To Operate between Cultures and Languages: (Multilingual) Transnational Films in Foreign Language Classes

Lecture | April 20 | 1-2 p.m. | B-37 Dwinelle Hall

 Gabrielle Blell, University of Hannover, Germany

 Berkeley Language Center

Our societies have undergone two major changes during the last decades: firstly, the continuous rise of cultural and linguistic diversity, due to the global economy, migration and universal mobility, and secondly, the steady expansion and gathering impetus of the new communication media (Cope/Kalantzis 2000). In consequence, the phenomena of multilingualism, acquired or learned, have shaped our living together and pertain to our learners in the classroom. Similarly, polyglot movies, literatures and other art productions have become symbolic expressions for worldwide cross-cultural movements for all age groups.
Both the multilingualism and the multi-/transculturalism inherent in the texts and images depict a rich cultural resource for the FL classroom. I will argue in my paper that the particularly creative potential of transnational films, to be found in its multilingualism and the transculturalism that comes with it, shall offer a complementary field to teach film “beyond” the traditional and curriculum-bound (‘English only’) EFL classroom in Germany and therefore supports multicultural, multilingual and multimodal learning. I will make use of examples from Babel, 2006 (Alejandro González Iñárritu) and Inglourious Basterds, 2009 (Quentin Tarantino).

 vrodic@berkeley.edu, elyseanneritchey@berkeley.edu, 510-877-4002 x19