adding A Robust Cultural Component in Elementary Tibetan

Two types of students tend to enroll in the Elementary Tibetan course: those with a strong interest in Tibetan culture and those with a strong interest in Tibetan linguistics. During this fellowship I have created several modules that introduce cultural material in a mixed English and Tibetan format in an effort to meet the expectations…

Medieval French in the Modern French Classroom

The French language sequence at Berkeley stresses the importance of exposing students to a wide range of authentic texts and emphasizes cross-cultural understanding. Despite the rich cultural and literary heritage of the medieval and early modern periods in France, this exposure is limited to modern French. What are some of the objections to and difficulties…

Developing Cultural Literacy Through Social Media in the Russian Language Classroom

In this paper I identify strategies to help students explore authentic Russian language materials on social media platforms: Facebook and Vkontakte.  I present an overview of three modules that introduce the Russian language social media landscape and guide students through identifying and tracing political and cultural debates occurring in this space. This approach encourages lifelong learning…

Harnessing the Power of Electronic Media: Incorporating Film in the Introductory Czech Classroom

This paper discusses activities designed for students in an Introductory Czech class.  The film-generated assignments presented here, based on selections from the Czech film Kolja made available to students as clips from the BLC Library of Foreign Language Film Clips via bCourses, address not only a range of specific language skills (listening, speaking, writing, and even…

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