Lectures by BLC Fellows (G. Sibanda, J. R. Williams, H. McMichael), December 4, 2009

Fall 2009 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects


Teaching Zulu Language and Culture Through Film
Galen Sibanda, Linguistics

Many studies show that film or “video has vast potential for enriching language study and making it more enjoyable and effective” (Wood 1992). This presentation is a demonstration of how film can complement other materials used in class (especially the textbook) by tapping on this great potential. By developing and using exercises accompanying video clips it is illustrated how a Zulu language class is enriched through feature film, the exercises themselves helping achieve various cultural, interpretive, language, and linguistic goals in addition to listening comprehension.

Facebook and Creating Community for Beginning to Intermediate Italian Language Learners
Jessica Rasheeda Williams, Italian Studies

Instructors of Italian are often faced with specific challenges in meeting all of the 5 “C”s of the Standards of Foreign Language Learning. Most students have little to no contact with native speakers, and do not choose to major in the language. Furthermore, it is Italian Renaissance culture, and not the vibrant cultures of contemporary Italy, that generally predominates in the minds of students.  These factors have caused me to reflect upon the extent to which the goals of Communities and Cultures have been lacking in both my practice, and in contemporary Italian language pedagogy overall. After having seen my students independently improvise an online community in Italian on Facebook, I began to brainstorm ways that the Facebook portal could be used to create community amongst students, create connections between students and Italians active on Facebook, and develop activities that expose them to contemporary Italian cultures in the process. This presentation will offer some preliminary tactics and tools which might be able to begin addressing some of the gaps between the materials in the text and Italian culture today, as well as bridging the gap between Italian for school purposes, and Italian as a method of communication in real ­— or virtually real — life.

Laboratorio en Movimiento: Using Blogs to Teach Spanish 4
Heather McMichael, Spanish and Portuguese

Blogs written in Spanish are a rich source of contextualized language in use, freely available, universally accessible, widely varied, highly interactive and generally appealing to all students. However, some of the same qualities that make blogs attractive for a Spanish class also present challenges, regarding how make them useful as a pedagogical tool in our institutional setting. This project addresses these issues with a unified series of activities and assignments for Spanish 4, all based on the cyber-context of a current photo blog by two Mexicans who adapted a biodiesel van to use nothing but used cooking oil and recently drove it from Mexico to Patagonia.

Friday, December 4, 2009
3:00 – 5:00 pm
370 Dwinelle Hall