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    Integrating foundational language and content study through new approaches to hybrid learning and teaching
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Rossomondo, Amy E.
    The focus of this chapter is foundational foreign language teaching and learning that integrates content and language study in a hybrid environment. It offers a detailed description of how the open-access, web-based Acceso project implements an approach to intermediate-level Spanish study, consonant with recent discussions of integrated language and content instruction at all levels of instruction by means of a broad range of computer-assisted language learning applications. The chapter also argues for a characterization of Acceso’s content as “hybrid” with respect both to its collaborative development and maintenance and to how student engagement of this content is facilitated inside and outside of the classroom. Finally, the chapter discusses the benefits and challenges of developing and implementing such a project from a language program director’s perspective, as well as directions for its future.
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    Opening up foreign language education with open educational resources: The case of français ineractif
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Blyth, Carl S.
    The general goal of this chapter is to examine the open education movement in order to understand its impact on foreign language education. More specifically, this chapter explores the intersection of blended foreign language learning and open educational resources (OERs). The affordances and challenges of OERs are summarized and discussed. A case study of Français interactif, an OER developed at the University of Texas at Austin, illustrates openness in many of its unique features, including an open development process based on feedback from a community of users, a modular design, and an open license. Suggestions are given to language program directors about how to join the open education community of practice.
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    Analyzing linguistic outcomes of second language learners: Hybrid versus traditional course contexts
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Thoms, Joshua J.
    This chapter reports on a small-scale empirical study that analyzes the speaking and writing gains of students enrolled in an introductory Spanish language course taught in a traditional, face-to-face context and a second, introductory Spanish language course that was delivered via a hybrid course format. Both were college-level courses taught by the same instructor. The overarching research question investigated in this project is the following: what are the differences in speaking and writing gains of students enrolled in each of the two types of courses over the course of an academic semester? Results indicate that there were no statistically significant differences between students in the traditional and hybrid courses with respect to speaking gains. However, there were statistically significant differences regarding writing ability because students in the hybrid course improved more versus students in the traditional course. Reasons for these differences are delineated and future areas of research are offered.
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    Complementary functions of face-to-face and online oral achievement tests in a hybrid learning program
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Rott, Susanne
    Recent research has attended to various aspects of oral tasks. Yet there has been very little analysis of how different test tasks and formats are complementary in terms of the skills they elicit. Moreover, the feasibility of conducting oral tests online has not yet been well examined. The current exploratory investigation compared students’ linguistic and interactional competencies in three commonly used oral exam tasks: teacher–student interview, role-play, and monologue. The interview and the role-play were conducted face to face (F2F), and the monologue was conducted in an online format. The data collection was based on third-semester German learners’ three- to five-minute responses to a speaking prompt and analyzed for aspects of communication, interactional, discourse, lexical, and grammatical competence. Results showed that in the online monologue and the F2F interview, students demonstrated similar language abilities that complemented language abilities demonstrated in the role-play.
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    The effects of blended learning on second language fluency and proficiency
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Rubio, Fernando
    In an effort to address the needs of a new digital generation of students and remain fiscally efficient in times of budget strains, many departments have decided to move some components of their language programs to the online format and design courses that combine traditional face-to-face (F2F) instruction supplemented with online components. A number of studies have compared the effects of these blended courses with traditional courses, but the findings have either been inconclusive or have proved no significant differences. This chapter presents the results of a study comparing the proficiency and fluency gains of two groups of first-year students of Spanish at the university level. One of the groups completed two consecutive semesters of F2F classroom instruction in a traditional format, meeting four days a week. The second group enrolled in two semesters of beginning Spanish in a blended format that combines two F2F sessions per week with two “virtual days.” In addition to measuring speaking and writing proficiency levels according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages scale, the study provides a more fine-grained, quantitative analysis of a number of features typically associated with fluency. Results show that even though differences are not noticeable when comparing overall proficiency levels, a quantitative analysis of fluency features reveals some interesting differences between the two groups.
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    Blended learning in large multisection foreign language programs: An opportunity for reflecting on course content, pedagogy, learning outcomes, and assessment issues
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Young, Dolly Jesusita ; Pettigrew, Jason Lee
    From the new millennium to the present, colleges and universities have experienced increased pressure by government-funded agencies, academic administrators, and the technology industry to integrate technology into higher education for the purpose of reducing instructional costs. On the surface, the concept of blended learning (BL) may appear apparent, but actual application is complex, particularly for large multiple section foreign language (FL) elementary and intermediate university-level programs. Few published accounts exist that examine issues of curriculum and pedagogy as these play out in BL instruction in this context. This chapter documents the evolution of BL up to the present time, surveys past and present BL programs across the nation, considers the discourse present in disseminating information about them, and gleans characteristics of the programs based on the available public and published documents. In an effort to move beyond the current discourse used to describe BL instruction in this context and as a way to reflect on curricular and pedagogical issues, we examine the variables, processes, and considerations that go into redesigning a large multisection Spanish course at this level. Our purpose is not to provide a model for curricular and pedagogical decision making in BL instruction for elementary or intermediate FL programs but to reflect on the unique contexts in which curricular and pedagogical issues are considered. Without curricular planning and careful consideration of pedagogies, we cannot adjudicate whether and how BL instruction should or can be judged positively. Without reflection on the various contexts and pedagogies, programs will be reacting to outer circumstances rather than reflecting deeply on issues pertaining to adult instructed language learning.
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    Hybrid learning spaces: Re-envisioning language learning
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Ducate, Lara ; Lomicka, Lara ; Lord, Gillian
    As institutions of higher education are encouraged to do more with fewer resources, educators and administrators are increasingly contemplating “hybrid” or “blended” learning. Various studies have asserted that enhancing course content through technology can support in-depth delivery and analysis of knowledge and increase student satisfaction. The chapter addresses some of the primary theoretical issues at stake in the implementation of hybrid courses into second language learning while also providing case study examples of ways in which Web 2.0 technologies can be used to make the most of our new educational landscape. Second language acquisition theories are also discussed with respect to their implementation in hybrid learning before taking a critical look at tools that have been used in face-to-face contexts and adapted in blended or hybrid courses at undergraduate as well as graduate levels. These examples are provided to showcase the ways in which technological tools can enable the enrichment and extension of the classroom setting in both traditional and alternative settings.
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    Beyond hybrid learning: A synthesis of research on e-tutors under the lens of second language acquisition theory
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Cerezo, Luis
    A growing number of studies in second language acquisition have investigated the pedagogical effectiveness of hybrid learning curricula, where traditional face-toface instruction is supplemented by technology-mediated learning. Less attention, however, has been devoted to fully online curricula, where learners work independently with interactive technology such as e-tutors. Increasingly, though, academic institutions are including online learning as a critical component of their strategic plans. Many provosts and deans are already asking language program directors to make complex and unprecedented logistical decisions to implement online curricula, and to the extent possible, these decisions should be informed by the results of empirical research. This chapter provides a synthesis of existing research on online second language learning with e-tutors, with a focus on grammar. This synthesis is geared around three central questions. The whether question addresses whether e-tutors can facilitate second language grammar development per se and compared with other instructional technologies; the why question addresses why e-tutors can be pedagogically effective on the basis of second language acquisition theories; and the which question addresses which specific e-tutor features promote the highest grammar learning outcomes, thus contributing a more precise picture of what an ideal e-tutor should look like. The chapter closes with a set of recommendations for further research.
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    Theoretical and empirical foundations for blended language learning
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Goertler, Senta
    Fully and partially online courses are on the rise in colleges across the country. Although administrative and logistical reasons often dominate the discussion and the planning of partially or fully online courses, as language educators, we must also consider the potential benefits for language learning. This chapter first presents a quick summary of research on blended learning (BL). The main portion of the chapter focuses on a discussion of the relationship between second language acquisition theories and different computer-assisted language learning formats as they relate to hybrid and online learning. The next section presents arguments in favor of BL based on confirmed second language acquisition processes. The chapter concludes with recommendations for curricular design of BL and online learning.
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    Best practices in online learning: Is if for everyone?
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2012-01-01) Blake, Robert
    In this chapter, I advocate for the need to use technology in the foreign language (FL) curriculum and describe different conditions under which technology fits into the curriculum, including the implementation of online courses. This implies, of course, that not all online courses are the same by any stretch of the imagination, just as not all in-class, face-to-face (F2F) classes produce the same learning experience. Many in the language teaching profession seek to compare directly online learning with an imagined gold standard represented by F2F classroom learning. I examine the difficulties in doing this type of comparative research, which is fraught with numerous uncontrolled individual variables that make asking the question, “Which is better?” unproductive for the field. I try to explain why some quarters of the FL field persist in refusing to accept online courses into the FL curriculum for normal course credit despite the growing use of online courses in higher education. Finally, I consider the questions of whether or not the online learning environment constitutes a good fit for everyone. I present evidence that online language learning presents a difficult avenue of study for certain students, but it also promises to be a most excellent alternative for others. Suggestions are made for what could be a more fruitful research agenda concerning online language learning and the computer-assisted language learning field.