I was able to present at the UC Language Consortium’s 6th Biennial Conference in April 2012. The title of my presentation was “Effective Strategies for Weaving Literature in the Intermediate Level Language Curriculum.” The focus of my talk was on the ways we use literature in the language class and how, as instructors of language, our general assumptions on literature integration tend to parallel what Olga Bottino presented as three paradigms: Cultural Model, Language Model and Personal Growth Model.
In the presentation, I explored different ways to integrate literature when developing a curriculum and effective strategies used in the classes I have taught. Finally, I analyzed how the students reacted to literature integration by examining 76 final course evaluations from Spanish 140 (Intermediate II) and studied how they perceived their own learning outcomes by using literature in the curriculum. More specifically, I looked at how students felt about the integration of shorter literary pieces and the study of a novel in an intermediate language course. I would be happy to share my findings with other instructors who are interested in this topic.
On a more global level, the conference was extremely inspiring and provided insights into a multitude of topics—SLA Theory and Practice, Technology, Globalization/Foreign Language Policies, Heritage Language Learners, and Assessment. For me, the highlight of the conference was having the pleasure to attend the two plenary sessions—one by Claire Kramsch who spoke about “Multilingual Practices in the Monolingual Classroom” and the other by Carol Padden who gave an inspiring talk entitled “American Sign Language Teaching in the Context of Foreign Language Teaching.” I hope to share my experiences and thoughts about this conference with other Yale colleagues who are interested in these pedagogical issues.