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Showing posts from August, 2013

Teaching sagas to kids from China

Berkeley, as a major university on the Pacific Rim, is a very popular choice for high-achieving students from Asia, especially from South Korea, Japan, and China. Although none of them come to Berkeley to major in my home department of Scandinavian Languages and Literatures, many of them do end up taking courses in the department. This is especially the case for Scandinavian 5, which is an introduction to Scandinavian literature in translations, because it fulfills a University requirement to take a Reading and Composition course. I have been teaching Scandinavian 5 fairly consistently for the last 7 years, that is, whenever I was in Berkeley and not living in Iceland, and I have always had at least two or three international students in my class from an Asian country, in addition to the many other students of Asian ancestry who come to Berkeley as residents of California. In a class of 17 students, only two or three were typically Caucasian, and I think I only had one student ever th…