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    Epilogue. Paradigms in transition
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2010-01-01) Phipps, Alison ; Levine, Glenn S.
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    After the MLA report: Rethinking the links between literature and literacy, research, and teaching in foreign language departments
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2010-01-01) Arens, Katherine
    This chapter takes up today’s literary and cultural theory as lacking attention to research and classroom implementation. The National Standards for Foreign Language Learning, I argue, can be used as a heuristic to develop these missing strategies, as they clarify what is at stake in learning culture. This chapter calls for a more responsible approach to curriculum, at all levels from beginner to graduate/professional, by focusing on appropriate stages of cognitive development and by insisting that the theory project be integrated into concrete and defensible pedagogical goals––an urgent necessity in a moment when institutional demands on humanities departments are forcing the encounter between theory and praxis.
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    Cognitive grammar and its applicability in the foreign language classroom
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2010-01-01) Arnett, Carlee ; Jernigan, Harriett
    The theory of Cognitive Grammar (CG), despite its compatibility with preferred theories of instruction and teaching methodologies, has yet to make its way into the foreign language classroom. This chapter introduces CG, outlining the basic principles that are most useful in the language classroom: cognitive domains, which function well as instructional tools in a communicative classroom, and the concept of schemas and prototypes, which help students examine the relationships between syntax and meaning. A lesson plan illustrates how one applies the principles of CG to explicit grammar instruction, supplementing students’ grammatical metalanguage and establishing a cognitive domain the instructor can use for future grammar lessons. CG, because it encourages experimentation and interpretation, complements communicative language teaching and speaks to the goals of the report from the Modern Language Association (MLA) Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages (MLA, 2007), which calls for teaching students translingual and transcultural competence at the secondary and postsecondary level.
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    A social constructivist approach to foreign language writing in online environments
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2010-01-01) Elola, Idoia ; Oskoz, Ana
    While communicative approaches promote collaboration in the classroom, linguistic and cultural content knowledge is often regarded as information to be transferred most effectively from teachers to learners. Applying sociocultural and socioconstructivist perspectives and taking critical pedagogy into consideration, this chapter discusses the implementation of curricular changes into two hybrid Spanish courses: an advanced writing course and a beginning-level Spanish course. The use of social tools such as wikis, chats, and discussion boards not only emphasized collaboration among participants but also generated and developed content and linguistic knowledge in what is called the architecture of participation. The pedagogical shift possible through the use of social tools reshaped the foreign language context setting by expanding the physical classroom into a larger e-classroom and creating writing communities that used a language of their own. Learners actively participated in a community of writers in which, through dialogue, they created knowledge and achieved common goals both through the integration of the group and through their own voice.
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    Collaboration and interaction: The keys to distance and computer-supported language learning
    (Heinle Cengage Learning, 2010-01-01) Coleman, James A. ; Hampel, Regine ; Hauck, Mirjam ; Stickler, Ursula
    This chapter describes the very practical approach to distance and online language learning that has allowed the United Kingdom’s largest university, The Open University (OU), to deliver effective language learning to tens of thousands of students over the past 15 years. It starts from theoretical underpinnings: critical pedagogy, the specifics of adult learners, the achievements and shortcomings of the communicative approach, sociocultural understandings of language learning, and the central role of interaction and collaboration in achieving both linguistic and intercultural outcomes. An enumeration of the particular challenges of learning languages at a distance—facilitating interaction, managing affect, and effectively integrating technologies—is followed by a concise review of the evolution of distance language learning and of relevant research. Issues such as evolving technologies, task design, and student anxiety are also addressed. Distance language education at the OU is conceived not just as a technical challenge but also as an undertaking that engages actively in social issues and the promotion of universal values. The student body is exceptionally inclusive, with a high proportion of disabled and otherwise disadvantaged learners. This social mission adds to the complexity of curriculum design and delivery; neither the materials nor the actual teaching follows conventional models. Providing opportunities for learner interaction is a pedagogic challenge that can be addressed by integrating telecollaborative activities into the language learning experience.