FrenchCulture

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French Culture

Amy Ogan, Christopher Jones, Vincent Aleven

Abstract

Intercultural competence, the ability to “gain insight on native perspectives, opinions, and values; reflect critically and engage with otherness”, is an integral part of any language learning curriculum, yet the increasing ardor for technology in the language classroom has mainly been limited in this area to multimedia presentation, or large-scale, resource-intensive projects that perform little rigorous evaluation. We developed a system that introduces attention-focusing techniques to “teachable moments” in feature film that highlight cultural attributes. An evaluation of this system was conducted in two French Online classrooms. Students were randomly assigned to conditions in which an experimental group using the system we developed was compared to a control group that viewed the same video clips without intervention. We found an increase in the intercultural competence skills of perspective-taking and critical analysis of culture.

Glossary

Forthcoming, but will probably include

  • Culture
  • Intercultural competence
  • Critical cultural analysis
  • Cultural perspective-taking

Research question

How is robust learning of cultural competence from narrative excerpts affected by focusing attention on appropriate features?

Background and Significance

Independent variables

This study compares watching video with attention-focusing techniques to watching video in a freeform system.

Hypothesis

Focusing students’ attention on moments that highlight a noteworthy cultural feature in narrative excerpts helps students reason deeper about culture, even without providing interpretation

Dependent variables

  • Near transfer, immediate:

The analytical post-test questions that comprised the first main type of assessment were developed from a component analysis of the cultural elements in the film clips. Each cultural elements in the film was formed into a question requiring cultural analysis that was situated within the context of the film.

  • Far transfer, immediate:

Students were evaluated on their contributions to a cultural discussion board using a validated scale that measures cultural perspective-taking skills.

Findings

Explanation

Annotated bibliography