Lectures by BLC Fellows (Ronis, Levine, Langer, Schwartz), April 28, 2017

Spring 2017 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects

Adding A Robust Cultural Component in Elementary Tibetan
Jann Ronis, Lecturer, East Asian Languages & Cultures
Two types of students tend to enroll in the Elementary Tibetan course: those with a strong interest in Tibetan culture and those with a strong interest in Tibetan linguistics. During this fellowship I have created several modules that introduce cultural material in a mixed English and Tibetan format in an effort to meet the expectations of both types of students. At this presentation I will demonstrate the module about Tibetan astrology, which includes new vocabulary and idioms related to the 12-year cycle, personality types, and directed research into Tibetan horoscopes, geomancy, and related folk culture.


Medieval French in the Modern French Classroom
Kathryn Levine, GSR, French
The French language sequence at Berkeley stresses the importance of exposing students to a wide range of authentic texts and emphasizes cross-cultural understanding. Despite the rich cultural and literary heritage of the medieval and early modern periods in France, this exposure is limited to modern French. What are some of the objections to and difficulties in presenting medieval French to learners of modern French, and what strategies might be effective? In this talk, I’ll make a case for including earlier forms of language in the L2 classroom and present two different approaches, one music-based and one text-based, and discuss my experience designing and piloting lesson plans this semester.


Harnessing the Power of Electronic Media: Incorporating Film in the Introductory Czech Curriculum
Ellen Langer, Lecturer, Slavic Languages & Literatures
This talk discusses activities designed for students in an Introductory Czech class. The film-generated assignments presented here, based on selections from the Czech film Kolja made available to students as clips from the BLC Library of Foreign Language Film Clips via bCourses, address not only a range of specific language skills (listening, speaking, writing, and even by extension reading) but also cultural and historical awareness. The talk examines what kinds of activities give students the impetus to interact with the wider environment beyond the classroom through electronic resources, what learning goals can be achieved through such assignments, and how such assignments can be carried back as activities into the shared experience of the classroom.


Developing Cultural Literacy through Social Media in the Russian Language Classroom
Christina Schwartz, GSR, Slavic Languages & Literatures
In this talk, I will identify strategies to help students explore authentic Russian language materials on social media platforms: Facebook and Vkontakte. I will present an overview of three modules that introduce the Russian language social media landscape and guide students through identifying and tracing political and cultural debates occurring in this space. This approach encourages lifelong learning as students can begin to incorporate authentic Russian language materials of personal interest into their daily social media digest.


Friday, April 28, 2017
3 – 5 pm
B-4 Dwinelle Hall