Curricular development Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Developing Cultural Literacy Through Social Media in the Russian Language Classroom

In this paper I identify strategies to help students explore authentic Russian language materials on social media platforms: Facebook and Vkontakte.  I present an overview of three modules that introduce the Russian language social media landscape and guide students through identifying and tracing political and cultural debates occurring in this space. This approach encourages lifelong learning…

Harnessing the Power of Electronic Media: Incorporating Film in the Introductory Czech Classroom

This paper discusses activities designed for students in an Introductory Czech class.  The film-generated assignments presented here, based on selections from the Czech film Kolja made available to students as clips from the BLC Library of Foreign Language Film Clips via bCourses, address not only a range of specific language skills (listening, speaking, writing, and even…

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…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Vocabulary and the Upper-division Language Curriculum: The Case of Non-native and Heritage Spanish Majors

L2 lexical studies have established that learners need to acquire knowledge of the first 3,000 most frequent words in order to enjoy 95% coverage of the vocabulary used in spontaneous speech (Nation 2006). However, there has been little data available that reveal how many of these most frequent words can be recognized by university language majors, with Robles-García´s (2020a, 2020b) recent study being a welcome exception. The present inquiry into L2 vocabulary gains employed the same word-recognition test developed by Robles-García (2020a) in order to characterize the vocabulary size enjoyed by upper-division Spanish majors, both non-native and bilingual native (i.e., heritage) speakers, enrolled in a California public university. The results show that non-native Spanish majors in their third and fourth year of the major are still struggling to learn the first 3,000 most frequent Spanish words. In contrast, the heritage students demonstrated strong word recognition of almost all of the words in this basic inventory. The curricular implications of these results are discussed with respect to both non-native and bilingual native Spanish majors and an argument is made for continued explicit vocabulary instruction throughout the upper-division program.

Marginalization of Local Varieties in the L2 Classroom: The Case of U.S. Spanish

The United States is one of the world’s most populous Hispanophone countries, with over 35 million Spanish-speakers. In addition, Spanish is the most widely taught foreign language in the United States, with more students enrolled in Spanish at the higher-education level than in all other modern languages combined. How, then, is the United States’ status as a top Spanish-speaking country reflected in the treatment of sociolinguistic variation in Spanish as a Foreign Language (SFL) curricula at the university level? This case study of a large, public university in the Southwest, which is home to an SFL program among the largest in the country, explores that question using a two-tiered approach. First, an analysis is conducted to examine ...

Redesigning an Introductory Language Curriculum: A Backward Design Approach

In response to calls for curricular change in foreign language programs and institutional requirements to evaluate programmatic effectiveness, this article presents a backward design approach to the redesign of an introductory French curriculum grounded in the framing concept of cultural literacy. In addition, data from student evaluations, written exams, and instructor feedback illustrate how program evaluation efforts have contributed ...

Studying Fictional Representations of History in the L2 Classroom

The article addresses the didactic questions of what, why and how aspects of culture and history can be—and should be, it is argued—an integral part of all foreign and second language teaching and learning. In particular, it is argued that the study of literary fiction within tertiary foreign language education can function as a gateway ...

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