Featured Projects

Collaborative Language Learning

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 1 comment

Collaborative Language Learning

This post features the recent research of Dr. Greg Thompson, Spanish and Portuguese Department One of the challenges in learning a foreign language, especially in the first years, is communicating with native speakers of the target language. Given the limited contact that many foreign language students have with native speakers of that language, they are often ill-prepared when they need to communicate outside of the confines of the classroom. Greg Thompson and Rob Martinsen of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese have been working to help first and second year students engage in...

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On the Write Track: The PhraseWorthy App

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features | 0 comments

On the Write Track: The PhraseWorthy App

Writers in a variety of fields sometimes want to create wordplays and do it fast. This can be vital, for example, in preparing advertising, marketing slogans, company names, greeting cards, bumper stickers, and catchy newspaper headlines. Professor Dallin D. Oaks of the Linguistics and English Language department teamed up with Thad Gillespie and David Healey (a former student) to create a web app called PhraseWorthy, which brainstorms ideas for clever wordplays and then provides lists of phrases from which a user of the software can then select the most potentially useful ones for further...

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“Providing a World of Opportunities for Students”: Chantal Thompson’s Work with Dual Language Immersion Programs

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features, Public Humanities, Public Schools | 0 comments

“Providing a World of Opportunities for Students”: Chantal Thompson’s Work with Dual Language Immersion Programs

Utah has become a model for dual language immersion programs around the country—and around the world. The state of Utah currently offers 38 immersion programs in Chinese, 19 in French, 2 in German, 6 in Portuguese, and 73 in Spanish, for a total of 138 schools participating in dual language immersion. And why are these programs so successful? One of the main reasons is that learning targets are defined in terms of proficiency in the language, and reading, listening, writing and speaking proficiency is assessed on a regular basis. As an ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign...

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Cinematic Landscapes of the Anthropocene

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features | 0 comments

Cinematic Landscapes of the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is a term proposed by some geologists to redesignate the current geological epoch in which we live. The argument for this reclassification highlights the profound and lasting impact humans have had as a species on the planet from the beginning of agriculture to the “great acceleration” of industrial and private resource consumption from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. Activities such as the detonation of atomic weapons, industrial accidents, the emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases, and other forms of pollution have left a legible stratigraphic mark on...

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Greg Clark’s Innovative Research on Civic Jazz

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features | 1 comment

Greg Clark’s Innovative Research on Civic Jazz

Many faculty, staff, and students at BYU were first introduced to Jazz and the Art of Civic Life with a presentation in 2013 by BYU professor Greg Clark and his guest jazz artists Loren Schoenberg and Jonathan Batiste (Batiste has since become the band leader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert). One year later, Dr. Clark brought the great jazz pianist Marcus Roberts to campus, along with Schoenberg, to continue that conversation in a program sponsored by the Humanities Center. This year, Clark has continued working with jazz musicians to present ideas of civic jazz at the National Jazz...

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Dirk Elzinga’s Research on Hopi Language and the Deseret Alphabet

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features | 0 comments

Dirk Elzinga’s Research on Hopi Language and the Deseret Alphabet

In an effort to enact orthography reform during the nineteenth century, Brigham Young sought to implement a new phonetic alphabet for learning. Ultimately deciding, through the recommendation of Willard Richards, to separate from using any traditional characters in the new phonetic alphabet, Young allowed George D. Watt to create the Deseret Alphabet. This information is widely known by those who study the Deseret Alphabet, but Dirk Elzinga has brought out a fact about the Deseret Alphabet that is less known: it was used as a learning tool to transcribe foreign languages. This tool was...

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