About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2549-2558
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0722

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

BUILDING SECOND LANGUAGE ORAL PROFICIENCY USING COMMUNICATIVE COHORTS

S. Hord, I. Myers, C. Stanley

Roanoke College (UNITED STATES)
We are a small liberal arts college where students are required to study a modern language or demonstrate competency through the 201 (intermediate) level. While the majority of the incoming students who enroll in Spanish courses arrive with previous knowledge of the language, a large percentage need to complete at least one course at the college to attain the required competency. Students working to complete their language requirement often struggle with oral and written communication skills, arriving with a variety of ability levels in the target language. To address these diverse learning needs, the Modern Languages faculty has developed a multi-faceted approach aimed at enhancing writing and oral production skills. The methodology employed emphasizes ACTFL’s 5 Cs: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. For each theme-based chapter, students complete communicative tasks which are designed to move students’ oral proficiency from a novice level to an intermediate low/mid level as per the current ACTFL guidelines. These tasks, called “cohort” activities, begin at the 101 (beginner) level, and continue through the 102 and 201 levels. To facilitate language personalization and differentiated instruction, students select their speaking and writing activities from a bank of prompts. Examples of prompt format include Menu Choice Boards, Tic-Tac-Toe Boards, and RAFTs (role, audience, format, topic). For speaking activities, students work in pairs or small groups. Learners of differing abilities successfully collaborate while making individual strides toward bolstering proficiency. Throughout the course of the cohort experience, learners gain confidence in their speaking abilities, which in turn boosts their output and increases their communicative ability, as they are given the space to practice and explore with the language in a low-stake setting. Cohort writing activities are completed individually, although there is a student cohort leader in the classroom tasked with providing both thematic and grammatical guidance. These student cohort leaders are also peer-tutors with whom the students can schedule tutoring appointments outside of class time for additional tutoring assistance. Having developed a positive relationship within the classroom, students are more likely to schedule appointments with the peer tutors, providing further opportunity for practice and improvement on the journey to proficiency. At our college, cohort activities have provided an expedient vehicle by which students progress along the path towards proficiency.
@InProceedings{HORD2017BUI,
author = {Hord, S. and Myers, I. and Stanley, C.},
title = {BUILDING SECOND LANGUAGE ORAL PROFICIENCY USING COMMUNICATIVE COHORTS},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0722},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0722},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {2549-2558}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Hord AU - I. Myers AU - C. Stanley
TI - BUILDING SECOND LANGUAGE ORAL PROFICIENCY USING COMMUNICATIVE COHORTS
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0722
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 2549
EP - 2558
ER -
S. Hord, I. Myers, C. Stanley (2017) BUILDING SECOND LANGUAGE ORAL PROFICIENCY USING COMMUNICATIVE COHORTS, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 2549-2558.
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