Language through Culture: Developing an Integrative Curriculum for First-Year Czech

Languages such as Czech, with complex grammatical marking and a vocabulary very different from English, are challenging to teach at the elementary level. My project starts from the premise that using a broad range of authentic cultural material, including excerpts from articles, ads, menus, film clips, and songs as the basis for grammatical exposition, drills, and classroom discussion improves both student learning and morale. My BLC project was to create a chapter of an online Czech textbook integrating a variety of such materials with teaching basic language skills. In this talk, I illustrate methods and formats I have developed and discuss source materials that can be readily updated to reflect cultural and social changes. Download article as PDF