Lectures by BLC Fellows (Y. Baker, N. Wallace, K. Moller, C. Kitzinger, M. Szarke), May 1, 2015

Spring 2015 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects

Thinking about Writing: The challenge of writing assignments at the intermediate French language level
Margot Szarke, GSR, French
My project addresses compositional issues in the second-year French language program. In response to concerns voiced in surveys by students and instructors, I designed four units and suggested lesson plans. The first provides color-coding analysis of sample essays, allowing students to visualize and parse the elements of an essay. The second unit walks the students through the process of revising thesis statements by giving them models that stage the development of an argument. My third unit guides the students through a genre-specific writing practice. Finally, I address the issue of the feedback loop: how students and instructors can better communicate with one other about the writing process.

Cultural Literacy through Art
Karen Møller, Lecturer, Scandinavian
This presentation investigates the use of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for viewing figurative art in Danish classes to enhance students’ cultural literacy. Although VTS principles have been tested in museums and in K-12 classrooms, they have never been applied in foreign language (FL) classrooms. My primary goal was therefore to test if VTS strategies would work in an FL classroom. Selected images were used with two groups of Danish students. The images and the format of the viewing process varied from group to group and from session to session. I will discuss my findings and propose materials for the use of art in FL classes.

Two Revolutions: Teaching history in 4th-semester Russian
Chloë  Kitzinger, GSR, Slavic Languages and Literatures
In my talk, I will present some of the materials I have made for an interdisciplinary intermediate Russian cultural curriculum, intended to combine the study of literature and film with historical readings. I will discuss challenges of preparing intermediate Russian students to read complex non-fictional texts, focusing especially on the following three areas: the choice between annotating and presenting non-fictional texts online, and creating paper glossaries and exercises; ways of both supporting students’ reading of complex texts, and helping them develop reading strategies they can use independently; and the potential for in-depth discussion of history and politics in intermediate language classrooms.

Developing an Online Placement Test for the Japanese Program at UCB:
Norming test analysis

Yasuko Baker & Noriko Wallace, Lecturers, EALC
In this presentation we will report on our efforts to norm the questions that will be used in the Japanese online placement test, to be administered for the first time this coming August. We will present our analysis of the norming test results and the measures we took to handle problematic questions. We will discuss the value of the norming test and what we learned in the process.

Friday, May 1, 2015
3 – 5 pm
B-4 Dwinelle Hall