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Per Simfors, PhD Linköping University. Course Design – Aim of the Ongoing Work: To integrate linguistic and cultural aspects in language curriculum design.

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Presentation on theme: "Per Simfors, PhD Linköping University. Course Design – Aim of the Ongoing Work: To integrate linguistic and cultural aspects in language curriculum design."— Presentation transcript:

1 Per Simfors, PhD Linköping University

2 Course Design – Aim of the Ongoing Work: To integrate linguistic and cultural aspects in language curriculum design at university level To combine previous research and a learners perspective in language education in order for students to more adequately develop intercultural competence

3 Outline: Pre-considerations Material and Method Analysis: Syllabi and questionnaires in relation to previous research Implications for course design Reflections

4 Preconsiderations: Attitudes Experiences Expectations Teaching and learning in higher education T & l language and culture Second language acquisition Language, Culture and Learning as processes University Level Disciplinary foundation Academic Language Courses Integration of Linguistics and Culture Fokus on students learning Current research: Constructive Alignment

5 Material and Method Syllabi: First semester full time study (1-30 ECTS credits) in French, German, and Spanish 9 different Swedish universities Fall 2009 Focus on content and learning outcomes related to culture Questionnaire: Electronic questionnaire May 2010 All students enrolled in language courses at Linköping university 137 answers = stud. per language Majority: students of languages for special purposes

6 Syllabi Few traces of relevant research with regard to teaching and learning of language and culture Focus on facts on history, geography, culture and social conditions suggesting a product perspective Surface approach to learning(?) Inconsistencies in the internal logic of syllabi (constructive alignment)

7 Examples: Learning Outcomes and Content Learning OutcomeContent discuss cultural phenomena + convey understanding of Spanish cultural aspects overview over Spanish and Latinamerican geography, history and society geography history, geography and society conditions history, geography and cultural situation … primarily SpainECTS credit distribution equal between Spain and Latin America In half of the syllabi, the outcomes correspond with the content.

8 Students Views and Expectations Electronic questionnaire to gather data Students of French, German, Spanish, Swedish as a Foreign Language from different study programs Open questions in order not to lead students in certain directions Combination of free text and multiple choice answers Ca 135 responses (from ca 300)

9 Questionnaire in 4 parts: Three Words that you associate with culture What is intercultural understanding? … Free Text Free text Why culture…? What kinds of texts to present culture Age Previous Study Aim of Study Time Abroad … 1 Personal Profile 2 A good Language Course? 3 Inter- cultural communi- cation 4 Suggested improve- ment

10 Students Views on Language Courses in General Teacher Commitment Pedagogy Knowledge Course organization and teaching methods Clarity Structure More hours of instruction Variation Co-ordination and co-operation

11 Students Views on Learning Outcomes Focus on Language use Communication Relation between grammar and communicative competence Students want to read about the target language countries in order to develop intercultural understanding learn the language better Culture as a process and as a product

12 Learning Outcomes: Considerations Learning outcomes and content should be interlinked with communicative skills Integration of language and culture Active communicative verbs Culture as a process Specific aims for higher education: Theoretical content Introduction to a discipline Deep approach to learning

13 Examples of learning outcomes: The student should be able to: Relate main features in the historical development of the target language countries into todays societies Discuss the geographical conditions of the target language countries and their importance for the structures of todays society Discuss aspects of the geographical extension of the language and how this is linked to linguistic and cultural encounters in different historical and sociocultural contexts Active verbs Communicative processes Surface vs. deep approach Skip to content

14 Förslag till lärandemål (2) beskriva levnadsvillkor och samhällsförhållanden i målspråksområdet ur ett jämförande internationellt perspektiv ge perspektiv på attityder och förhållningssätt som kulturella representationer och deras betydelse för kommunikation och interaktion analysera litterär text genom att tillämpa grundläggande litteraturvetenskaplig terminologi tillämpa grundläggande språkvetenskapliga begrepp för att reflektera över eget och andras språkbruk söka, sammanställa och kritiskt tolka information på målspråket inom ovan nämnda områden Hoppa till Kurs- innehåll

15 Förslag till lärandemål (3) använda de kommunikativa förmågor på målspråket som finns beskrivna för nivå B2 i den Gemensamma europeiska referensramen för språk. Sammanfattningsvis innebär det att studenten ska kunna: förstå huvudinnehållet i komplexa texter om både konkreta och abstrakta ämnen, inklusive fackmässiga diskussioner inom det egna specialområdet delta i samtal så pass flytande och spontant att ett normalt umgänge med modersmålstalare blir fullt möjligt, utan ansträngning för någondera parten producera tydlig och detaljerad text inom ett brett fält av ämnen, förklara en ståndpunkt i ett aktuellt ämne samt framhålla såväl för- som nackdelar vid olika valmöjligheter.

16 Students Views on Course Content Grammar and communicative competences are emphasized 1/3 emphasize oral communication 1/3 want a balance between oral and written proficiency Grammar aspects from the point of view of their function in a communicative context

17 Students Views on Course Content(2): Three words which you associate with culture? Areas Mentioned Other Most frequent words History Traditions Music People Art Language

18 Students Views on Course Content(3) Students appreciat learning about target language countries Product and process perspective in the answers traditions; behavior; popular culture history; society; high culture Language People Current situation Course literature / material : Stressing: news paper articles; factual texts; texts on cultural matters Film; media Low appreciation for literature

19 Course Content – Theoretical and Methodological Considerations Different kinds of sources of information / different perspectives Current material Integration of communicative skills in all parts of the course Balance between language production and reception – orally and in writing Disciplinary foundation: Critical thinking and analysis Basic theoretical concepts

20 Students Views on Forms of Work Most common; most effective: Second most common; second most effective Least used; least effective Other suggestions: lectures Student presentations Reading literature Learning facts Group work Experience based learning Film and media Experience based learning Oral activities Negative view possibly because these methods are rarely used

21 Forms of work: considerations Forms of work that activate students and stress their own responsibility for their learning Learning in meaningful contexts Student peer review Forms of work that Stimulate a reflecting and analyzing approach Stress the importance of interaction for learning

22 Forms of Work - Suggestions Lecture / introduction Practice / Reflection / Feedback Seminars / Analysis / Feedback Examination / Feedback Examples: Role-play tandem Scenarios and simulations Student peer review Film and media Process-based writing Adaptation to Learning outcomes Content examination

23 learning outcomes and over-all aim -Different learning styles -Adaptation to outcomes, content, forms of work -Integration of communicative aspects Examination: Relevance Variation Fairness Oral presentation on the basis of a written paper or reflection document combined with student peer review Poster presentation Role-Play with a written reflection document Film / media / ICT Combination of forms

24 Concluding remarks Formulation of expected learning outcomes as a starting point for course design Students perspectives essential Integration of language and culture through learning based on communication Communicative skills included in all parts of courses Cultural and intercultural understanding should be problematized in reflection, analysis and critical discussion in a communicative and social context Students perspectives call for a variety of content, methods and forms of examination


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