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Author Biography: Diane Paravazian has a background in higher and adult education.

She is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Core Studies and teaches French in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at St. Johns University. Prior to joining St. Johns University, Paravazian was the Director of the World Trade Institute Language Center, an activity of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Diane Paravazian is the President of the Metropolitan Chapter of the AATF. Gina Marandino has experience in K-12 Education and Higher Education. She is a New York State Certified Childhood Education Teacher (Grades 1-6) and a New York State Certified Educational Technology Specialist. Currently she works for the St. Johns University Libraries as an Educational Technology Specialist. For more information on Gina visit Activity Summary
This assignment uses a Wiki, images related to course content, and other technology, designed to engage students in applying the 5 Cs of the National Foreign Language Standards: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities cfm?pageid=3392#standards . Students apply assignment guidelines and information from the textbook to design virtual tours in Paris. The premise is that movement, even virtual, promotes the development of fluency. With the use of Google Maps and Screen-Cast-O-Matic, they travel through Paris and record dialogues they have created. These dialogues are then uploaded to YouTube, and linked to a wiki. They are used in class for further practice, conversation, and peer learning. Instructors assess student work and design strategies for effective learning. Technology specialists evaluate the effectiveness of the 2.0 tools to meet course objectives Class or subject area: Advanced Level French Grade level(s): Higher Education Specific learning objectives: Simulate the study abroad experience by using technology to interact with course materials; Build linguistic skills and fluency by applying grammar and vocabulary to scenarios in Paris; Apply critical thinking skills to engage in dialogues and cultural experiences

Anniversary Book Project


Transforming Language Learning Textbook into Virtual Travel

By: Diane Paravazian and Gina Marandino Creative Commons License: CC BY Author contact:

The class is Review of French Grammar. The book is called Grammaire en action; it has excellent grammar exercises and lists of vocabulary, but it is the teamwork of the French Professor and Educational Technology Specialist which creates the instructional design to promote active learning. They begin with the premise that students would be more excited about learning French if they were actually in France. Since this is not always possible, they construct learning opportunities which transform the campus-based language class into a virtual study abroad experience. The professor creates a series of guided exercises, allowing students to travel through Paris, engage in dialogue with their classmates and demonstrate synthesis of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and culture. The Educational Technology Specialist trains students to use Google Maps to simulate the journey, Screencast-O-Matic to record the experience and dialogue, YouTube to host the videos, and PB works as a container for student projects and course materials. In short, vocabulary comes to life in images, and linguistic fluency building is enhanced and enriched by the flow of virtual movement within an authentic cultural setting. The following assignments are keyed step-by-step to the National Standards for Foreign Language Education and designed to gradually increase the quality of student performance. Assignments Chapter numbers for the exercises below refer to: Comeau, Reaymond F. and Lamoureux, Normand J. Ensemble: Grammaire en action, 7th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2006. The numbers after each exercise refer to a foreign language standard. Assignment One (1.1) You and a friend are thinking of studying in Paris. You are researching the Paris Campus on the St. Johns Web site: Write a dialogue on the subject of the St. Johns Paris Campus. Start with simple questions and answers: Where is it located? Whats the neighborhood like? Whats the address of the university? Take a virtual tour of the Campus. Take turns discussing and describing: the classrooms, the dining hall, and the dorm rooms. Structures: Use the present tense and as many of the verbs in the chapter as possible. (Chapter 2) Assignment Two (1.1;1.2) You are now on Campus. Start with the picture of the Paris Campus receptionist you have found on the Web site. Imagine a conversation with her. You have heard that there is an upscale department store nearby, Le Bon March. You ask her for directions and she replies. As you are working in teams of two, one of you can play the role of the receptionist. Using Google Maps, go to the Bon March and explore. Chat with your partner on the way, noticing buildings, stores. When you get there, click on the pictures and continue the conversation. Structures: Use the imperative, personal pronouns and continue using the present tense. (Chapter Two)

Assignment Three: (2.1; 2.2; 3.1,3.2) You are thirsty and ask someone for directions to a nice caf in a lively neighborhood. The person you ask suggests the rue de Buci. You ask for directions. You arrive at Le Mabillon. You check the menu and order something to eat or drink. The waiter is a bit difficult; he does not understand exactly what you are ordering. A young French student offers to help. She is reading Simone de Beauvoirs The Second Sex. She is a feminist. You begin a conversation about the role of women in American and French society. You continue talking about family life. She suggests you take a walk together to the Jardins du Luxembourg, one of her favorite places in Paris. Structures: pay special attention to the use of the definite, indefinite and partitive articles. (Chapter 3) Use vocabulary in Chapters two and three. (pages 23-24; 61-62) Assignment Four: (4.1,4.2) You arrive at the Jardins du Luxembourg. Use the photos and any other information you can find to have a discussion with your French guide. Ask a lot of questions. She will answer in the affirmative or in the negative. Structures: Interrogatives and negatives (Chapter 5) Vocabulary: the city and the country ( Chapter 4, pages 96-97) While you are at the Jardins du Luxembourg, your new French friend runs into some young people she knows. Something interesting happens. Create the situation. You return to campus, very excited about your activities of the afternoon your new French friend, your conversations, and the adventure at the Jardins du Luxembourg. Meet with another pair of classmates and tell each other how you spent the afternoon at the Jardins, what you saw, what it was like. Structures: imparfait and the pass compose and reflexive and reciprocal verbs. (Chapter 4) Comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs (Chapter 6) Vocabulary: Descriptive adjectives and adverbs: (Chapter 6) Assignment Five (5.1,5.2) Two or three teams working together decide to have a Franco-American dinner party with their French friends. Americans will cook typically American food and the French will prepare French food. One of the French friends offers her apartment for the event. Plan a meal. Go to an outdoor market (perhaps at Montparnasse nearby) to buy the ingredients. You may wish to make a short film of this exercise. Structures: Future, Conditional, Pluperfect; Devoir (Chapter 7) Vocabulary: p. 197, Chapter 7 Technologies to Promote Student Engagement in Assignments Google Maps ( Description It is a map service that you access using your computer and a web browser. With Google Maps you can access maps from around the word, and view your maps in many different ways, such as satellite and street view. You can get driving, walking, biking, and public transit directions from place to place. Google Maps also allows you to zoom in to a place and get additional photos.

Application Students create a journey that they take throughout Paris. They have a starting place, an ending place, and stops to make during their journey. Students enter the addresses for all the locations in Google maps. When the directions come up, students click on the pegman to get a street view of the map. When they click on the arrows at the top of the screen they can advance to the next location in their journey.
(Screenshots from Google Maps

Rationale Google Maps is an extremely useful tool because it draws students in to the assignment and gives them the experience of Paris. With the street view of Paris students can see every street and building just as they could if they were physically there. This tool sets the stage for student dialogues and makes the grammar and vocabulary come alive. It allows them to apply the vocabulary, and grammar in virtually authentic situations. Screencast-O-Matic ( Description It is a web-based tool that allows users to record their computer screen as they navigate through different programs and websites. Users can record their voice with a microphone or record a video with a webcam as they simultaneously record the screen. Application Students record the computer screen and their voice simultaneously. As they navigate through their Google Map directions they work with partners to record a dialogue at each place they visit. They also flip through images of the Paris Campus on the St. Johns University website and speak about the campus as they capture the photos and record their voices.

(Screenshot of Screencast-O-Matic and Google Maps

Rationale Screencast-O-Matic provides students with a way to present their projects to the professor and their classmates. It allows the professor and the class to have a record of students speaking. This tool enables peer learning among students as they correct each others work. It allows the professor and student to have a record of student achievements and progress in pronunciation, grammatical accuracy and fluency. YouTube ( Description YouTube is a site where people can watch and share originally created videos. Anyone with an account can host videos that they created. Videos are organized by tags, so that people can search for videos on a particular topic. Application One of the features of Screencast-O-Matic is the ability to upload recordings directly to YouTube. Having the videos on YouTube prevents students from having to find storage space on the web. It also gives them options for how public or private they want their videos to be.

(Screenshot of Screencast-O-Matic and Google Maps

Rationale It gives students a space to easily store their videos so that they can share them with others. PB Works Description It is a wiki tool. Wikis are similar to websites, but with one important component that is missing in websitescollaboration. Teachers create the wiki and then they can invite students to be writers. As writers students can add their own content (text, images, videos, and documents), and create pages. Students can also comment on other students work. Applications Students use the wiki as a container for their video projects. PB Works lets you embed YouTube videos, as well as allows professor and classmates to comment on videos. The professor uses the Wiki to store course documents and instructions for the assignment.

(Screenshot of PB works with an embedded YouTube video

Rationale Wikis can be used as a class webpage because they are easy to create and edit. Advanced web design skills are not necessary to create a wiki. PB Works allows students to post their own work and view all materials. The professor has the option to set permissions for the wiki

and control what students can post and view. Student Work Just as in learning a language at first it is difficult for students to coordinate all of the different skills into one performance. This requires step-by-step building of critical thinking skills, with particular emphasis on synthesis. Technology can be challenging for some as well. As most students are digital natives, however, associating language acquisition to technology gives them the confidence to achieve the linguistic objectives in what has become for them a more natural way of learning.
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Sample of work can be viewed at: http://youtu. be/4T6wniuKTjU There are some instances in this video where segments need to be edited. For example, at the beginning of the movie there is silence for 17 seconds. There are a few occasions where a student has mispronounced a word and then repeats it to correct himself. Some students write a script, practice it, and have notes on hand for reference when making a recording. It is best not to have the full script so that it is not read but spoken. Students are expected to make mistakes when recording. They receive suggestions and explanations from their classmates and instructor and make correct corrections using movie-editing software such as Windows Movie Maker ( com/en-US/windows-live/movie-maker-get-started) or iMovie for Mac ( imovie/).
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Sample of student work can be viewed at: http:// In this video, there is a section where the student is flipping through images to find the one he wants. To avoid this from being captured on the recording, the student can use the pause feature of Screencast-O-Matic to pause the recording and resume it once he finds the image he wants. Conclusion Embarking on a project like this was challenging since students were asked to step outside of their comfort zone as they were in charge of using language and technology together. They were not filling in blanks or following prompts as in traditional language laboratory exercises. They could not remain passive surface learners. They had to learn the material and apply critical learning skills to compete the exercises successfully. Students who took the challenge seriously went on to enroll in intensive language courses as they wanted to continue building the fluency they had acquired. Some decided to study abroad as they had found the virtual experience rewarding and could easily imagine

themselves staying at the St. Johns University Paris Campus. Although this particular project was used with a Higher Education French Course, the instructional design can be applied to any level language learner in both Higher Education and K-12 Education. Also, as the National Foreign Language Standards correspond to a great extent to L. Dee Finks taxonomy of significant learning, aspects of this project can be applied to other courses.
References L. Dee Fink, Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; a Wiley Imprint, 2003, 30.