Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon
Type of site
|Owner||Washington & Jefferson College|
|Created by||Michael R. Shaughnessy|
|CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US|
The Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon is a dictionary database of images of various objects in a culturally authentic setting for language learning. All images are presented with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, allowing for broad academic use by language teachers. The database is also useful for researchers in the field of applied linguistics, visual cognition, and automated image recognition. The database averages 30,000 hits per month and has been incorporated into the curricula of many college and high-school level German teachers.
The idea for the lexicon is partially based on Shaughnessy's experience with teaching materials that used American-based images and clip art to demonstrate German words and concepts. By presenting objects in their culturally authentic context, the CAPL is designed to prepare students to live in the environment where the language is spoken. The photographic entries are real photographs, not clip art, to force teachers to "teach terms for things that actually occur in everyday German life – instead of American concepts that have no direct European equivalent."
The project was founded in 2003 as a pilot project with over 1,000 unique entries for the German language. The first images were collected by Shaughnessy in Germany and Austria through a grant from W&J College. In 2006, it received a $200,000 appropriation from the U.S. federal government. In 2008, the project was expanded to include more languages thanks to a $85,480 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The CAPL was featured in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education and has been recommended for use by the Goethe Institute, German Academic Exchange Office and the National Capital Language Resource Center. The book The Bilingual Mental Lexicon noted the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon's value in German language instruction for "naming and sorting activities, and in awareness-raising discussions."
- "About CAPL". Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon. Washington & Jefferson College.
- Park, Jane (June 18, 2009). "CAPL, the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon". creativecommons.org. Creative Commons.
- "Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon". Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education Grant Database. United States Department of Education. 06/01/2008. Check date values in:
- Read, Brock (December 12, 2003). "Professor's Web Site Uses Photographs to Teach the German Language". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- "SENATORS SANTORUM AND SPECTER ANNOUNCE COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF WESTERN PA EDUCATION PROJECTS" (Press release). Office of Senator Arlen Specter. July 24, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-07-26. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
$200,000 for Washington & Jefferson College in Washington County to support foreign language programs. Funding including the expansion of the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon (CAPL), an online German-language picture dictionary, that provides undergraduate foreign language teachers and students with a culturally authentic, easy-to-use Web-based learning tool.
- Pavlenko, Aneta (January 15, 2009). The Bilingual Mental Lexicon. Multilingual Matters. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-84769-124-8.
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