Modern Languages Awarded DOE Funds to Innovate Song-based Coursework

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Rebecca Keane
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts
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Grant Funds Innovation of Song-based Coursework

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The School of Modern Languages (ML) within the Ivan Allen College continues to break new ground in preparing Georgia Tech graduates to be effective in global social, business, and political contexts. Assistant Professor Stuart Goldberg has received $556,989 from the U.S. Department of Education to develop advanced/intermediate course materials using song-based content to teach Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian language and culture. The new course materials will enhance the impact of the School's distinctive Applied Language and Intercultural Studies curriculum. It will also provide a teaching model for other universities.

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The School of Modern Languages (ML) within the Ivan Allen College continues to break new ground in preparing Georgia Tech graduates to be effective in global social, business, and political contexts. Assistant Professor Stuart Goldberg has received $556,989 from the U.S. Department of Education to develop advanced/intermediate course materials using song-based content to teach Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian language and culture. The new course materials will enhance the impact of the School's distinctive Applied Language and Intercultural Studies curriculum. It will also provide a teaching model for other universities.

The 3-year International Research and Studies (IRS) Instructional Materials grant responds to the critical need for upper level course materials in the less-commonly-taught languages. According to the Modern Language faculty working on the project, songs illustrate the culture of a given speech community. They also reflect the emotions, biases, and language of that community and thus become a lens to view the target culture from many angles and in many layers. Songs force students to listen, engage, and focus on detail. Because of their memorability, they create a learning experience that has staying power. At the same time, they present excellent material to stretch the crucial skills of listening comprehension, culture knowledge, and cross-cultural reflection.

Goldberg will be joined in the project, which begins in Fall, 2009, by Dr. Rajaa Aquil (Arabic-speaking culture and song), Dr. Paul Foster (Chinese culture and song) and Dr. Rumiko Shinzato-Simonds (Japanese culture and song). Course materials will be presented through a specially designed computer interface enabling delivery of a rich web of content/context surrounding a carefully chosen corpus of songs. In advanced classes in the less-commonly taught languages, typically comprised of students with widely varied language experience, this approach will allow for active participation by baseline advanced students and deep, but guided exploration of cultural context by more fluent students.

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

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Institute and Campus, Student and Faculty, Research
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Keywords
DOE, goldberg, grant, languages, song
Status
  • Created By: Rebecca Keane
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 13, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:02pm