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ERIC Number: EJ1077329
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Promoting Cultural and Linguistic Competence with Documentary Film in Spanish
Hertel, Tammy Jandrey; Harrington, Stasie
Hispania, v98 n3 p549-569 Sep 2015
The 2007 MLA report "Foreign Language and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World," with its call to institutions of higher education to reexamine their curricula and include more in-depth cultural content into all courses, reminded foreign language educators of the important goal of helping students gain translingual/transcultural competence. Finding appropriate teaching tools to attain this goal, however, is often challenging for instructors since textbooks tend to focus primarily on vocabulary and grammar instruction and often present cultural topics via "culture boxes" and superficial, pedagogically prepared readings. Directly addressing this challenge, the present article explores how learners' cultural and linguistic competence can be developed by having them actively engage with the content in documentary films from the Spanish-speaking world. Documentaries, rich sources of authentic linguistic input, provide in-depth cultural content from a variety of perspectives on both historical and contemporary issues. Following a discussion of the rationale behind using documentary films as a learning tool in Spanish classrooms of varying levels, specific guidance is provided for instructors regarding how to find and choose films, how to create and use materials that scaffold learning, and how to critically examine the multiple perspectives that are present in documentaries.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A