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This presentation examines the ways in which creative writing tasks can be used in Content-Based Instruction (CBI) teaching approaches. In the CBI approach, students learn subjects through the medium of a foreign language. The basis of this presentation comes from our experiences at the University of Pittsburgh, where we now use the CBI approach at the Intermediate levels. In one semester, we explore three content areas: visual arts and music, Italian politics, and environmental issues. Some of the projects that students have completed include:
Writing a song in Italian (modeled on contemporary popular songs)
Creating a photograph, painting or drawing that incorporates the use of light in a deliberate way (modeled on Caravaggios tenebrismo)
Creating a poster that weighs the pros/cons of nuclear energy (used in a mock debate)
The CBI approach is becoming increasingly more popular in Europe and in U.S. teaching methodologies as it allows students to adopt multilingual perspectives on various topics and promotes intercultural knowledge, while allowing students to use various linguistic strategies in order to describe, understand and interpret these topics. We believe that creative expression is an essential component of this approach.