Remapping the foreign language curriculum

Tags: literary works, impressive works, Auschwitz, Brenda Webster, Letter to My Mother, M. Gilbert, bearing witness, prolific writer, Nazi concentration camps, Lettera alla madre Gabriella Romani, Gabriella Romani, holistic approach, Language Curriculum, Laura Esquivel, Janet Swaffar, MLA members, Como agua para chocolate, Edith Bruck, cultural context, language teaching, Katherine Arens
Content: Remapping the foreign language Curriculum An Approach through Multiple Literacies Janet Swaffar and Katherine Arens
Available now xv & 217 pp. Paper ISBN 0-87352-807-7 978-0-87352-077-0 $22.00 (MLA members $17.60) Cloth ISBN 0-87352-806-9 978-0-87352-069-0 $40.00 (MLA members $32.00)
Janet Swaffar and Katherine Arens offer a holistic approach to postsecondary language teaching that integrates the study of literature and culture into every level of the curriculum. By studying multiple genres ranging from popular to elite, students gain an understanding of multiple communicative frameworks -- and develop multiple literacies. Swaffar and Arens propose the use of a sequence of template-generated exercises that leads students from basic grammar patterns to a sophisticated grasp of the interrelations among language use, meaning, and cultural context. One example of their approach is the teaching of Laura Esquivel's novel Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate). From exercise to exercise, students consider use of tense, narrative strategy (the connection between recipes and plot), and the social codes in the novel compare the novel with the Hollywood film version (different imagery for different audiences) critique promotional descriptions of the film on the Internet examine a magazine interview of Esquivel (to expose the interviewer's assumptions) The authors combine Theory and Practice, research and Personal experience, to present a new, interdisciplinary curriculum that should strengthen the teaching of foreign languages in junior colleges, four-year colleges, and universities.
Edith Bruck Letter to My Mother Brenda Webster with Gabriella Romani, trans. Lettera alla madre Gabriella Romani, ed. "Edith Bruck's extraordinarily incisive memoir of her life in wartime Auschwitz is one of the most impressive works of its kind that I've seen in the last five or six years. Readers will be powerfully moved and instructed by this brilliant and urgently necessary book." --Sandra M. Gilbert, author of Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve
Through literary works and public appearances, Edith Bruck, born 1932 in Hungary, has devoted her life to bearing witness to what she experienced in the Nazi concentration camps. In 1954 she settled in Rome and is today the most prolific writer of Holocaust narrative in Italian. The book is composed in two parts. "Letter to My Mother"--an imaginary dialogue between Bruck and her mother, who died in Auschwitz--probes the question of self-identity, the pain of loss and displacement, the power of language to help recover the past, and the ultimate impossibility of that recovery. "Traces," a story of a journey without return, completes the diptych. Bruck's experimental fusion of memoir and fiction portrays the Holocaust from a female perspective and highlights the role of gender in the creation of memory.
December 2006 English translation xxvii & 251 pp. Paper ISBN 0-87352-936-7 978-0-87352-936-5 $10.95 (MLA members $8.76) Italian text xxvii & 251 pp. Paper ISBN 0-87352-935-9 978-0-87352-935-8 $10.95 (MLA members $8.76)
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