Posted: December 23, 2010 in CALL related to Linguistics


Claire Kramsch
University of California, Berkeley
Roger W. Andersen
University of California, Los Angeles


The use of multimedia technology to teach language in its authentic cultural context represents a double challenge for language learners and teachers. On the one hand, the computer gives learners access to authentic video footage and other cultural materials that can help them get a sense of the sociocultural context in which the language is used. On the other hand, CD-ROM multimedia textualizes this context in ways that need to be “read” and interpreted. Learners are thus faced with the double task of (a) observing and choosing culturally relevant features of the context and (b) putting linguistic features in relation to other features to arrive at some understanding of language in use. This paper analyzes the interaction of text and context in a multimedia Quechua language program, and makes suggestions for teaching foreign languages through multimedia technology.

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