Module 5: Final Project
Introduction: Learning Goals and Objectives
Throughout the course of this module, you will display the knowledge and abilities you have obtained regarding the successful integration of dialectal variation within the Spanish as a foreign language classroom.
Upon the successful completion of all the corresponding assignments for this particular module, you will be able to:
- Explain how dialectal variation impacts heritage speakers of Spanish.
- Describe what strategies and pedagogical tools can be employed to address dialectal variation in the Spanish as a foreign language classroom.
- Create a mini-lesson that integrates aspects of dialectal variation into your curriculum.
- Complete final assessment and reflection on what you have learned from completing this mini-course.
Project-Based Learning as a Method to Dialectal Variation Instruction
What is project-based learning?
According to the Chapter titled “Project-Based Learning” by Krajcik & Blumenfeld (2006), lack of student engagement and student boredom has been a research topic of inquiry for educational researchers for many decades, and learning sciences have sought to discover the best solutions to address a lack of student engagement with classroom learning. Learning scientists examine the “cognitive structure” that underlines greater conceptual comprehension through recognizing the principles that facilitate learning and demonstrating that many formal schooling environments do not teach for deeper understanding or knowledge, but only superficial knowledge (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006, p. 317). Project-based learning was developed as a result of learning science research in order to enhance student motivation and engagement by facilitating deeper comprehension of the concepts and ideas taught in the classroom (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006). Project-based learning entails that students are active participants in the learning process and they are permitted to learn through “doing and applying ideas” (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006, p. 317). Through project-based learning, students are able to participate in learning exercises that mirror real-world activities that experts or professional adults would participate in within real-world contexts (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006, p. 317).
Moreover, the five most important components of project-based learning consist of: driving questions, situated inquiry, collaboration, learning technologies, and artifacts (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006, p. 321). Krajcik and Blumenfeld (2006) also expound that the best driving questions should “(1) feasible in that students can design and perform investigations to answer the question; (2) worthwhile in that they contain rich science content that aligns with national or district standards and relates to what scientists really do; (3) contextualized in that they are real world, nontrivial, and important; (4) meaningful in that they are interesting and exciting to learners; (5) ethical in that they do no harm to individuals, organisms or the environment” (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006, p. 321).
According to the Chapter titled “How Can We Teach For Meaningful Learning” by Darling-Hammond, et al. (2008) from the book Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding, various researchers and organizations have discovered that there is a need for learning to facilitate twenty-first century skill acquisition through learning that will aid students in acquiring the skills of “inquiry, application, production, and problem solving” by intertwining knowledge and comprehension to real-life contexts (Darling-Hammond et al., 2008, p. 11). Various research studies have discovered positive effects on “student learning of instruction, curriculum, and assessment practices” in which students are required to create and organize the information learned, discover alternatives, participate in active application of procedures that are vital components of the discipline, including “scientific inquiry, historical research, literary analysis, or the writing process”, as well as enabling students to develop the ability to efficiently communicate to audiences outside of the schooling environment (Darling-Hammond et al., 2008, p. 12).
Project-based learning is part of the family of “inquiry-based” approaches, which also includes problem-based learning as well as design-based learning. Darling-Hammond et al. (2008) reaffirm that one vital component of project-based learning is collaborative group activities through the means of “small group inquiry approaches” which in order to be performed efficiently, must be guided through carefully thought out curriculum that contains clear and well-defined learning objectives, clearly defined scaffolds, continuous assessment, and vast informational resources (Darling-Hammond et al., 2008, p. 13) Assessment is also a vital component of project-based learning, in order for educators to continually assess the effectiveness of learning.
Read through the main points of the following chapter on project-based learning in Spanish language instruction.
[Read] Pache-Durán, M., Pérez-Calderón, E., & Galindo-Manrique, A. F. (2020). Project-Based Learning: An Assessment From the Perspective of the Spanish University Teacher. In Learning Styles and Strategies for Management Students (pp. 161-178). IGI Global.
Project-Based Learning Reflection Activity
Summarize what you have learned about project-based learning in the table below. What are three new pieces of information you have learned about project-based learning. What do you find interesting about project-based learning. What would you like to learn more about project-based learning?
Can you think of any ways you can merge the ideas of project-based learning into dialectal variation instruction in your classroom? Record your answers in a Word Document.
[Read] Read at least one chapter of the book The sound of silence: Spanish heritage textbooks' treatment of language variation as well as the article: “Stigmatized Spanish inside the classroom and out: A model of language teaching to heritage speakers” regarding the impact of teaching dialectal variation to Spanish language learners classified as Heritage Speakers. Once you are finished, answer the reflection questions below.
- Ducar, C. (2009). The sound of silence: Spanish heritage textbooks' treatment of language variation. The Sound of Silence: Spanish Heritage Textbooks' Treatment of Language Variation, 347-367.
- Parodi, C. (2017). Stigmatized Spanish inside the classroom and out: A model of language teaching to heritage speakers. In Heritage language education (pp. 199-214). Routledge.
- How are heritage speakers impacted by exposure to dialectal variation?
- What are the benefits of exposing dialectal variation to mixed L2 and heritage speaker classes?
- How can biases regarding specific dialects of Spanish be addressed when instructing Spanish language learners classified as heritage speakers?
Submit your answers here in the Google Forum.
Pedagogical Strategies and Tools for the Instruction of Dialectal Variation
Which pedagogical strategies and tools support the instruction of dialectal variation?
Watch the following video and then complete the following chart / table to record your answers to the reflection questions.
- What texts can you think of that would best support dialectal variation instruction? Search for any supporting materials on the internet.
- What music can be employed in the classroom to support dialectal variation instruction? Search for any supporting materials on the internet.
- What types of listening activities and videos can be utilized to support dialectal variation instruction? Search for any supporting materials on the internet.
- What ideas did you gain from the video to integrate project-based learning into your instruction of dialectal variation in Spanish? Describe how you can incorporate these ideas into your instruction.
Using what you have learned from the information provided in this lesson as well as the outline for the lesson plan you created in Module 4, create a mini-lesson that includes aspects of project-based learning that will incorporate exposure to dialectal variation for your students. Think about your answers to the reflection questions throughout the duration of this mini-course to guide your creation of this mini-lesson.
Make sure to include:
- Clear and concise learning objectives to guide the lesson.
- Relevant activities and tasks that mirror real-life scenarios and applications.
- Guiding questions for students to reflect on that will also aid to assess student progress throughout the duration of the lesson.
- A final formative assessment to assess what knowledge students have acquired by the end of the lesson.
Assessment: Final Reflection
Describe your experience completing this mini-course and the most valuable concepts you learned that will help you to provide more inclusive and diverse Spanish language instruction. Record your ideas in the google forum below.
Ducar, C. (2009). The sound of silence: Spanish heritage textbooks' treatment of language variation. The Sound of Silence: Spanish Heritage Textbooks' Treatment of Language Variation, 347-367.
Pache-Durán, M., Pérez-Calderón, E., & Galindo-Manrique, A. F. (2020). Project-Based Learning: An Assessment From the Perspective of the Spanish University Teacher. In Learning Styles and Strategies for Management Students (pp. 161-178). IGI Global.
Parodi, C. (2017). Stigmatized Spanish inside the classroom and out: A model of language teaching to heritage speakers. In Heritage language education (pp. 199-214). Routledge.