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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…

Language through Culture: Developing an Integrative Curriculum for First-Year Czech

Languages such as Czech, with complex grammatical marking and a vocabulary very different from English, are challenging to teach at the elementary level. My project starts from the premise that using a broad range of authentic cultural material, including excerpts from articles, ads, menus, film clips, and songs as the basis for grammatical exposition, drills,…

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…

The Parrot’s Two Feet: Teaching French in Contact with Arabic

How can the language classroom account for the ecologies of language that generate bilingual and multilingual practices, attitudes, and cultural products? Using texts and media that incorporate French and Arabic, this project develops lesson plans to engage students in the critical appraisal of the values, agencies, and registers that shape language use in francophone cultures. …

Third Place in the French classroom: A separate space for a new beginning?

As someone who is Italian, was raised in France, and has lived in the U.S. for ten years, and as the new mother of an American-born baby, I am fascinated by topics that explore the sometimes multiple identity crises that multilingual individuals face. What does it mean to be multilingual? What effect does it have…

Teaching Intertextuality and Recontextualization through Music

Sensing the opportunity to provide a pedagogical model for the use of music in foreign language teaching, I have created activities that uncover and highlight themes of intertextuality, recontextualization, recognizability, and (re)appropriation through close readings of songs and other cultural texts to which they are linked. My activities are designed to show students how texts…

Language and culture in documentaries by Italian women filmmakers

In spring 2009, a 25-minute documentary, Il corpo delle donne (The Body of Women), composed of images selected from 400 hours of television programs, exerted an unexpected impact on an Italian public which over the years had become uncomplainingly accustomed to seeing women made objects of the most explicit forms of degradation, humiliation, and misogyny.…

Teaching Japanese Pragmatic Competence Using Film Clips

In all 1st- through 3rd-year Japanese courses at UC Berkeley, students are expected to write several skits over the course of the semester. Each skit is submitted to the instructor for corrections, after which students perform the skit in class. Students appear to enjoy these oral quizzes. While checking 3rd-year Japanese students’ scripts, I have…

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