Projects currently under development
Multimedia Digital Textbook and Workbook for Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
by Aleksandar Boskovic
The proposed project is a continuation of the work supported by the LRC grants over the past four years. Thanks to this funding, we have built a new digital textbook for Elementary Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, geared towards the communicative learning approach and easy to use in online and hybrid classrooms.
This year, the textbook has been used as the primary instructional material for Elementary BCS at Columbia, with excellent learning outcomes, especially in terms of students’ writing and speaking performance. As we have been implementing the textbook in the classroom throughout 2020/2021, we have been creating an accompanying online interactive workbook, containing automatically checked grammar drills and other written homework assignments, study guides, audio recordings, flash cards, and remotely administered chapter quizzes. The workbook further improved learning outcomes and reduced time spent grading for the instructor.
Despite the initial estimates, last year’s grant amount was insufficient to cover for the project’s completion. At the moment, only 70% of materials are finalized and posted on our website: still missing are final versions of seven out of the twenty textbook chapters in .pdf and audio exercises whose recording was interrupted by the pandemic; a more robust collection of grammar drills and interactive visual exercises like flashcards are also needed.
Thanks to this continued funding, we are able to complete the remainder of the work by end of Fall 2021. Once complete, these materials could serve the needs of a full year of instruction of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Columbia, covering both in-class work and at-home study.
[ project website ]
The Capitals of Italian Culture: Language Through the Urban Context
by Alessandra Saggin and Patrizia Palumbo
The current project consists in the creation of an online platform that may be used as a resource for the teaching and learning of Italian at the intermediate and advanced levels. The platform aims to develop and deepen the knowledge of the cultural specificity of the most prominent Italian cities, as well as of their intercultural connection. The online component will comprise 10 sections, each dedicated to a city that, over the centuries, has enormously contributed to the diversity and enrichment of Italian culture and language. Each section of the platform will include audio and visual materials as well as poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts, movies, and news. These digital materials will be all accompanied by a variety of interactive tasks intending to test reading and listening comprehension skills, expand vocabulary, suggest ideas for compositions, research, collaborative projects, oral presentations, and provide topics for conversation.
Listen and Learn: Advanced Business Chinese Podcasts
by Zhongqi Shi
The proposed project is a continuation of the work funded by the LRC exploratory grant for 2020-2021. Informed by students’ positive feedback and motivated by their suggestions on the podcasts, we hope to create a complete set of podcasts for a four-year level Chinese course Advanced Business Chinese. The podcasts will be incorporated into the existing curriculum and provide an enriched and diverse language exposure for students enrolled in this course. Thanks to the LRC support, we have created and published 11 episodes on Spotify, and we plan to create 15 more episodes to cover the remaining chapters. Students will be able to access these podcasts via cell phone apps or computers. They can download them onto their phone or other device and listen to them whenever they have a couple of minutes. The project is expected to help students better understand the course content, improve their pronunciation, and pick up new vocabulary. Their interest and motivation toward the course are expected to improve as well. At the end of the project, we will survey and interview students to elicit their opinions about the usefulness of podcasting for their language study, which will lay a foundation for future instruction and research.
[ podcast ]
Movie clips for linguistic and cultural awareness
by Maria Luisa Gozzi
The project aims to create a web repository for video clips from Italian movies, to highlight a particular structure of the language or a relevant cultural aspect, or both, and reflect on it with appropriate activities.
The site will be populated with short clips taken from movies, where a certain linguistic structure is utilized in a realistic situation, or a relevant cultural aspect can be observed. Each scene will be complemented by a transcription and a series of activities to be carried out before and after the viewing of each clip. Some of the units can be used in class (especially if they require guidance in interpreting the rich audio-visual context, or if they have further developments through successive parts of a sequence) and others could also be assigned for individual or group homework. The aim is not only to use video clips to broaden students’ vocabulary and to develop communicative competence, but also to provide tasks to enhance transcultural and translingual competence.
This site will constitute a source of materials for the Italian Language Program, for all its levels, from elementary to advanced.