Global Studies, Post-Elections

I’ve passed the baton of the Global Studies course to a colleague for this quarter. However, my colleague asked me to substitute for her on two days, and it so happened that the material to be discussed on these days included the text I was the least proud of creating from the last two years of teaching this course.

This gave me the opportunity of reworking the text, which was a Global Studies version of the cultural reflection text for Chapter 11 (La France vu d’ailleurs) of Réseau 2.

As the French election results had recently been announced, I decided to discuss international perspectives on the results of this election. The adapted text, including the comprehension and discussion questions, can be found here.

Biological Topics in French

The Department of French and Italian at the University of California at Santa Barbara has been awarded a Rosati Instructional Improvement Grant for the purpose of creating a discipline-specific French language workshop in Biology to launch in Fall 2016. I am excited to announce that I will be working under the guidance of the Chair and the French Language Program director to organize and lead this workshop, Biological Topics in French, which is geared towards UCSB Biology and Life Science students who are also enrolled in French courses.

For more information about this course, please see the course webpage.

French for Global Studies

In the Department of French and Italian at UC Santa Barbara, French 6 is the course that rounds out the end of the second-year French sequence, in which students complete a review of French grammar. The course emphasizes speaking, reading, and writing through study of French and Francophone history, politics, language policy, and culture within a global and larger European context.

In Spring 2015, I crafted and taught a preliminary version of this course, which I am further developing this quarter (Spring 2016). I adapted or created all of the 12 literature and culture sections for the course, which involved finding authentic texts that are suited both to the students’ reading level and to the lexical and syntactic material of the chapter; creating an introduction to the text, to its author, or to both; and developing activities suited for pre-reading, for comprehension assessment, and for interpretation and discussion.

While it has been a challenge to create authentic, approachable, and appropriate materials, developing this course has given me the freedom to find and implement materials that would more effectively address the interests of my students, many of whom are majoring in Global Studies or Political Science.

A sample text I adapted to use as the Literary Reflection for Chapter 10 (Le septième art ou le cinéma) of Réseau 2 can be found here.

French Talent Night 2016

talent night

In Winter 2016, the Department of French and Italian sponsored the first French Talent Night at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The French Talent Night was conceptualized as a way to provide a new cultural event to students of French at UCSB, and to allow them the opportunity to express themselves in a new way. Instructors encouraged students to participate by awarding extra credit to participants or by allowing the performance to replace an in-class presentation built into the course curriculum.

Students at any level of French were invited to participate in this event, choosing a poem, speech, or song to perform. My colleague and I reviewed a small collection of classic and modern theatre as well as various anthologies of poetry to find monologues, scenes, and poems that were reasonably fitted to the levels of French represented by our students. Students were also encouraged to propose selections from pieces of their choosing.

The final event took place on February 10 and was a great success; the final program included 24 students from beginning to advanced French courses and was attended by the students’ classmates and professors.