Non-Mandatory
Language Classes and Seat Time
Panel on the Effectiveness of ClassroomBased Language Programs, I
Ray T. Clifford
IEPS
22 February 2007
The Reality of
Second Language Learning
• Language is the most complex of
human behaviors.
• Language acquisition is one of the
least understood of human
endeavors.
Can You Read A Simple
English Sentence?
The bandage was wound
around the wound.
Can You Read A Simple
English Sentence?
She could lead, if she
would get the lead out.
Can You Read A Simple
English Sentence?
The dove dove into the bushes.
Can You Read A Simple
English Sentence?
The invalid’s insurance
was invalid.
What Proficiency Level is
Required to Read
Real Headlines?
Iraqi Head
Seeks Arms
Drunk Gets
Nine Months
in Violin Case
Juvenile Court to
Try Shooting
Defendant
Police Begin
Campaign to
Run Down
Jaywalkers
Minors Refuse to
Work After Death
MSU Honors
Student Accused
of Beating
Housemate With
Bat
From: the Alma, Michigan Morning Sun
What Proficiency Level is
Required to Read
Real Signs?
Read aloud and explain the
“St.” Rule:
ST. PAUL ST.
Read aloud and explain the
“St.” Rule, Part 2:
ST. COLLEGE ST.
The Reality of
Second Language Learning
• Language is the most complex of
human behaviors.
• The time required to learn a second
language depends on:
– The learner.
– The language.
– The teacher.
The Learner
Two Major Learner Variables
• Aptitude: The amount of time needed
to learn a language.
• Motivation: The amount of time a
learner is willing to spend learning the
language.
Impact of Aptitude and Motivation
on Student Learning
Motivation
Low
High
High
Expected
results
Exceptional
results
Low
Below
average
results
Expected
results
Aptitude
Aptitude versus Motivation
• Motivation can compensate for a lack of
aptitude.
• With high motivation and greatly increased
time on task, exceptional results are
possible.
The Language
Determining the Relative
Difficulty of a Second
Language
• The relative difficulty of learning a
second language can be estimated by
considering the “distance” between the
language of the learner and language to
be learned as well as the “direction” of
that difference.
Determining Difficulty (Cont.)
• Distance can be estimated by noting the
amount of contrast between L1 and L2 in:
– Grammatical structures
– Lexicon
– Cultural references
– Orthography
– Pronunciation
• Even a simple rating scale of “similar =
1,” “somewhat different = 2,” and “very
different = 3” can be used.
• The total score = the relative “difference.”
Determining Difficulty (Cont.)
• Direction is determined by whether the
features found in the L2 are more
complex or simpler than the same
concepts in the L1.
– Moving from a language with reduced
grammatical forms to a language with more
complex forms is going “uphill.”
– Moving from a language with complex
grammatical forms to a language with
reduced forms is going “downhill.”
– It is easier to go “downhill” than “uphill.”
Determining Difficulty (Cont.)
• For L1 speakers of English
– The impact of language distance and
direction has been quantified using
“average time-to-proficiency” results at the
Defense Language Institute (DLI).
– At DLI, students of Korean take on average
three times as long to acquire Level 2
(Advanced) proficiency as do students of
Spanish.
Average Instructional Time
for 80% of DLI Students to Reach Level 2
• Category I (Romance and
Scandinavian languages)
– 25 weeks
– 750 classroom hours
• Category II (Germanic and some Asian
languages)
– 32 weeks
– 960 classroom hours
Average Instructional Time
for 80% of DLI Students to Reach Level 2
• Category III (Slavic and some Asian
languages.)
– 47 weeks
– 1,410 classroom hours
• Category IV (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese,
and Korean)
– 75 weeks (Current length is 63 weeks)
– 2,250 classroom hours (Currently 1,890
hours)
For Example: English and Korean
• Word order
– English:
• subject / verb / object
– Korean:
• subject / object / verb
For Example: English and Korean
• Gender and plurals
– English:
• Gender for animate and some inanimate objects
• Plurals for most nouns
– Korean:
• No gender
• No plurals
For Example: English and Korean
• Implied subjects
– English:
• Generally only found in commands.
– Korean:
• Subject must be identified from the context.
• Context is often established in a separate topic
sentence.
• Honorifics are often the clue needed to identify the
intended subject.
For Example: English and Korean
• Morphology
• English:
– Distributive grammar.
– Simple, redundant grammatical forms.
• Korean:
– Complex grammatical forms, for instance:
» Subjects marked by 2 different particles
» Each subject marker has 2 phonetic variants
» Objects are also marked.
» The object marker also has two phonetic variants.
For Example: English and Korean
• Tenses
• English:
– Past, present, and future verb forms.
• Korean:
– Past and present tenses.
– A tentative state or condition rather than a future
tense.
How Proficient are Today’s Foreign
Language Majors?
• Results of Oral Proficiency Testing
• Official ACTFL OPI’s administered to
foreign language majors
• Tests were conducted face-to-face and
telephonically
• Double rated and certified results
provided by the ACTFL Testing Office
About the ACTFL Study
• 501 Undergraduates
– Five Liberal Arts Colleges
– Juniors and Seniors
– Foreign language majors
• Data gathered over five years
– 1998-2002
• Six languages
– Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese,
Russian
A Look at FL Majors’ Oral Proficiency
ACTFL Rating
Number of
Students
% of total
Cumulative %
Superior
12
2%
2%
Advanced High
24
5%
7%
Advanced Mid
95
19%
26%
Advanced Low
105
21%
47%
Intermediate High
175
35%
82%
Intermediate Mid
86
17%
99%
Intermediate Low
4
1%
100%
Novice High
0
100%
Novice Mid
0
100%
Novice Low
0
100%
Total
501
100%
Percentage of FL Majors Who
Would Qualify for the Following
Positions
Diplomat - Superior (ILR 4)
Business Executive - Superior
Court Interpreter - Advanced High
2%
7%
Customer Service Rep - Advanced Mid
Social Worker – Advanced Mid
26%
26%
K-12 Teacher - Advanced Low
47%
Receptionist – Intermediate High
Tour Guide – Intermediate Mid
82%
99%
Percentage of BYU Students with Extended
In-Country Experience Who Would
Qualify for the Following Positions
Diplomat – Superior (ILR 4)
0%
Business Executive – Superior (ILR 3)
8%
Court Interpreter – Advanced High (ILR 2+)
40%
Service Rep / Social worker – Adv. Mid (ILR 2)
88%
K-12 Teacher – Advanced Low (ILR 2)
93%
Receptionist – Intermediate High (ILR 1+)
100%
Tour Guide – Intermediate Mid (ILR 1)
100%
The Teacher
Professional Disciplines
Have Levels of Expertise
• Apprentice
• Journeyman
• Master
Professional Teachers’ Abilities
• Apprentice teachers
– Know what to teach.
• Journeyman teachers
– Know what to teach and how to teach.
• Master teachers
– Know what to teach, when to teach what, how to
teach, and why.
– Also know what they don’t know and are
continuously learning.
A Common Model
Used by Apprentice Teachers
1.Analysts
list high
frequency
language
tasks.
The real
language
2. Textbook writers
include the most
important items
in a textbook.
3. Teachers
present the
textbook.
4. Students
demonstrate
their mastery
of sample
items drawn
from the
textbook.
Textbook
Teaching
Test
The Education Model
Used by Master Teachers
1. Language Needs
Assessments define
the Real-world
Instructional
Real-world Instructional
Domains.
Domains: cognitive
understanding,
psychomotor skills, and
affective insights.
2b.Test developers use a
sample of the real-world
domain areas to create
proficiency tests that are
independent of the
textbook.
Test
Textbook
Teacher
Students
2a.Course developers sample
from the real-world domain areas
to create a textbook.
3. Teachers adapt text materials to
learners’ abilities, diagnose
learning difficulties, adjust
activities and add supplemental
materials to help students apply
new knowledge and skills first in
constrained achievement and
performance areas, and then in
real-world settings.
4. Students practice, expand, and
then demonstrate their
unrehearsed extemporaneous
abilities across a broad range
of real-world settings that are
not in the textbook.
Instructional Methods
• The adequacy of instructional methods
can be judged against four criteria.
– The instructional activities/tasks used.
– Whether those activities progress from the
current level of the learner to the level
targeted as a learning outcome.
– The effectiveness of the feedback provided
the learner
Summary
• Non-mandatory language classes have the same
challenges as regular language classes – but for these
classes all of the challenges are likely to all be present all
of the time.
• If equivalent results are expected for “difficult languages,”
the length of course sequences in those languages
should reflect the relative difficulty of the language being
taught.
• Because these course are often taught by part-time
faculty (without the benefit of a standard curriculum and
teacher development programs), assessing students’
learning against course goals (and as appropriate against
common proficiency standards) should be an essential
part of every course’s quality control and improvement
procedures.
Descargar

Non-Mandatory Language Classes and Seat Time