Fall 2019 BLC Fellows Insructional Development Research Projects

Lecture | December 6 | 3-5 p.m. | Dwinelle Hall, B-4 (Classroom side)

 BLC Fellows, UCB

 Berkeley Language Center

Teaching Karuk and Yurok Online: A Story of Pain and Healing
Dmetri Hayes, GSR, Linguistics
The Karuk and Yurok people have told stories orally for centuries. Some of their words have been recorded in dictionaries and written in notebooks by linguists. A great loss of life and language occurred leading to few people speaking Karuk or Yurok in their daily life today. I discuss my attempt to create an online vocabulary learning tool using all of the resources I could find. Alongside the sociopolitical challenges attached to the project, I found that traditional language teaching methods were seriously challenged by the high complexity of the languages' words (highly polysynthetic morphology).

Understanding China through the Media: Teaching Advanced Chinese with Multimedia Materials
Weisi Cai, Lecturer, East Asian Languages & Cultures
As Chinese learners have more opportunities to access news and cultural information online, they realize that media representations of Chinese culture vary tremendously in content, style, and focus. This BLC fellowship project will discuss the design of an advanced Chinese course incorporating multimedia materials to help students develop their Chinese linguistic and cultural competence and critical thinking skills.

"Zhili-Byli...": Russian Folklore in the Intermediate Language Classroom
Kathryn Pribble, GSR, Slavic Languages & Literatures
This BLC project discusses the use of fairytales (skazki) and other folkloristic genres in the Intermediate Russian classroom. The narrative structure, cyclical imagery, and mnemonic devices of traditional fairytales and folktales are engaging and facilitate comprehension. Moreover, these genres introduce students to the fundamental ur-texts of modern Russian culture, while also promoting a metalanguage in the classroom for thinking about how national identity and culture are constructed. This project presents four learning units, each organized around a different motif or figure from traditional Russian folklore, all designed to deepen L2 learners’ engagement with Russian culture while also building their confidence in reading longer narrative texts.

From Poetry to Memes: Poetic Citation in Russian Language and Culture
Dominick Lawton, GSR, Slavic Languages & Literatures
Poetry occupies a unique place in Russian culture: the poetic canon is prestigious, yet popular, memorized in Russian schools, and professionally performed and recited aloud. This project explores poetry memorization and citation in the Russian L2 classroom. A series of modules guide students through analyzing, understanding, learning, and reciting famous and widely-cited poems. Students also encounter cultural echoes of these poems -- in film, the press, and particularly through internet memes -- and ultimately re-deploy recognizable poetic citations in creative ways using the meme format themselves.

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