Online Cafes

more information:

NFLRC

National
Foreign Language
Resource Center

nflrc@hawaii.edu

On-line Cafés for Heritage Learners of
Filipino, Japanese, Samoan, and Chinese

registration closed

June 17-21, 2008

David Hiple, Stephen Tschudi, Gilberte Furstenberg, Dorothy Chun

The virtual equivalent of the neighborhood coffee house, the on-line café is a place for people to gather for conversation and social interaction. The UH NFLRC has been developing a prototype on-line café for language learning for several years. This distance education project will enable heritage students of Filipino, Japanese, and Samoan, and learners of business Chinese, to come together on line with students having similar profiles at distant locations.

This Summer Institute workshop constitutes a critical phase in project design for teams working in the four designated language communities (details below). During the one-week workshop held on the UH campus, the four teams will meet to define café content rubrics, operationalize their respective cafés, and discuss other pedagogical considerations. The cafés will be housed on an NFLRC server. In October 2009, the NFLRC will convene an international CMC (computer mediated communication) Symposium in which the four culture cafés, and the exchanges which have taken place in them over the intervening year, will be showcased.

On-line cafés will be created in four target languages using BRIX courseware, a dynamic Web courseware system featuring a 3-tier client/server model using on-line database connectivity and employing widely available Web technologies including client-side scripting and streaming media. Members of each café will dialogue on line with peers and facilitators (instructors) in a learning community via forums or threaded discussions. The cafés will feature a social area for free chat, a discussion area for instructor-guided interaction, a grammar clinic for focus on form, and a gallery for sharing pictures of school and community as well as other graphics. The four cafés will each have a distinct sub-theme.

Filipino Community Café. Advanced Filipino language students at UH will meet Filipino heritage students in the University of California system in an on-line Community Café. UC participation will be coordinated through the office of the Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching at UC Davis. The Community Café will create a venue for students to share ideas and experiences on outreach initiatives in local communities in Hawaii and California.

Japanese Culture Café. Advanced Japanese language students at Aiea High School in Honolulu will meet English language students at Tezukayama Gakuin Izumigaoka High School in Osaka, Japan, in an on-line Culture Café. The café format will be based on the well-regarded Cultura model based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project allows students not only to improve their target language skills but also to compare and contrast their cultural values with the values of the target culture participants.

Samoan Pathways Café. Advanced Samoan language students at UH will meet Samoan language students at American Samoa Community College in Pago Pago and Samoan language students at Farrington High School in Honolulu in an on-line Pathways Café. The content focus of the Pathways Café will be to facilitate articulation from high school and community college to university. Samoan heritage students are significantly underrepresented at institutions of higher education in the US, and this café project is intended to "demystify" the university experience for high school and community college students by allowing them to be exposed to and mentored by successful Samoan language students at UH, with the heritage language as a focus of interchange.

China-USA Business Café. Adapting to the culture of one's language of study is a critical ingredient for successful functioning in the target culture environment. This is doubly true in the world of business, which is governed by culturally specific protocols. In the China-USA Business Café, Chinese students of business English in the US International MBA Program (USIMBA) at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-Sen University will meet online with American students of business Chinese in the UH Shidler College of Business' China International MBA Program (CIMBA) in preparation for and during their study abroad programs at each others' universities. Using techniques developed in the the acclaimed Cultura model, students will engage in discussion about similarities and differences in cultural values and practices in the world of business in China and in the USA. This exchange will allow both sides to anticipate and respond to the inevitable culture shock they will experience during their respective study abroad programs.

This heritage café project is co-sponsored by the three NRCs at UH. The Southeast Asia NRC will co-sponsor the Filipino Community Café. The East Asia NRC will co-sponsor the Japanese Culture Café. The UH CIBER will co-sponsor the Chinese Business Café, and the Pacific Island NRC will co-sponsor the Samoan Pathways Café.

Partners: UH NRCs for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Pacific Islands; UH CIBER