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May 1, 2007

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.