Conversion and Integration of Technology-Enhanced Learning Modules and Materials for Technology-Enhanced and Traditional Spanish 1022 Classes

Project Summary

Tertulias: Developing Independent Learner Strategies for Communication

Tertulias is part of a hybrid technology-mediated learning model designed for first-year Spanish classes that I proposed as a 2006–07 DMC Faculty Fellowship Program project. Tertulias, which in Spanish refers to a group of people that meets informally in a public place to chat and discuss topics of interest, is a series of online learning modules designed to provide the new instructor with a pedagogically integrated communicative module and to maximize the learner's exposure to real life linguistic environments where cultural issues are expressed in a multitude of levels. This multi-tasked listening, speaking and writing experience is intended to help the learner to become more independent by identifying and supporting individual communicative strategies and variables that result in more successful face-to-face classroom discussions.

Background Challenge

The language learner in a traditional classroom setting has limited exposure to real-life materials and opportunities to explore, process language and develop individual strategies that will help him/her eventually become a confident and proficient speaker. After six years of offering a technology-enhanced alternative to the traditional first-year Spanish classes at the University of Minnesota, the benefits to the learner and instructor in a hybrid course were evident. In the summer of 2005 the course was completely redesigned to include an online component in all sections. Another consideration in this process was the fact that in large multi-section programs first-time graduate instructors with different levels of proficiency and experience and with a full load of other commitments and responsibilities typically teach the introductory language classes.

Learning Outcomes and Reflection


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