2015 INTEGRATING THE ARTS: CREATIVE THINKING ABOUT FOREIGN LANGUAGE CURRICULA AND LANGUAGE PROGRAM DIRECTION

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    Performing poetry in the foreign language classroom: Pedagogical and language program considerations
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2015-01-01) Levine, Glenn S. ; Roots, Jaime W.
    This chapter addresses the theory and practice of poetry performance in the German language classroom, as well as the collaborative development of projects of this sort by the language program director and graduate student instructors. Drawn from scholarly work on the roles of poetry in language learning, the focus is a curriculum component called the Wortkonzert (“Word-Concert”) project, in which the students select and learn to perform a German poem during the academic term. Activities include individual exploration of the sounds and rhythms of the poetic work, one-on-one mentoring with the instructor, consultation with an advanced German speaker in person or through digital media, collaborative work among the students, investigation of the poet’s biography, the epoch and the particular lyric genre, and, of course, performance of the poetry in the classroom. Involving as it does extended, playful use of language in a performance mode, and privileging aesthetic over literary-analytic aspects, the project serves as a foil to the often primarily quotidian uses of language typical of the language classroom. Data from a set of surveys of student experiences are presented, which identify the pedagogical paradox that poetry is considered “off-putting” by many students, though it also serves as a gateway to cultural knowledge and other insights not as easily accessible through other genres. The chapter then details key language program concerns, such as articulating the project with the curriculum overall, and justifications and considerations for graduate-student instructor involvement in all phases of the project.
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    Finding voice in the foreign language classroom: Reading, writing, and performing slam poetry to develop critical literacies
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2015-01-01) Keneman, Margaret
    This study expands on existing notions of foreign language literacy and critical literacies by positing students’ voices as central to the development of critical literacies in a foreign language. From this expanded definition, a pedagogical approach using the slam poetry art form was designed and integrated into a standard intermediate curriculum (French 201) to foster critical literacies. Students were asked to analyze and (re)produce slam poems, and qualitative data were collected to investigate how the pedagogical approach influenced student learning. Findings indicated that most students valued the opportunity to practice linguistic features (i.e., grammar points) by producing work that was of personal importance to them. While students were not always aware of their own linguistic progress and critical literacies development, their final slam poems revealed important efforts to convey their sense of self as well as their “cross-cultural awareness” in a way that was often linguistically appropriate and stylistically sophisticated. Student development of critical literacies in a foreign language is ongoing and extends well beyond one semester of instructed learning, but this study illustrates potential learning outcomes, should such a pedagogy be implemented. Finally, practical implications for LPDs’ supervisory work and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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    Dramatizing/digitizing literacy: Theater education and digital scholarship in the applied linguistics curriculum
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2015-01-01) Urlaub, Per
    Applied linguists who have their professional homes in foreign language departments at North American universities need to gear their graduate courses towards a broad variety of students. In order to reach sustainable enrollments in their graduate classes, their courses must appeal to graduate students in their home and sister departments as well as to students who are located outside the humanities in programs offered by their university’s School/College of Education. This essay argues that connecting graduate courses in applied linguistics to the arts not only attracts students with diverse academic backgrounds, but also establishes a unique profile for applied linguistics courses offered by foreign language departments with respect to those offered by other units in the university. The first part of the chapter compares the diverse learner profiles that applied linguists must consider when developing graduate courses of broad interdisciplinary appeal. The second part of the chapter documents a class project that integrated applied linguistics with arts education, public scholarship, and digital media production. This collaborative project, entitled Death Is a State of Mind—The Duchess of Malfi, exemplifies such an integrative learning environment. Students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds completed a digital public scholarship project that featured an educational outreach program supporting a production by an independent community theater.
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    Drama in the classroom: Post-holistic considerations
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2015-01-01) Shmenk, Barbara
    This chapter looks at the use of drama in language education, focusing on the notion of holistic learning to which proponents of drama in language education often refer when outlining the educational backdrops and goals of using drama in the foreign language classroom. The first part offers a brief account of what holistic learning entails and how it has been implemented in foreign language education. Taking the notion of the holistic seriously, it shows that many communicative language classrooms do not truly engage the “whole learner.” Integrating holistic learning into foreign language learning environments requires more explicit dramatizing of the communicative, i.e., using elements of drama. Subsequently, in light of more recent and poststructuralist views on language learning and learner identities, we have the argument that drama allows for holistic learning in foreign language education. These approaches challenge some of the basic assumptions about holistic learning and drama in foreign language education as they imply a subversion of the notion of holistic learning. Therefore, the argument reconstructed in part one of this chapter gets deconstructed in the course of part two. Section two outlines an alternative theoretical framework within which drama in language education can be viewed less as a pedagogical process that involves the “whole learner,” but that is instead based on a view of subjectivity as dynamic, inprocess, and fragmented. In conclusion, the proposed framework is discussed (a) with respect to its practical implications for language learning integration of the arts, using an example to illustrate the points discussed; and (b) in light of language teaching and TA training in university level language education.
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    Italy at your fingertips: Integrating puppet theater in the Italian classroom
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2015-01-01) Pacchioni, Federico
    This chapter makes a case for integrating puppet theater in the foreign language curriculum. The case is grounded in an acknowledgment of the art’s cathartic effect, its ability to engage and develop multiple intelligences and various skills. It is also based on the cultural value and uniqueness of the puppet theater’s many traditional forms. The chapter begins with an examination of the literature currently available in support of this creative approach, identifying recurring themes and issues, and evaluating educators’ reflections vis-à-vis certain historic and cultural dynamics and influences. While the application of puppetry in education has almost always been considered in relation to the primary and secondary school levels of teaching, a number of puppet theater techniques translate remarkably well into higher education, especially for languages whose cultures present strong puppetry traditions, such as Italian. The final section of the chapter addresses the pertinence of puppetry to teacher training and curriculum development, exemplified by the case of Italian, both as a tool in the instructor’s lesson and in studentled productions.