Literature, film and other media have an important part in challenging our students’ knowledge - real and imagined - of the target language and culture they’re studying. In addition, those can help students consider alternative ways of seeing, feeling, and understanding things. As literature has long been viewed an integral part of language teaching, we will concentrate on the newer media. This dovetails with ACTFL’s recommendation that foreign language learning connect to other disciplines, in our case media studies and film studies that can expand to social studies, etc. depending on the films chosen. In the 2007 MLA report translingual/transcultural competence is set as one of the goals of foreign language education. This concept corresponds with several of ACTFL’s Five C’s: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. We aim to include these concepts in our language courses and will discuss the role new media serves in this endeavor.
In our talk, we will discuss the role of film and other ‘live’ media, such as YouTube in a foreign language classroom. Our talk looks at the use of film in three different ways: - Showing an entire film for mostly cultural purposes - Showing an entire film with pre- and post-viewing exercises - Showing carefully chosen scenes with a particular teaching point in mind: grammar /vocabulary/listening comprehension practice prepared to go along with a particular scene. We’ll show samples of films as well as share teaching materials we have developed - and our experiences. Furthermore, we’ll discuss student feedback. We will conclude our paper by discussing the choices and decisions the teacher is forced to make – and the dangers of stereotyping and cultural oversimplification.
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