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Language Resource Center

Past Events Sponsored by the Language Resource Center:


Click on the title for details about the event:

Authentic Television in the Language Classroom
Noyes Lodge
Wednesday, May 8
10 AM - 12, with light lunch following


As the options for reception of international television broadcast expand, it is time for the language center, the language teaching departments, and teachers themselves to reassess this teaching and learning resource. We have been offering SCOLA for ten years, but the program options and the technology allow us to go beyond SCOLA now.

At this meeting, a number of teachers who are already using target language TV broadcasts will describe their work. There are many issues involved, including the selection, preparation, class integration, task design, technical handling, storage, and copyright issues. I will offer some options of how the center could support this work, including questions of reception hardware, subscription fees, recording, storage, delivery to students and teachers, and copyright. We will attempt to arrive at a strategy to use our available resources, including our own time, to make best use of international TV broadcasts in language teaching.

To provide background to the discussion, the Center has prepared an annotated bibliography on L2 television broadcast use in language teaching.

Check out some of the possibilities from Kelly Broadcasting, Dishnetwork; Astra, which has a very long list of international broadcasters available (some of whom stream on the web, for example, in Dutch ); Telstar (just as an example, look at the offerings of Taiwan International Television and Buddhism Light TV).

Here is a copyright source from Stanford University, (for multimedia use in classes, see especially their Rules of Thumb) and an online tutorial.

Slava Paperno: Recent Work in CALL
A Language "Textbook" on CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh

Wednesday, April 10 Noyes Lodge 3:3-4:40

Slava Paperno of the Cornell Russian Program is a national leader in developing computer assisted language learning materials (CALL). Many of the best materials developed at Cornell are either his own or were inspired and guided by his work. Slava showed his current project that is nearing completion. Unlike his past work, this is not an additional component in a set of language teaching materials for a course. This CD-ROM attempts to serve most of the needs of a college course by combining readings, audio recordings, video clips, interactive exercises, and a glossary. The program is built with Macromedia Director, a popular authoring system that has not yet appeared in our long and rich history of show-and-tells. Slava is not the content author in this project: he is working with a Russian language teacher elsewhere. They have never met to discuss the work: all collaboration has been long distance, and yet very easy and successful. Slava spoke about his recent experiments in DVD authoring.

"Bridging the Second-Foreign Language Gap in Learning Pragmatics: Classroom Instruction and Study Abroad"
Gabriele Kasper, University of Hawaii, Manoa

To provide background to the talk, the Center has prepared an annotated bibliography on pragmatic competence. Included is a section of some of the references from the talk handout.

Pragmatic competence refers to "interpersonal rhetoric - the way speakers and writers accomplish goals as social actors who do not just need to get things done but must attend to their interpersonal relationships with other participants at the same time."*

Pragmatic competence is of special interest to study abroad students, who will have salient pragmatic goals. Dr. Kasper raises the question of how we can help students learn these skills in the foreign language situation, where the classroom is their only setting for getting things done in the foreign language.

*”Pragmatics in Language Teaching," from Pragmatics in Language Teaching, OUP, 2001, edited by Kenneth R. Rose and Gabriele Kasper.
This event provided experienced developers, as well as those entering the field such as TAs, with an opportunity to see the state of the art in CALL development.

Pragmatic Competence

On February 12, the center held a meeting about pragmatic competence, in anticipation of the talk by Gabriele Kasper. I sent around an email of notes from the reading. At this event, Gunhild Lischke and Joanna Luks talked about a particular issue of pragmatic competence they had experienced in their classes and how they had dealt with it. Gunhild talked about the use of a word "Jawohl," which is used in a textbook dialog. While it is used in an informal dialog among friends, it actually has a strongly hierarchical or possibly ironic meaning. Teachers need to examine textbook material carefully. Joanna recounted her use of English corpus material to make students aware of listener feedback and overlaps present in authentic speech.
After these short presentations, the group discussed experiences and issues in their own work involving pragmatic competence. If you are interested in a tape of the session, please contact Dick Feldman at

News Flash: Center not moving to McGraw; Staying at Noyes Lodge
The big news for the language center is that we will not be moving to McGraw Hall. This move had been planned for more than a year, and we were near the final stages of designing the new space. We are not moving because the visitor's center project that was to take over the Noyes site has been put on indefinite hold.
However, we do have plans for changes, now to be carried out here at Noyes Lodge: increase our range of foreign language television reception; create a second, PC-based computer classroom; develop facilities and pedagogical support for distance learning; enhance our responsiveness to teachers' needs; continue to develop our web site - the media library and specialized tools for teachers; assemble a library of Consortium-supported teaching materials; and streamline our sales and circulation business processes. When we finish all that I am sure other projects will come up.

Media tools for teachers

The last event of the fall semester, on December 11, was a workshop on new tools developed by the Center. This session included a description of some new features in the media library; a discussion of copyright issues; an explanation of the place of the new tools in CALL generally and the classroom teaching spiral more specifically; a step-by-step demonstration of the new tools for teachers to create a web exercise based on audio/video; a demonstration of Quicktime features allowing special links between text and audio/video; and finally time to try out creating "media workbook pages" live on the web. Look at some of these at the exercises page in "Student Resources."

Claire Kramsch
October 22, "The Predicament of Culture in Language Study,"
followed by an evening reception and follow-up discussion.

The event web page has more information and links to a bibliography.

OPI Workshop

The Language Resource Center sponsored a workshop on Oral Proficiency Testing at Noyes Lodge from 9 to 4:30 on September 22. The speaker at the workshop was Karl Otto, from the University of Pennsylvania. He has given OPI workshops all over the world. He is also a certified OPI tester in German and English.
It included background about the OPI, a careful explanation of the evaluation scheme, two live sample interviews graded by the group, and a discussion of the use of the OPI in the context of university language requirements. The Center offered an annotated bibliography about OPI. A week later, there was a follow-up event.