English as a second language prof sees the big picture

Professor Sandra Lee takes readers on a cinematic journey to cultural understanding with her book, Seeing the Big Picture: A Cinematic Approach to Understanding Cultures in America.The book, co-authored by Lee, broadens college students’ understanding and appreciation of the wide array of cultures and co-cultures in the U.S.

“Carefully selected popular films can be used to introduce students to many cultures,” Lee says, “including those of African, Chinese, Mexican and Muslim Americans.”

Lee assists students in recognizing, and questioning, messages in film portrayals of different groups of people. The book also provides points of view from film directors, cultural insiders and students in an effort to provoke new perspectives and ways of thinking.

Chinese American reviewer Vietfen Kuo said culture is the most difficult thing to truly understand, unless you are part of it. “Movies are one of the best ways to learn about a new culture, because they bring people into that culture,” Kuo says.

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Seeing the Big Picture