Film Clips for Foreign Language Culture and Literacy

Project Directors: Mark Kaiser (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Sonia Shiri (UA).
In collaboration with: the Berkeley Language Center (UC Berkeley), and at the UA: the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), the Arabic Flagship Program, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS).

This project will assist L2 educators in incorporating the authentic language and broad cultural content of film—especially film in LCTLs—into classroom contexts, while also allowing analysis of media literacy. The project goals are: (1) to augment the Berkeley Language Center’s online film database with annotated clips in several priority languages which are currently underrepresented: Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Indonesian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Thai (clips are tagged for discursive, cultural, and linguistic features, and they are augmented with lists of vocabulary spoken in the clip and a slower audio track to aid in comprehension); (2) to facilitate, nationwide, FL instructors’ access to and use of authentic source material with significant cultural content by increasing the number of member institutions that can freely access the clips and by providing professional development opportunities and supplemental materials for teachers, especially instructors of priority languages; and (3) to allow instructors to add their input to the clips (through annotations) and to provide training and support to aid them in didacticizing films for their unique contexts, the latter through a series of webinars related to working with the project’s film clips in various contexts of language and culture teaching.