Using Multimodal Text Annotations to Promote Cultural Literacy
Project Director: Dr. Chantelle Warner (U. Arizona). Projects Collaborators: Dr. R. Ariew (U. Arizona); Dr. K. da Costa Bezerra (U. Arizona); Dr. G. Cavatorta (U. Arizona), Dr. A. Iğsiz (U. Arizona) [In collaboration with CLAS; CMES; COH]
Description: The importance of cultural literacy and transcultural competence, the ability to understand a foreign language and culture on its own terms, has become a pressing issue in foreign language pedagogy in this current age of globalization where meanings traffic easily but superficially. However, the teaching of language in culture comes with its own set of pedagogical problems.
This project will create culturally annotated hypermedia texts in Arabic, German, Portuguese, and Turkish, as well as pedagogical materials to accompany them with the goal of developing new pedagogies for the teaching of language as culture through literary texts. (Arabic and Italian hypermedia texts are available in a previous incarnation of this project. See below for details.)
A number of recent studies have focused on the use of annotation in multimedia environments for enhancing L2 text comprehension and promoting vocabulary acquisition and have reported that prior knowledge is integral to reading processes. By decentering the cultural background information that is provided to the students through hypermedia annotation, this project seeks to promote cultural literacy through the “interpretive mode,” “the ability to read (or listen) between the lines”.
Past Projects (2006-2010)
Hypermedia Multimodal Text Annotation
Project Director: Dr. Robert Ariew (U. Arizona) [In collaboration with CMES and Department of French and Italian]
Description: This project will annotate different types of texts with multimedia hyperlinks (hypermedia) to facilitate linguistic as well as cultural comprehension of reading texts for language learners. Hypermedia can clarify, explain and illustrate not only the meanings of words and expressions, but also rhetorical, socio/cultural, historical and other concepts embedded in the text. Additional information about certain words or concepts may appear as hypermedia annotations presenting information in nodes and links. Working with Italian and Arabic, this project is producing contemporary and authentic sources annotated with the aid of multiple forms of digital media such as text, graphics, audio, and video. Teachers will be able to use these annotated texts as part of their classroom resources. The annotations are being done in 2008-2010; the materials are being used in language classrooms and feedback from teachers and students will lead to improvements in the materials. A website is being constructed in 2009-10 to show the techniques, summarize the research, and provide the materials so that it can serve as a model for other languages. In Spring 2010, a presentation of hypermedia techniques in Arabic was made at the Western Consortium of Middle East National Resource Centers' Language Workshop and at the Georgetown University Round Table.