The effects of blended learning on second language fluency and proficiency

Date
2012-01-01
Authors
Rubio, Fernando
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Heinle Cengage Learning
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2012
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137
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159
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Abstract
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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Rubio, F. (2012). The effects of blended learning on second language fluency and proficiency. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 137-159. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69713
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