Lectures by BLC Fellows (D. Pries, J. Vivrette, J. Porter), December 5, 2008

Fall 2008 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects


Translingual/Transcultural competence: an operational approach to the MLA report
Desiree Pries, Lecturer, French
My project responds to the 2007 MLA report, “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World,” and the call for translingual and transcultural competence in foreign language studies.  This presentation will provide a few concrete examples of how to re-design a foreign language curriculum along the lines recommended by the report.  Some of the questions and issues that arise for instructors and coordinators when remapping the foreign language curriculum will also be discussed.

Crossing the Bridge: Shifting Perspectives on and in First-Year Turkish Through Film
Jason Vivrette, GSR, Comparative Literature
As is the case with many other less commonly taught languages, relatively few Turkish teaching materials meet the communicative needs of the university-level foreign language classroom. Moreover, the few communicative-based textbooks that do exist make little effort to address the multifaceted and multicultural nature of Turkey, Turkish culture, and the Turkish language itself. In this presentation, I will demonstrate ways in which multimedia (particularly Turkish cinema) can be used in tandem with the BLC Library of Foreign Language Film Clips to challenge the prevailing monolithic representation of Turkish and Turkey, opening up a multiplicity of perspectives and identities that students can subsequently refer to and revisit as they constantly redefine for themselves what constitutes Turkishness across a variety of contexts. Ultimately, students can use these multiple representations to bridge their own shifting identities with a global ‘Turkish’ community.

Filmmaking and Foreign Language Instruction
Jillian Porter, GSR, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Filmmaking is a powerful tool for language instruction. There are a variety of ways that filmmaking can be used in the language classroom:  students can stage and film dialogs from their textbooks, write original screenplays using textbook grammar and vocabulary, film scenes from plays in the target language, make music videos, or adapt literary works for the screen. What distinguishes filmmaking from many other creative classroom activities is that it produces enduring audio-visual linguistic artifacts.
In contrast to the transience of live performance activities in class, the permanence of film motivates many students to memorize and perfect their delivery of linguistic structures. Furthermore, finished films can be viewed multiple times by the students who made them and by future students, serving as the basis of listening comprehension activities or as the subject of class discussions. More complex projects—such as screen adaptations of literary works—can be carried out over the course of several weeks or a whole semester, and can effectively meet the goals of a literacy-based language program. Such projects integrate students’ learning of specific linguistic content with critical reflection on how meaning is conditioned by the various sign systems of language, culture, literature, and film.

Friday, December 5, 2008
3-5 pm, 370 Dwinelle Hall