BLC Fellows Reports Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Interweaving Italian Language and Culture through Historically Distant Memories

This presentation provides an Italian example of the challenges faced by L2 instructors attempting to integrate distant historical memories into their curriculum. Meeting this challenge requires the development of activities that contextualize these narratives while bridging the past and the present by engaging with learners’ own values and experiences. Building on this understanding, students can…

UC Berkeley Online Chinese Placement Test: Improvements, Implementations, and Impediments

The original version of the Chinese placement test at Berkeley was developed ten years ago. With the rapid advancement of web technology as well as instructional changes in the Chinese curriculum, our placement test needed an update. This presentation will describe the process we went through in redesigning the test, including the incorporation of demographic…

Teaching History and Memory in the English Language Development Classroom

Traditionally, learning grammatical patterns, expanding vocabulary, and practicing conversational phrases have been emphasized in second/foreign language classrooms. With this narrow but prevalent way of conceptualizing the goals of language instruction, few teachers fully envisage themselves teaching culture. The current project focuses on a particular way of viewing culture in terms of history and memory. By…

Teaching Non-Hexagonal French Culture in the Language Classroom

For my project, I have created and trialed cultural materials for use in second-year French classes that look at non-hexagonal (or Francophone) cultures on their own terms. By putting together cultural units that focus on specific geographical places and topics, I expand the idea of engaging with French culture beyond traditional ideas of Paris-centric themes…

Learning Italian Through Television Advertising

Television advertising provides versatile authentic materials for learning Italian language and culture, as it constitutes a privileged point of entrance for analyses of Italian society through its rich network of cultural references – feature films, TV shows, songs, newspapers, magazines, as well as other advertisements. Further, the cross-cultural dimension of TV advertising prompts critical examination…

Using Film to Teach Cultural Analysis Skills in L2: A Pragmatic Guide

This presentation describes a semester-length sequence of lessons structured around closely-watched film clips for fourth-semester Spanish. Based on the implementation of these lessons this semester, and of an analogous application in Italian 4, straightforward guidelines will be presented for the design of sequences of lessons that guide students from a passive to a critical and…

Rearticulating culture in a place in-between: The multimodal experiences of hearing mothers

Culture has been commonly understood as something we “have”, acquired through membership in a community rather than something socio-ideologically situated that we “do” bodily in and through language. Through videotaped interviews with hearing mothers of deaf children discussing their language experiences in the visual world of their deaf child, I attempt to shape an emergent…

Language and History through Silent Film in the Foreign Language Classroom

Silent cinema represents a useful tool for foreign language instruction precisely because of its lack of verbalized dialogue. Cinematic silence can be used to demonstrate the connections between visual and verbal meaning, provide unique material for a variety of writing projects and in-class exercises, and facilitate discussion about the function of language in genre and…

Every Object Tells a Story: Searching for Finnishness among Bay Area Finns

Immigrant homes often display artifacts of cultural, historic, and ethnic importance. I have looked into the meaningful objects that Bay Area Finns of different generations and age groups hold dear to their hearts. The owners find nostalgic connections with these objects as they keep negotiating and recreating their Finnishness. This talk discusses the many fragilities…

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