The CAMMI Project provides multiple institutions access to the Media Monitoring System (MMS) comprised of the Broadcast Monitoring System (BMS) and the Web Monitoring System (WMS) for multinational multimedia content used in Communications, Media Analysis, Cultural Studies, and Critical Language Learning.
What is critical language learning? Critical languages are those that are in high demand but proficient speakers are in short supply–that can change dependent on global cultural, economic and political situations. Thus, government-related topics are dependent on critical language learning in areas such as International Relations, National Security, and Intelligence.
The multilingual aspect of the MMS provides an excellent resource that is culturally and linguistically authentic among a variety of disciplines that can be exported, modified, archived and shared outside the MMS by academics at Appalachian State University, Wake Forest University, the University of North Georgia, the University of Southern California, the University of California-Santa Barbara, Brunel University, Texas Tech, the University of Houston, Austin Community College, the University of Texas-San Antonio, the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of North Texas, Rice University, and the University of Colorado-Boulder while prestigious language flagships and cultural studies programs at the University of Mississippi, the University of Maryland-College Park, and the University of Texas-Austin .
In previous years, the CAMMI Project partnered with the Arabic Flagship in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland-College Park and with the Chinese Language Flagship at the University of Mississippi to develop Arabic and Chinese language lesson templates based on data content from the Broadcast Monitoring System (BMS). In his first contract year with the CAMMI Project, Dr. Peter Glanville of the Arabic Flagship at the University of Maryland and his team of reviewers and editors created ten (10) multimedia templates for novice Arabic students with live feed clips and retention activities.
In his second contract year, fifteen (15) templates were produced by the Glanville Team: Dr. Valerie Anishchenkova, Chelsea Sypher, Omar Tarabishi, John Paul Crow and Milad Ajalli of the University of Maryland Arabic and Persian Flagship, Dr. Kevin Burnham of Appalachian State University, and Dr. Emilie Durand-Zuniga of the University of Texas at Austin.
These lessons incorporate audio-video-text synchronization of every day experiences that expand and broaden the student’s vocabulary and cultural knowledge. An excerpt of the year one Arabic lesson plans, objectives and activities by Dr. Glanville is available here: “Retelling Reading”
In this lesson students encounter an English translation of a text before reading the original in the foreign language. They are required to explain the English text to a partner who hasn’t read it, using the foreign language. Once they have prepared to explain the English text, they are given the foreign language text and a little more time to prepare. Students then pair up and exchange the information that they have read. After this exchange, the grouping is changed, and students work together to reconstruct a text that none of them have read, but all of them have heard about. The lesson ends with a listening segment, where students listen to the texts they have been working on.
Asking students to prepare to summarize a text that they have only read in English highlights gaps in their linguistic knowledge, and creates a need for the language to be provided by the foreign language text, giving them a compelling reason to read. For example, when preparing ot summarize the English text, a student may realize that s/he does not know certain key vocabulary in the foreign language, or does not know how to express a certain grammatical structure. These gaps function almost as a set of questions when the student is given the foreign language text, and s/he will read the text with the aim of figuring out how to say what s/he could not say before. The information exchange activity gives the student a chance to activate this new language by using it in his or her own spoken production. The listening activity at the end of the lesson provides students with a chance to hear a genuine listening text intended for native speakers, not only on a familiar topic, but also using familiar language. Because they only have to listen and follow along, this is low-stress, and it is highly motivating when they realize how much of it they understand.
- Train students to recognize, extract, and use useful language found in a written text.
- Give practice of preparing and delivering an oral summary.
- Give practice of listening and staying on track.
- Use BMS to find two different texts on a topic that you think will interest your students. Save them as audiovisual clips. Check, correct and print the English translation of each text. Label them text A and text B. Half th students in your class will get one copy of text A, the others will get one copy each of text B. Print the foreign language transcription of each text too. Again, half the class needs text A, the other half needs text B.
- Lead in to your topic by asking students what they know about it, or perhaps by asking if anyone has a story related to it, and so on. Students can talk about the topic in pairs for two minutes, then one or two of them can tell the whole class what they talked about.
- Now tell them that they are going to read more about this topic. Divide students into A and B. The As for groups of 3, and so do the Bs. Distribute the English texts (A to A; B to B), and have them read them quickly.
- Working together, each group must create an oral summary of the text they just read. The summary should be in the foreign language. As they prepare their summaries, students should note areas that are giving them trouble, either because they lack the vocabulary, or because they are not sure how a particular idea is expressed in the foreign language.
- When students have prepared their summaries and noted any problems, provide each group with a foreign language transcription that corresponds to the English translation they have been working with. They now get 10 minutes to use the foreign language transcription to fix the problems they encountered in preparing their summaries.
- When students are ready, pair one student A with one student B. Each student delivers the oral summary prepared earlier. The student listening asks questions to clarify and check his/her understanding.
- The original groups now reconvene and compare the information they heard from their partners in order to reconstruct the other group’s text.
- Now play both audiovisual clips. Students listen, relax, and estimate how much of they understood.
Example lesson for Arabic:
For an advanced Arabic lesson, follow the steps above with texts “Saudi Driving” and “Saudi Campaign Enforcement”. Full PDF: UsingBMSinLanguageTeaching
Saudi Driving Video Clip