Texas Language Center Receives FAST Tex Grant
Posted: February 8, 2010
The Center's proposal, entitled “Surfing the Net Abroad: Web-Based Modules for Foreign Language Computer Literacy,” has been accepted for 2010 funding through the FAST Tex program at UT Austin. This project will attempt to design and construct a series of web-based mini-modules to move a student of a foreign language (Russian, in the first version) toward a functional computer and Internet literacy in order to facilitate and support the needs of the modern student of a language other than English. The modules will begin with basic use of the non-Latinate keyboard, proceed to materials designed around known web applications, such as the non-American equivalents to Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites, to build a student's confidence in working with non-English sites, and culminate in mastery of region-specific sites that require much more advanced cultural and linguistic knowledge to navigate. Along the way, the materials developed in this project will address not only the site-specific skills necessary to use them, but the concomitant language and cultural material needed to become technologically literate in a given country. The goal is to create a template for other foreign language programs to duplicate and implement in other own programs. It is hoped that these modules will be used in conjunction with the newly implemented Intensive Courses being created in many departments, while on-line assignments will provide much needed out of class authentic exposure to the language and culture.