The CIRCLE framework is adaptable across linguistic, curricular, and institutional contexts, and we invite interested institutions to use the CIRCLE model. The two main components of CIRCLE are:
- Community Exploration
- Interinstitutional Collaboration
Students in the participating heritage learner or bilingual classes at partner institutions should have at least a low-intermediate level of oral and written proficiency in Spanish. Their language skills should be sufficient to allow them to communicate effectively with a range of members in the community of study and their student colleagues.
Shared Virtual Spaces
Faculty in the participating classes at partner institutions should be willing to commit at least two semesters to the development and implementation of the project in their courses. The project is not intended to form a major portion of the curriculum, but rather a variable subsection of class activities. Faculty at participating institutions use a variety of technologically-mediated communications tools such as videoconferencing, wikis, blogs and threaded discussions in support of the collaboration and their course. Faculty should involve technical support staff from local language resource centers, instructional technology or information services groups as appropriate.
Each class at the respective institutions defines common areas of exploration, and works separately on these issues, corresponding and sharing regularly to compare and contrast, discuss and debate using the material gathered and authored by the students. Students perform technologically-mediated ethnographic research: a form of cultural analysis that ranges from the observation of local communities to reflection on the culture shared between and
among them. Learning outcomes include the development of narrative and editing skills, improved listening comprehension, and enhanced knowledge of local manifestations of broader Hispanic culture.
Shared Digital Narratives
Each class produces and curates digital narratives to be analyzed, edited, combined, and shared. This material consists of a mutually agreed range of the following genres, within their shared digital space:
- Reflective blogs and journals documenting each student’s work and thoughts.
- A collaborative wiki where each class will build up a profile of a Hispanic community in their respective city
- Virtual tours, online presentations, etc. which will allow students to map the linguistic landscape of their respective communities using geo-locative Web applications.
- A collection of personal stories in digital format that tell the story of selected and/or representative members of each community. Digital stories can be primarily text-based, multimodal, or video.
If your institution is interested in partnering with Columbia or ASU in a future CIRCLE course, please contact us.