Russian Dept Professors Discuss Oral History Projects

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Benjamin Jens and Colleen Lucey, Assistant Professors in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, are featured in the latest episode of the We Teach Languages podcast.

For episode 76, John Mullen of WHRU Radio Hofstra University interviewed Jens, Lucey and Ben Rifkin, Professor and Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Hofstra University. The podcast focused on how and why to use oral history projects with language learners.

Instructors can facilitate oral history projects by finding appropriate participants – native speakers – and preparing students to conduct the interviews by providing context, allowing them to generate questions and allowing ample time and opportunity to practice the language, Lucey told Mullen.

Jens discussed how oral history projects can do more than just enrich the language learning for the students involved. Archived projects can also have benefits for future cohorts of students or as part of faculty research and scholarship.

Jens, Lucey and Rifkin have collaborated on a forthcoming paper: “Oral History in the Russian Language Curriculum: A Transformative Learning Experience.”

Listen to the podcast here.