Lectures by BLC Fellows (C. Donovan, M. Kentfield, R. Adler-Peckerar, L. Scott), December 7, 2007

Fall 2007 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects


Reevaluating and Redesigning the Portuguese Language Curriculum
Clélia F. Donovan, Lecturer, Spanish & Portuguese
Making the shift from language classes to courses in literature has long been arduous for both students and teachers. This project proposes lesson plans and activities that bring into play the link between linguistic and literary perspectives, thereby creating a more cohesive program.

Responding to Characters:  A Study of French Learners’ Interpretive Skills and Affective Responses to Literature
Miranda I. Kentfield, GSR, French
This study evaluates students’ ability to comprehend and interpret excerpts from Hugo’s Les Misérables as they pass from the intermediate to the advanced stages of language learning. What features of prose narratives are readers at the French 4 vs. upper division levels able to identify and respond to?  Can they evaluate the relationship between form and content when reading a story, or do they tend to focus primarily on the apparent message of a text or the events of the plot?

Cultural and Communicative Competence in Yiddish: Strategies for Teaching a Non-Territorial Language
Robert Adler-Peckerar, GSR, German/Comparative Literature
The position of non-territorial languages in the academy is a complicated one. An ever-diminishing population of native speakers available to students, a lack of contemporary cultural materials, and an abundance of outdated teaching materials make the situation of Yiddish even more problematic. My project is an attempt to devise new approaches to developing Yiddish communicative competence, with an emphasis on interactive and new media to teach a language that was once the vernacular of the majority of Jews in the world but, in the aftermath of genocide, has come to be taught as a written (and not a spoken) language.

Designing Instruction for English Learners from an Ecological Perspective of Language Learning
Lyn Scott, GSR, Graduate School of Education
When elementary teachers meet to plan instruction for English learners in their classrooms, how do they match their potential teaching methods with what they know about their students’ resources and needs?  This project considers students’ linguistic resources and the potential for teachers’ to add an ecological perspective of language learning to their pedagogical repertoire.

Friday, December 7, 2007
3-5 pm, 370 Dwinelle Hall