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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…

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…

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