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Friday, August 14 • 1:25pm - 1:50pm
Do you need a bag?': Tools and Methods for Simulations of Everyday Tasks

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In this presentation, I will describe a project called “Real Life in Russia” that aims to create a number of simulations of everyday tasks in order to help prepare students for study abroad as well as enrich the regular first- and second-year curriculum.

Many of the tasks that students have to perform immediately upon arrival in the target culture (like interacting with store clerks or buying transportation tickets) can be intimidating. They oftentimes involve procedures that everyone in the culture already knows. Difficulties in these interactions can set the tone for the whole study abroad experience, discouraging students from taking linguistic risks early in their time. Luckily, many of these procedures are quite formulaic, and with a little practice, can be more successfully managed more quickly. This project aims to introduce students to these formulaic real-life tasks and interactions, allowing them to practice them, in the hope that success early in their study abroad experience will help them feel prepared to perform more challenging tasks during their time abroad.

The project includes 6 modules: Transportation, Host Family Life and Eating, Shopping, Eating Out, Telephone, and a Capstone lesson, with other modules in the planning stages. I will share lessons learned and tips about tools and methods for creating these kinds of simulations, show examples of the current modules, outline plans for further modules, describe how the modules fit into the curriculum, and give initial student feedback to the lessons.


Shannon Spasova

Michigan State University

Friday August 14, 2015 1:25pm - 1:50pm EDT
Barker 110 (Thompson) 12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA