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Lillian, Colleen, Kirsten, Marina Group Project

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Hi ladies,

Here are my partial answers. I had hard time finding the answers of question 5 and 6, which are "How extensive is this program in the region? State? Nation?" and "Which demographic benefits most from this program?"

Could anybody give me a hint or which websites should I use to do more research?


1.Who are the learners?
The learners are high school and college/university students and adults who are very interested in learning world/foreign languages.


2.Who are the teachers? Do they have L1/C1 or L2/C2 language/culture background?
Public school teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree, complete an approved teacher education program, and be licensed. Many States offer alternative licensing programs to attract people into teaching, especially for hard-to-fill positions.
College and university faculty make up the majority of postsecondary teachers. Educational qualifications for postsecondary teacher jobs range from expertise in a particular field to a Ph.D, depending on the subject being taught and the type of educational institution. Postsecondary teachers should communicate and relate well with students, enjoy working with them, and be able to motivate them. They should have inquiring and analytical minds, and a strong desire to pursue and disseminate knowledge. Additionally, they must be self-motivated and able to work in an environment in which they receive little direct supervision. http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos066.htm
In my research, the qualifications don’t emphasis world/foreign language teachers must have L1 and C1 and/or L2 and C2 language/culture background; however, I personally think bilingual or trilingual teachers would do better job than those who are not familiar with world languages and cultures.

3.What is the target language?
By definition, the target language is “the language being learned, whether it is the first language or a second (or third or fourth) language? (Lightbown, P. & Spada, N. (2006) How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press) Thus, it could be any languages, for example, English, French, Chinese, and so on.


4.What is the setting of this program?
Language classes are most taught in regular classroom settings. The on-line instruction is becoming more and more popular for those learners who live in the areas where language teachers, native speakers and learning materials are difficult to access. Of course, the outcomes of those two settings would be significant different. The physical classroom setting with live instruction would help language learners develop interlanguage competence in the target language and discriminate among levels of achievement.


Hello all,

I had questions 8 through 12. Unfortunately a lot of the questions I had don't apply to secondary and college level foreign language education, but anyway here's what I've got so far:

•What methods are used for language instruction? What are the latest practices/methodologies currently used in this program?
-Communicative Language
Teaching
-Natural Approach
-Total Physical Response
/TPRS
-Proficiency-Based
Instruction
(see the chart we got in class for a description)

•What is the purpose of immersion program – one-way? Dual?
-N/A

•In dual immersion programs, how is the curriculum divided by language, how are both languages integrated together?
-N/A

•Do student in immersion programs fall back in terms of their content learning?
-N/A

•When does actual language instruction occur in this program?
-For the most part, always. the language instruction can vary in implicitness and at times may be embedded in content, but the main purpose of secondary and college level foreign language education is the instruction of language.

The questions and answers:
(What are the plans for putting it all together?)

When students finish this program of L2 learning, do they retain the language?

Most students do not retain the language. This may be because schools often require students to enroll in a foreign language course, but does not actually expect that student to use the language beyond their schooling.

What are the resources available and how does it affect programming?
There is a variety of textbook series for more commonly taught languages such as German, French, and Spanish. These texts usually emphasize listening and speaking. French texts often emphasize writing whereas German texts focus more heavily on grammar. Teachers usually choose the textbook they use and often a workbook for their students.
In addition to the textbooks you may think of when considering learning a world language in a secondary or post-secondary setting, many teachers write their own curriculum. There are countless resources available online. They include, but are not limited to, teacher associations with collections of ideas and activities, student travel abroad resources, cultural information relating to the languages taught, stories in world languages, online chatting in world languages, radio and videos from different cultures in various languages, language dictionaries, translators, online activities, and activities for teachers to apply to the classroom. For example, “Languages Online? is a website dedicated to teaching Italian, French, German, and Indonesian. Teachers of these languages can print a list of given activities or have students listen to and complete the activities online. In addition, these teachers can use the content of their current teaching situation to create games online for their students. (http://www.education.vic.gov.au/languagesonline/default.htm). Another site, “Chinese Resources? provides original texts as well as made-for-teaching texts, dictionaries, photos, printed materials, and links to other Chinese language resources. (http://schiller.dartmouth.edu/chinese/index.html.) Yahoo! even has international websites written entirely in the target language.
There are many other resources available to the foreign language teacher. Learners at all stages of fluency can benefit from the use of dictionaries, whether the dictionaries are bilingual or monolingual (more helpful for the advanced learner.) A reference grammar may also prove to be useful when a textbook does not adequately explain a specific structure of the language or for advanced learners who are self-monitoring. (However, these grammar books are rarely used in high school classrooms.) There are computer programs that may assist during the writing process, provide skill practice, or allow a learner to speak directly into the computer, providing practice in conversation. These can be costly for a district though and are therefore, not often used. Finally, there are audio and video programs that allow the learner to hear native speakers and, at times, supplement a skill learned in class. TV and video programs in foreign languages also provide vehicles for comprehension practice.
All of these resources are suitable for different needs and must be carefully reviewed before used in the classroom. Different textbooks and web resources are created with different language philosophies. Some focus on the skill and drill philosophy while others try to design more meaningful activities. All of these resources that are designed by non-native speakers may include inaccuracies or a purified version of the language, omitting varying slang or dialects.

Because foreign language programming is often determined by the teacher or teachers of the language, it is often highly varied between districts.

What influence does this L2 program have on students continuing development of L1?

Traditionally, the student’s L1 development is not considered in developing the L2. The L1 may be the language spoken to teach the L2 or used as an object with which to compare and contrast to the L2. In other cases, the L1 is ignored and not used at all. It is possible for teachers to use both the L1 and L2 to enhance competencies in both areas. However, the L2 is most often seen as isolated from the L1.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of this program?

Drawbacks:
• Foreign language education is often viewed as a course for the “elite,? and taken as a prerequisite for college admission or graduation, rather than for a purpose of communicating in the language.
• Foreign language educators often rely heavily on a textbook series rather than the needs of the students.
• There is little connection between the language learned and the cultural understanding of the language and the native speakers. Cultural elements of teaching are most often only surface level and do not include current events and issues.
• Typically, a student’s L1 development is not considered. Reading and writing exercises are most often drill exercises with little or no authentic reading, writing, speaking, and listening tasks.

Benefits:
• There is a correlation between foreign language study at the high school and higher academic achievement at the college level. (Is this because college level students are required to have that foreign language study?)
• Most American students begin their foreign language study at the secondary level. Therefore, secondary foreign language study has the opportunity to reach the greatest number of learners and introduce them to the benefits of learning a second language and bridging cultures.
• This is the first time many students have the opportunity to visit a different culture and use a second language for real purposes.


What opportunities are available for teacher development?
To maintain certification, teachers must complete continuing education courses or professional development activities every five years or so, depending on the state and certification. There are a number of teacher training projects, organizations, and conferences that provide opportunities for foreign language teachers to maintain their licensure. They include: Alliance Française (for French educators), American Association of Teachers of Arabic, American Association of Teachers of French, American Association of Teachers of German, Inc., American Association of Teachers of Italian, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc., American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Association of Teachers of Japanese, California Foreign Language Project, Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), and Chinese Language Teachers Association. The Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures (MCTLC) is a great resource here in Minnesota (http://www.mctlc.org/). This organization provides information regarding conferences and professional development activities. It also has links to other helpful organizations.


What are the requirements for teaching in this program? What is required in terms of costs for individuals to be prepared to teach in these programs?

All teachers of second languages are required to be certified with qualifications in both the second language and in education (pedagogy.) Teachers may earn their certification with undergraduate degrees in the second language that includes a few education courses. Others earn this certification by completing a master’s of education graduate program. Many schools are moving toward this graduate degree route because it allows students to develop greater fluency in their undergraduate studies.

Costs of programming vary greatly from state to state and from school to school. It is usually most cost-efficient to attend school in the state in which you reside. An undergraduate program here at the University of Minnesota typically costs $20,000 (tuition, room and board, fees, all included). A graduate program will cost approximately another $20,000 (again that includes tuition, room and board, and all fees.) There are a number of grants, scholarships, and financial aid programs to help individuals afford this level of education.