Title

Foreign Language Learning

Titles of the Individual Presentations in a Panel

Improvisation Modules in Foreign Language Learning (Olga Amarie) Teaching with Technology and Hybrid French Classes at the College Level (Irina Armianu) Coldplay, Stromae and others – using music in teaching French Phonetics (Florin Beschea)

Subject Area

Foreign Language Pedagogy

Abstract

Improvisation Modules in Foreign Language Learning

This study focuses on the question of improvisation in a foreign language classroom. The main goal is to encourage the development of the imaginative response in the learner and move beyond communicative activities by transforming the class time into improvisation sessions. This idea expresses my own way of thinking and it is part of my class work and original arts showcase at Georgia Southern University. Through careful class preparation, I would like to suggest practical modules to improvisational survival for foreign language students. In this practical guide, I argue that the imaginative world of learners has specific structures and by knowing those structures instructors can improve learners’ proficiency in a foreign language classroom. This paper answers the following questions: What does learners’ imagination have in common? How to tell an improvised story? How does a student-improviser think? This analysis is not only concerned with results, but also with implementing more improvisation activities in foreign language classes.

Teaching with Technology and Hybrid French Classes at the College Level

A generalized trend in teaching at the college level in United States is lately the online courses with substantial methodologies and techniques. On the one hand this has been the case for many universities and different fields since the opportunities broadened while the advance of IT methodology offered a more functional replacement for other forms of alternative education like distance education. On the other hand the same IT applications in education has offered a more involvement of technology in the regular classroom teaching either through the use of smart classes (with a complete computerized multi media equipment) or the use of additional online tools such Blackboard.

While the technology advances from both directions, caught in the middle the traditional classroom setting is less and less common and it has become obsolete in spite of its renewed methodologies. From an administrative point of view this traditional setting has proven less practical and less resourceful.

Within this context of language acquisition classes in general and the teaching of French classes in particular this study analyses the challenges and the solutions for using general IT tools in language teaching. As teachers it is still our job to identify and to keep searching for those special motivators. The idea behind this teaching foundation in second language education is ingenious in providing the students what they are missing the most: the human connection and the fun of learning about a new language and other civilizations. In this way the hybrid classes offer both the technology performance and the human connection. Both have proved as extremely valuable in teaching students about France and improve their language skills.

Coldplay, Stromae and others – using music in teaching French Phonetics

One of the greatest challenges when teaching an Oral Expression and Phonetics class at an advanced level of French is the dryness of the subject matter. Phonetics can be arid and thus hard to swallow for the students who lose interest fast facing the theory they have to learn. Using songs to illustrate pronunciation challenges in English and in French brings a spark of pleasure and interest in my students’ eyes. Coldplay is an all-time favorite: but how does the singer pronounce “trouble”? How is it different from American English pronunciation? How does it relate to French phonetics? These are not only pertinent questions, but also techniques used to focus students’ attention from a visually appealing video clip, in an unsuspected direction – in this case the formation of the liquid consonant “l”. In this presentation, I will demonstrate exactly how I use songs in a classroom context with specific phonetics targets in mind, focusing on awareness of sound production in a different context than every day spoken language.


Brief Bio Note

Olga Amarie Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University

Dr. Amarie’s primary areas of research are twentieth and twenty-first century French literature and cinema. She has published articles on Octave Mirbeau, Juliette Adam, Remy de Gourmont, and stereotypes in short stories. She translated Twin Tower Lovers by Christophe Ferre in collaboration with David Seaman. She has presented at international, national, regional and state conferences. Dr. Amarie has been recognized as the best of Graduates by “A. Russo” State University. She was also the recipient of the Grace P. Young Graduate Award in recognition of excellent achievement in French Literary Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Irina Armianu Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-Pan American.

Irina Armianu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at University of Texas-Pan American since 2012. A Romanian born scholar, she graduated from Rice University in 2010 with a research interest focused on the Rhetoric of the Modern Novel, the French Thought and Teaching with Technology. Among her areas of expertise she published and presented papers on postmodern topics on ‘‘L’art et l’argent, la rupture moderniste’’, "Kenizé Mourad and Early Middle Eastern Feminism’’ a study focused on Women and Gender Studies within racial and sexual crisis of identity as well as articles about the French Film Studies ‘‘Le cineaste Cocteau: une conception artistique au Carrefour de la littérature et des arts visuels’’. Based on her previous research interests on both French national identity, gender studies, and post colonialism the paper on this literature panel takes in discussion the reception of Josephine Baker, a female black dances coming in Paris from New York at the turn of the century. This topic presents a high interest in the way Josephine has witnessed and brought her own contribution not only to the surrealist and art deco revolution but also on changing the view on national identity in France after the First World War. The research on second language acquisition and teaching French with technology is focused especially on hybrid classes and it takes its conclusions from both the existing research literature as well as the experiments on computer-based programs and traditional classroom teaching conducted at UTPA in partnership with the Manufacturing Engineering Department.


Florin Beschea Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College

With a French Medieval literature specialization and a Medieval Studies background, his main interest is centered on the 13th and 14th century French religious texts, especially the miracles of the Virgin Mary. As a generalist, he is also interested in pre-modern literary genres, especially theater (medieval and classic) and old and middle French language and its evolution. From the modern era, he works on film studies and Francophone literature.

Keywords

Improvisation modules, Imagination, Storytelling, Foreign language, Teaching with technology, Hybrid french classes learning

Location

Room 218

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-26-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

3-26-2015 11:45 AM

Embargo

5-23-2017

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 26th, 10:30 AM Mar 26th, 11:45 AM

Foreign Language Learning

Room 218

Improvisation Modules in Foreign Language Learning

This study focuses on the question of improvisation in a foreign language classroom. The main goal is to encourage the development of the imaginative response in the learner and move beyond communicative activities by transforming the class time into improvisation sessions. This idea expresses my own way of thinking and it is part of my class work and original arts showcase at Georgia Southern University. Through careful class preparation, I would like to suggest practical modules to improvisational survival for foreign language students. In this practical guide, I argue that the imaginative world of learners has specific structures and by knowing those structures instructors can improve learners’ proficiency in a foreign language classroom. This paper answers the following questions: What does learners’ imagination have in common? How to tell an improvised story? How does a student-improviser think? This analysis is not only concerned with results, but also with implementing more improvisation activities in foreign language classes.

Teaching with Technology and Hybrid French Classes at the College Level

A generalized trend in teaching at the college level in United States is lately the online courses with substantial methodologies and techniques. On the one hand this has been the case for many universities and different fields since the opportunities broadened while the advance of IT methodology offered a more functional replacement for other forms of alternative education like distance education. On the other hand the same IT applications in education has offered a more involvement of technology in the regular classroom teaching either through the use of smart classes (with a complete computerized multi media equipment) or the use of additional online tools such Blackboard.

While the technology advances from both directions, caught in the middle the traditional classroom setting is less and less common and it has become obsolete in spite of its renewed methodologies. From an administrative point of view this traditional setting has proven less practical and less resourceful.

Within this context of language acquisition classes in general and the teaching of French classes in particular this study analyses the challenges and the solutions for using general IT tools in language teaching. As teachers it is still our job to identify and to keep searching for those special motivators. The idea behind this teaching foundation in second language education is ingenious in providing the students what they are missing the most: the human connection and the fun of learning about a new language and other civilizations. In this way the hybrid classes offer both the technology performance and the human connection. Both have proved as extremely valuable in teaching students about France and improve their language skills.

Coldplay, Stromae and others – using music in teaching French Phonetics

One of the greatest challenges when teaching an Oral Expression and Phonetics class at an advanced level of French is the dryness of the subject matter. Phonetics can be arid and thus hard to swallow for the students who lose interest fast facing the theory they have to learn. Using songs to illustrate pronunciation challenges in English and in French brings a spark of pleasure and interest in my students’ eyes. Coldplay is an all-time favorite: but how does the singer pronounce “trouble”? How is it different from American English pronunciation? How does it relate to French phonetics? These are not only pertinent questions, but also techniques used to focus students’ attention from a visually appealing video clip, in an unsuspected direction – in this case the formation of the liquid consonant “l”. In this presentation, I will demonstrate exactly how I use songs in a classroom context with specific phonetics targets in mind, focusing on awareness of sound production in a different context than every day spoken language.