Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Building the courses…

So I have two courses that are quite intertwined in my mind, mainly because I ran them similarly at BPU’s “Nearly a Bizness Skool” (BPUNBS). This was a culture class and an auditory class. At BPUNBS, the students in these classes were entirely different and so I could run the classes with considerable overlap – in fact the visual media I used were almost always the same, with the focus being different (and the level of instruction being entirely different). BPU2 gave me two auditory classes initially, so I began with the pieces I had from BPU1. Then, I started understanding the third class I got from BPU2, which they called “British English Regional Studies” which turns out to be a class on culture.
I can’t guarantee that I won’t have students overlapping in these courses, as they are both in the Translation Division, so I can’t merely run the same videos. OTOH I do want to include as much cultural content in the auditory class as I can, because translators need this content. This means I don’t want to just run random videos in the Auditory class, just because they are in English. Consequently I’m sorting back through all of my videos to see which are the richest in cultural explanation.

In order to make the sorting between the classes easier, I had to come up with an outline for the culture class. This process has been fun, though it will necessitate my writing actual lectures for each class and then piecing together the media to back them up. In order to do this, I came up with a list of cultural representations/summations that apply to each country.

The fifteen weeks looks something like this (and if anyone has suggestions, I’m wide open to them):

1) General remarks about culture and myths; Demographics and a cultural overview of the UK and US

2) Rock and Roll (and a bit of its pre-history)

3) Cowboys and Shopkeepers

4) Manifest Destiny vs The White Man’s Burden

5) Economic systems – Capitalism vs. Semi-socialism (and of course, the explanation that neither system is what it claims to be)

6) Sports

7) Violence

8) Love

9) International Relations

10) Imperialism

11) Food and Drinks

12) Literature

13) Cars (Dodge vs Jaguar)

14) Religions

15) Political systems (Wit and Wisdom)

I hope I can get all my shit together before the classes come (and I’m still figuring out what to do in my communication and presentation class.. some debate, some speech, some powerpoint, I guess..)


Anonymous said...

5) Economic systems – Capitalism vs. Semi-socialism (and of course, the explanation that neither system is what it claims to be)

Just an idea...HMO vs. (Hilary Clinton's attempt on) Universal Health Care as an exemple for it?

9) International Relations

---say what?

15) Political systems (Wit and Wisdom)

--or Wit/Wisdom vs. metal chains/2X4s?

Just some thoughts...


Anonymous said...

#13 could be a marketing lesson by adding Fiat. WTF are they thinking trying to buy Chrysler? Think they could bring back the Yugo?


rwellor said...

LOLology at "--or Wit/Wisdom vs. metal chains/2X4s?"

I'm not getting into explicit comparisons to Korea (except as much as they pop up in a natural way) until I've run the course once as a purely White-culture thing.

I started my syllabus with a column for the US, one for the UK, and one for Koreay, but realized my knowledge about Korea was too weak, and I didn't want to dilute the focus of the course in my own attempt to learn stuff..