Volume 04 - Issue 1

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    Disruptive French: Using OER to promote linguistic justice in the French-language classroom
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Blattner, Géraldine ; Dalola, Amanda ; Roulon, Stéphanie
    A prestige-focused approach to language teaching, motivated by hegemonic definitions of “normativity” defined by a privileged few, is one that sustains inequity, misrepresents the speech community, and excludes learners by denying them access to the cultural and linguistic tools they need to relate to real-world users. Now more than ever, as language departments struggle to fill seats and argue for the relevance of their disciplines, educators must instead embrace a linguistic justice approach which simultaneously critiques monolingualism and integrates plurilingual practices essential to valorizing the linguistically-rich realities of 21st-century learners. #OnYGo, an Open Educational Resource (OER) for first-year French, employs a linguistic justice approach that redraws the francophone landscape through a lens of social justice and cultivates learners’ awareness of language variation and identity via translanguaging, the development of metalinguistic awareness, and the thoughtful use of digital tools which invite learners to create and interpret language across modalities, guided by a multiliteracies framework. Because OERs are free from the censorship of commercial publishers, we argue that they should not only be used to increase accessibility to language education but also to promote equitable and iconoclastic approaches to language teaching like the one on display in #OnYGo.
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    Reincarnating textbooks for the 21st century
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Rossomondo, Amy ; Lord, Gillian
    This report argues against the death of language textbook programs. It highlights the need for them to serve as the agents of change needed for language programs to remain viable in higher education today. Although commercially published language teaching materials are often cast as obstacles to progressive change, we argue that available materials can serve as transformative models for language teaching. Drawing on our own experiences as educators, researchers, and textbook authors, we discuss why we need these materials and how the textbook program itself can and should serve as an agent of change.
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    Creating diverse and engaging world language communities with(out) textbooks
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Rothe, Lucian ; Gabbard, Jordan
    Textbooks have been a staple in many world language (WL) programs for decades. But how do current higher education efforts to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning spaces affect the use of commercial textbooks in WL classes? This report presents how a small German program at a large metropolitan university in the Southern United States redeveloped its program goals and materials to create engaging communities, address matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and adjust program practices based on constant evaluation. In doing so, it reflects on how textbooks have (not) been able to contribute to these objectives. Implications speak to curriculum development, instructional practices and policies, as well as student recruitment, and retention.
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    Killing the textbook softly: From commercial textbooks to student-centered curricula
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Mignot, Charles A.
    This report retraces the 10-year evolution of a higher-educational French language program that went from using commercial textbooks to student-centered curricula through three main stages: from American commercial textbooks to French commercial textbooks, from commercial textbooks to OER) textbooks, and from OER textbooks to student-centered curricula. The gradual evolution illustrates a way to handle resistance to change through the progressive implementation of new research or practice-based methods: action-oriented methodology for the first stage, Second Language Acquisition research-based approaches for the second stage, and practices based on current pedagogical trends for the third stage. The report provides the pedagogical rationale for each transition, highlighting the discrepancy between the very concept of textbook and what current research and practice in foreign language pedagogy advocates and a first-hand experience of what it entails to break away from American commercial textbooks, commercial textbooks, and ultimately textbooks altogether.
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    Generation Z goes abroad: A mosaic approach to L2 program evaluation
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Mroz, Aurore ; Gorham, Julia
    Intent on developing methods of evaluation of L2 study abroad (SA) programs relevant for the 21st century, this study centered on sixteen Generation Z undergraduates affiliated with two U.S. universities and enrolled in the same Parisian program. To mitigate previous methodological issues, the study aimed to provide a big picture evaluation of the selected program with a purposeful focus on variables characteristic of Gen Zers. To do so, it adopted an innovative mosaic approach entailing the simultaneous collection and comparison of a multiplicity of data across different domains of interest. The study shows how pre-existing relationships between oral quality, cultural readiness, psychosocial measures attributed to Gen Z, phone affinity and usage, and demographic/academic characteristics evolved as outcomes of SA. It confirms the complex mediation involved in oral and cross-cultural growth abroad by notably unveiling a mechanism of inertia at play in language and cultural development linked to academic choices made before but set in motion by SA. The study also establishes how students’ pre-existing anxiety decreased congruently with fear of missing out and shaped their SA experiences. Finally, it demonstrates how the meaning attached to the role of smartphones morphed into a more positive relationship linked to emotional regulation and productivity.
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    Social justice professional development: Using teacher voices to understand need and impact
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Ruf, Helena ; Menke, Mandy ; Goodspeed, Lauren
    As social justice pedagogies gain traction within language education, both novice and experienced teachers participate in professional development experiences to inform their understanding of and teaching for social justice. This descriptive report documents the perceptions of postsecondary language teachers as they engaged in a social justice curriculum development project, which included a variety of opportunities for professional development. Using illustrative data from questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, group work sessions, and consultation meetings, this report identifies insights into professional development tools, resources, and experiences around social justice education that teachers found most impactful and those that are most needed for their continued learning. Implications for individual teachers, language program administrators, and language teacher educators seeking to advance the teaching of social justice in language classrooms are discussed.
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    The audio-recorder as a resource for L2 learning in study abroad
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) McGregor, Janice ; Surtees, Victoria
    Research on second language (L2) learning in study abroad (SA) often includes close analyses of audio or video recordings of interactions among speakers in the host country (Diao, 2022; Mitchell, 2023). These recordings are increasingly being collected by SA students themselves using handheld and/or mobile devices. Given that participants are aware and often in control of the recording process, some researchers (e.g., Gordon, 2013; Speer & Hutchby, 2003) have suggested that scholars should attend to how participants orient to the recorder as a resource for doing things (i.e., interactive and relational work) in talk. We take up these researchers’ call by examining participant-collected recordings of peer talk from two SA case studies: American learners of German in Germany and Japanese learners of English in Canada. Analyses reveal that the audio-recorder afforded participants additional opportunities to collaboratively do research, build informal relationships, and practice language while abroad. Our results highlight how integrating recording devices in SA can support those seeking more informal ways to practice the L2 with peers in context.
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    Versatility and value: A student-generated collaborative digital book
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Craig-Flórez, Angelina ; Ewald, Liana
    This report documents the conception, implementation, and evolution of a student-generated collaborative digital book project. The report first draws on a combined theoretical framework of project-based learning and digital literacies to support the module’s use in curricular development. It then contextualizes the scope and potential of the project within the emerging trend of OER-enabled pedagogy (Wiley & Hilton, 2018). The report proceeds to describe the module at its inception and implementation in one institution between 2015-2022, and its evolution in another during the spring semester 2020. The project was conceived and implemented from 2015-2022 at a private, top-tier comprehensive R1 university, in a fifth-semester Spanish content course, and in the face-to-face modality. In spring 2020 the project was undertaken at a STEM-focused private institution of higher education, in an advanced Spanish literature and culture course, and was begun in the face-to-face modality, but switched abruptly online mid-semester. Despite these different contexts, student survey responses and instructor evaluation affirm students produced high quality projects that promoted autonomous learning, creativity, and collaboration. These illustrative data suggest that the module is effective, flexible, and well-suited for contemporary language learning.
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    3,000 words in Spanish L2 basic language courses: A reachable goal?
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) Marcos Miguel, Nausica ; Edge, Joshua ; Beaton, Mary E. ; Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Claudia H.
    While studies on lexical development in English L2 abound, less is known about how learners develop their lexicons in other L2s and how their developmental paths relate to lexical frequency counts. To fill this gap, this longitudinal study tracks the receptive lexical knowledge of students who progress through three semesters of Spanish L2 in a US university. Using an online receptive vocabulary test taken at the end of each semester, this study explores what percentage of the 3,000 most frequent Spanish words (overall and by frequency band) these learners recognized. Factors influencing outcomes such as whether the students had Spanish courses before the university, or whether they spoke Spanish outside of class were also examined. Results are consistent with English L2 research. Moreover, as L2 learners’ proficiency increased, less additional vocabulary was learned. Previous experiences and use of Spanish outside of class positively influenced scores. On average, learners could recognize around 65% of the most frequent 3,000 words by the end of the third semester. These findings have practical implications for designing the vocabulary component of language courses during and after the first three semesters.
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    Announcements and news from our sponsors
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2023-10-01) SLRP staff
Published by the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC)