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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…

Memoria histórica: A Film Module for Intermediate Spanish

The purpose of this project was to develop pedagogical material for a film module on historical memory in Intermediate Spanish, as part of a larger departmental goal of increasing the presence and effectiveness of cinematic resources in our literacy-based curriculum. This presentation will describe the development, piloting, and evaluation of a unit on historical memory…

Italian in Performance: Opera as a Holistic Framework for Language Pedagogy

From musical references woven into urban landscapes to the use of arias in films, opera has forged a certain idea of Italianness, whether ironic, serious or stereotypical. Because of its powerful cultural reach and multimedial and collaborative dimensions, opera is a gateway to approaching specific aspects of the Italian language. My project investigates the potential…

Digital Textbooks: Emerging Trends and Practices

Will digital textbooks replace print textbooks as the standard material for teaching and learning languages? Will instructional design reach the point where computer-based learning systems do away with the need for instructors? Will continued advances in machine translation serve as further de-motivation for learning a language at all? To provide perspective on these questions, this…

Developing an Online Placement Test for the Japanese Program at UC Berkeley

Currently, Japanese lecturers create and give 60-minute walk-in placement exams for new students one week before each semester starts. The lecturers grade each test manually, so the results may vary depending on how and by whom the tests are graded and various subjective factors. Therefore, the Japanese Program needs a more efficient and objective method…

Uniting the BCS Classroom with Folkloric Language

Following the political division of Yugoslavia and the corresponding linguistic breakup of Serbo-Croatian into “BCS” (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian), all three linguistic variants are taught together in one course. At times, this situation can lead to frustration for both students and instructors, due not only to the amount of attention devoted to explaining the differences among…

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…

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