Lectures by BLC Fellows (Khankan, Weiher, DeWaele, Ko), December 4, 2020

Fall 2020 BLC Fellows
Instructional Development Research Projects

Affective Listening: Towards Tarab in the Arabic Language Classroom
Nathalie Khankan, Lecturer, Near Eastern Studies
This project centers on ritual listening to Arabic songs. Borrowing from the notion of “ṭarab” or ‘enchantment’ in Arabic musical culture, ritual listening taps into the affective-subjective dimensions of language learning. During a semester of remote instruction, ritual listening was implemented through an audio-visual syllabus. Students’ narrative reflections attest to the value of ritual listening as a site of messy meaning-making and new semiotic worlds. As such it promises both poetic-aesthetic and political augmentations for the Arabic language classroom.

A Variationist Approach to Teaching French Phonetics
Rachel Weiher, GSR, French
Questions about the role of linguistic variation in language learning have long interested SLA researchers, yet to date best practices for teaching sociolinguistic variation are scarce. My project involves developing a variationist sociolinguistic approach to French-language curriculum design in French 35 (“Practical Phonetics and Listening Comprehension”). By highlighting sociolinguistic issues, I aim to empower students to challenge hegemonic notions of what it means to ‘sound French,’ all the while preparing them to better understand the many varieties of spoken French they will encounter beyond the hexagonal norm.
Download Weiher presentation as a PDF

Exploring Representations of Social Identity in Soviet & Russian Film
Kathryn DeWaele, GSR, Slavic Languages & Literatures
My project focuses on the ways in which music – in particular songs from Soviet and Russian films – can be incorporated into the intermediate/advanced Russian language curriculum to teach cultural competency. I have created a week-long module that invites students to interrogate the notion of social identity in the Soviet context and how it is represented in two films in which music plays an essential role in the advancement of the plot: R. Kachanov’s stop-motion animation Cheburashka (1971) and V. Todorovsky’s feature film, Stilyagi (2008).
Download DeWaele presentation as a PDF

“The Essence of the Language is in Texts”: Attitudes towards and uses of texts in language revitalization
Edwin Ko, GSR, Linguistics
In comparison to grammars and dictionaries, the value of spoken and written texts in language revitalization has been less clear. Texts may play an important role: they are culturally important and interesting, and linguistically rich. On the other hand, texts can be particularly challenging to use, especially for beginning learners. Drawing from data collected via an international online survey and interviews with language revitalization practitioners, I present an analysis of attitudes towards the use of texts in language revitalization. In addition, I discuss how current and imagined uses of texts reflect these attitudes.
Download Ko handout as a PDF

Friday, December 4, 2020
3 – 5 pm
Zoom Session (register here)