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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…

Dwinelle B-3, the perfect home for Spanish 102C (Volunteering, Global Education and Good Writing)

During the fall of 2015, I taught for the first time in the state-of-the-art digitally equipped Berkeley Language Center classroom, Dwinelle B-3. I was amazed at how effectively it facilitated active learning and long distance communication, thus potentiating the innovative features of Spanish 102C (Volunteering, Global Education and Good Writing). In this course, students volunteer…

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…

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…

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