ISI 2015 CAIS Online Course Interview Project

A Project Prototype by Adam Ross

not published

As part of an online class in advanced Chinese (designed for CAIS graduates when they are in high school, as well as for other qualified students), we will investigate challenges immigrants from China face when they immigrate to North America. Most students in the course in the course will have learned about Chinese immigration to California (and to North America in general) in Lower and Middle School. In addition, they will have had some experience interviewing Chinese people-on-the-street in their study abroad experiences in China. This focus is to engage students with, and learn from, Chinese people in their local communities in a deeper way – to engage in interviews of Chinese immigrants, and to retell their stories in a video production. Completed videos will be uploaded to a website and featured as a “This Chinese-American Life” series of short video essays on Chinese immigrants. The goal will be to share these videos with other Chinese teachers and students of Chinese to serve as sources for student learning, enrichment and inquiry.

Overview files comments

Preparing for the Project

"I Have Something to Say"

"Birth Tourism" in the US

Launching the Project

Investigating Historical Chinese Immigration, and the Chinese-American Exclusion Act

Developing a Driving Question

Managing the Project

Preparing for the Interview Project - Formulating Questions and Mock Interviews

"Farewell Vancouver" Serial Drama

Assessment

Interviews of Chinese-Immigrants and Creation of Video Projects

Implementation Info

Implementation information not specified.

Preparing for the Project

"I Have Something to Say"

Students will be tasked a video - an authentic news clip asking several Chinese passersby on the street "移民入籍对华人难在哪里(美国)?" ("Where lie difficulties for Chinese people in immigration and naturalization (for the US)?"). Students will be given several key words of new vocabulary and asked to answer questions on the responses of the interviewees embedded in the video using the Zaption online tool. Students will then engage in a follow-up activity writing a short paragraph articulating their own answer to the question, based on what they have heard and/or on their own pre-existing options. Class discussion will follow to have students discuss their opinions they articulated in writing. Students will also have a short vocabulary quiz to show their mastery of new words learned in this segment. This task will seek to define the driving question for this project.

Technology Tips

Use of Zaption to embed formative assessment questions into the video.

Task Extension

The task might be extended to have students read and comment upon each other's paragraph, which will be posted online. However, I envision this writing task a way to have students formalize their opinions and articulate these thoughts in Chinese as a way to prepare them for the in-class discussion.

If students find this topic interesting, the following Voice of America video delves into this topic in greater depth: http://www.voachinese.com/media/video/voaweishi-20141014-voaconnects-FB-Chineseamerican/2483154.html. This video could also be used to provide more challenging material for students with more advanced listening skills, or for those who desire a greater challenge.

"Birth Tourism" in the US

Students will be tasked to watch a second annotated video via Zaption - this is a news report on the phenomenon of "birth tourism" (Pregnant Chinese women who come to the US to have their babies in order to gain citizenship for their children). Again, students will be provided with a list of key vocabulary, and formative questions will be embedded within the video to help students focus on key vocabulary, structures and content. Students will again be tasked to write a short paragraph discussing whether phenomena like Chinese "birth tourism" has led to stricter policies being developed by the US government for immigration and naturalization of Chinese people wishing to come to the US.

Technology Tips

Use of Zaption to embed questions into a video.

Launching the Project

Investigating Historical Chinese Immigration, and the Chinese-American Exclusion Act

Students will investigate online resources to on a new exhibition from the New York Historical Society on Chinese immigration to the US, "Chinese-American Exclusion/Inclusion". Students will be tasked to watch one of three videos (in Chinese) that introduce aspects of the exhibit, one feature and one interview from the Voice of America, one from Sinovision. Students will be divided into groups to review these videos and report back on their content to their peers. Students will also be tasked to investigate different features on the exhibition website, with everyone reading the 12-page mini-graphic novel about the story of one Chinese American Family, "The Chin Family," which is fully downloadable as a PDF online.

Students will post on the course forum page their takeaways from each of the videos, as well as response from reading the mini-graphic novel. This discussion will lead into a task where students will need to delve further into the driving question, and determine further "need-to-knows," which they will document in a shared Google Doc and will serve as the first draft of interview questions for the Chinese immigrants or foreign exchange students they will interview as the main part of this project.

Technology Tips

Zaption for annotations.

Developing a Driving Question

A starter need-to-know question that the instructor might propose could go along the lines of "What are the issues for Chinese people when they immigrate to North American cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, or New York? Are things easier these days given the relative ease to connect with friends and family back home in the 21st century? What stories do they have about their transition to life in North America that they wish to share?"

Managing the Project

Preparing for the Interview Project - Formulating Questions and Mock Interviews

In preparation for the main part of this project, the interview with a Chinese immigrant subject (or an adult Chinese exchange student in the US for a long period of time, e.g. a graduate student), students will brainstorm questions that will elicit meaningful responses from their interview subjects.

Students will be either assigned a potential interviewee (instructors should solicit Chinese immigrant volunteers for this project in advance), giving some basic biographical details about the person in advance (gender, age, place of origin, occupation, etc.)

Students will be tasked first to devise a list of 10 common questions (in Chinese) that everyone in their group will ask their subjects. Questions are ideally those that will elicit extended responses, not simple one sentence answers. Each student will need to submit 5 ideas for a sentence, and input their questions into a shared Google Doc. During the class meeting, the questions will be discussed about their usefulness to elicit output, with strategies for revision also given.

Each individual student will also follow up with a list of 5 individualized questions for their subject based on their own needs-to-know, points of interest or based on previous knowledge about their subject. such that each interview will feature a minimum of 15 questions.

Technology Tips

Students will document their shared questions with a Google Doc.

Task Extension

Students will need to develop a "pre-amble" to the interview to explain the purpose of the project (in Chinese) to their interview subjects, and with the hope to get their subjects to share as much as possible. This should be short, (30 seconds-1 minute), but clearly articulating the scope of the project, the need for the subject to share stories about their life, and the desire for the subjects to speak honestly about the challenges they face in the US, even at the risk of bring critical of their host country.

"Farewell Vancouver" Serial Drama

Students will watch several episodes of the Chinese serial drama "Farewell, Vancouver" 别了,温哥华, which features story lines of several Beijing Chinese who have either immigrated to are are studying as graduate students in Vancouver, Canada. While overtly a soap opera, with numerous dramatic story lines, the production quality of this series is generally pretty high, with at least two prominent Chinese actors taking large roles. Moreover, there is something of a realistic depiction of Chinese people living, working, and attending graduate school in a North American city. Finally, the story is fun, and the story lines have a lot of potential for students to engage in discussions and role plays, in addition to learning a lot of colloquial Chinese.

This task functions more as a "dessert" part of this unit, as it does not tie in directly with learning discrete knowledge about Chinese immigration. However, it's rich use of authentic language and well as an interesting plot make it a great tool for intermediate-advanced Chinese classes (with support in the form of guiding questions, vocabulary lists, etc.).

For this unit, we are scheduling viewing 5-6 episodes, which will continue even beyond the completion of the main portion of the unit. However, classes can opt to view fewer or more as they wish.

Technology Tips

Students can view the drama on YouTube online here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGWFVzTaF8vMBsFf2i78LIJzbCFBS9mdI. All speech in both Chinese (and occasionally English), is subtitled in simplified characters, which can provide an additional level of support to students. 

Task Extension

There are 22 episodes in the entire drama, so classes can opt to have students engage in the entire drama over a longer period of time.

Assessment

Interviews of Chinese-Immigrants and Creation of Video Projects

Students can interview their subjects either in person (using a strategically placed iPhone, iPad or digital camera), or conduct the interview online, recorded with a screencasting tool or with Google Hangouts on Air. 

Students will receive instructions on how to conduct these video-recordings, and how to edit them with voice-over using digital media tools.

Rubrics:

Requirements:

1. Please record your interview using an iPhone, flip camera or other portable device. Please position your camera in a way that your interviewee is fully visible, or have a third party help to hold the camera to record both you and your interviewee.

2. When editing your interview, you need to make a short introduction about the content and main focus of your discussion, what was most interesting, and what you learned about this person’s experience.

3. Include a combination of the interviewee speaking, and your own voice-over summarizing their thoughts, as you would see in a TV news report. The majority of what we hear should be YOUR OWN VOICE paraphrasing what your interviewee told you. Let us know if you need help editing voice-over recordings.

Grading Rubrics:

1. Use and Accuracy of Chinese (it’s your responsibility to make your interviewee stick to speaking in Chinese!): 50% -- see rubric chart below

2. Content of Discussion:  20% (show evidence of having asked all of the questions we came up with!)

3. Seriousness of Discussion:  10% (joking around or having off-topic conversation is  during the interview is OK, but be sure you stay on topic for the majority of it!  Edit out parts of the interview that didn’t work out well or which don’t add to your presentation.)

4. Polish of your presentation (we are not expecting Oscar-quality movies, but more polished presentations usually showcase your work most effectively, so spend some time making it look like a nice film!)

5. Your presentation about your interview on [date]:  10% (you will give a short summary in written Chinese about what you feel you learned about this person’s experience coming to the Bay Area)

 

 

 

A

B

C

D

Presentational

Communication: How well do I present information on in spoken form in my online presentation? In written form on the blog?

Can produce very well structured output with ample relevant and appropriate information, in written or spoken form and deliver such output clearly and convincingly

Can produce fairly well structured output with adequate relevant and appropriate information, in written or spoken form and deliver such output  somewhat clearly and convincingly

Can produce output with some evidence of structure and some relevant and appropriate information, in written or spoken form and deliver such output with small degree of clarity and degree to convince

Can produce output with limited evidence of structure and limited relevant and appropriate information, in written or spoken form and deliver such output minimally clear and convincing

Interpersonal Communication: How well do I handle interpersonal communication giving feedback or responding to prompts spoken in my report/written on in the blog?

Can successfully complete an interpersonal communication task, spoken or written interaction, with very fluent and high degree of accuracy, using a diverse and varied range of vocabulary and grammar

Can adequately complete an interpersonal communication task, spoken or written interaction, with somewhat fluent and with a good degree of accuracy, using a some range of vocabulary and grammar

Can carry a conversation with some degree of success, some pauses and interruptions and some errors even in basic language

Can carry a conversation with small degree of success, frequent pauses and interruptions in speech, and many errors even in very basic language (spoken or written).

Technology Tips

Instructions for using Google Hangouts on Air: https://youtu.be/C3WouWiu7pI

Downloading Videos published on YouTube: http://clipgrab.org/faqs/howto-download-youtube-video

Editing voiceover on mp4 files: http://www.iskysoft.com/video-editing/imovie-voice-over.html

Implementation Info

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