Lecture by BLC Fellows (S. Bailey, D. Gramling, S. Hom-Cary)

BLC Fellows’ Presentation

Yiddish Language Heritage and Teaching in the 21st Century
Sarah Bailey, PhD Candidate, German
Yiddish, the thousand-year-old language of Eastern European Jews, bears many of the characteristics of a heritage language but often is overlooked by researchers in pedagogy (heritage language and otherwise).  In this context, teaching Yiddish two generations after the Holocaust challenges the way heritage languages and their learners are currently conceptualized, researched, and taught.  My project addresses these issues and offers some practical suggestions for teaching a first-and second-semester Yiddish language course.

Translingual Practice: Teaching the Tropical Germany?
David Gramling, PhD Candidate, German
Is multilingual culture beyond the scope of nation-language teaching?  Do intermediate-advanced students of German need to focus on standard usage in order to become culturally proficient in a “target” language, or do they need to explore the shifting lects, codes, styles, and genres that constitute the symbolic capital of language-in-use?  As immigration in Germany brings forth new, naturalized German languages and multilingual communities, what curricular opportunities become available and timely for exploring the non-native linguistic practices of our students, alongside those of translingual authors in German-speaking places?  This BLC project develops a curriculum for a fourth-or-fifth-semester German class that investigates the creative stylistic and affiliative semiotics of non-native or multilingual speakers, both in the language classroom and in cultural production at large.

A Language Flows through It(aly): Learning Italian, Multilingualism, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Stephanie Hom-Cary, PhD Candidate, Italian Studies
Students of Italian often describe their study of the language in passionate terms, such as “I have always loved Italy,” or “I love the language, the culture, the people, the wine, the country, everything!”  They aspire to travel there and to experience the “beauty”, “romance”, and “friendliness” of Italy and Italians.  Inother word, their study of Italian is conditioned by the ideal of flow, defined as an optimal experience that culminates in the successful pursuit of happiness.  Utilizing an ecological approach to language, my project considers flow as one of the key factors conditioning the “environment” of Italian in the university-level classroom.  It also explores the specificities of “language” insofar as multilingualism (particularly the influence of other Romance languages, most specifically, Spanish)  is at the heart of the study of Italian at the college level.  Because Spanish is employed as intermediary step that expedites and ameliorates the pursuit of flow, my project ultimately frames the issues of learning Italian in this context and offers various pedagogical recommendations.

Friday, May 14, 2004
3:00-5:00, B4 Dwinelle Hall