LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY TO FACILITATE COMMUNITY-BASED LANGUAGE LEARNING
Marist College (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Over a decade ago, the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) first published national standards for the teaching of foreign languages. Known as the World Readiness Standards (WRS), they have informed foreign language instruction and impacted language-learning pedagogy and content. Developed around the “5 Cs,” namely Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities, they provide a dynamic and comprehensive foundation for language instruction. Despite their importance and relevance for informing instruction, their implementation sometimes poses challenges for educators. Specifically, a survey conducted by ACTFL in 2011 revealed that many foreign language educators report struggling with the implementation of the Communities standard in their instruction. This standard aims to promote contact with native speakers and their communities, as well as to inspire lifelong language learning. However, educators cite lack of availability to these communities, time and resource constraints, and the inability to assess students’ progress of the standard, among others. Only two educators discussed the use of the Internet to connect students with communities, a viable path for those unable to bring students directly into communities at home or abroad. In light of the importance and benefits of this standard, the current work puts forth an evidence-based model to implementing the standard into foreign language classrooms. After a review of the literature, the paper suggests a technology-based template for educators to incorporate the Communities standard into their instruction despite the logistical obstacles of their immediate environment. Leveraging technology to bridge the gap between the classroom and community, teachers can implement a project-based learning experience that engages learners with a target language communities’ perceived or actual needs.
Keywords: Technology, language learning, CALL, computer-assisted language learning.