Trying to Reach More Children: Videoconferencing in the Spanish Foreign Language Elementary School Classroom
Abbreviated Journal Title
Hispania-J. Devoted Teach. Span. Port.
classroom interaction; distance learning; early language production; Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES); videoconferencing; Linguistics; Language & Linguistics; Literature, Romance
Given the need to expand the offering of language classes to all elementary students, elementary schools have looked for innovative ways to teach young learners one or more languages while mitigating the costs. This study analyzed a Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES) program in an inner-city elementary school in the Southeastern United States that was designed to help underserved students experience the benefits of early language learning. This article describes a yearlong case study of a fifth-grade class participating in the technology-enhanced Spanish instructional program, comparing student and teacher language behavior in each context. The FLES program offered daily Spanish instruction through videoconferencing, videotaped lessons, and an on-site teacher. Although student language production and student-to-student interaction were minimal in all three contexts, student interviews showed other benefits of early Spanish study, including enthusiasm for learning other languages and experiencing other cultures, a feeling of success in second language study, and increased awareness and knowledge about and appreciation of the Spanish-speaking world. This article concludes by offering suggestions for further research and the development of FLES programs, especially in areas where it is difficult to have a full-time language teacher.
Hispania-a Journal Devoted to the Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese
"Trying to Reach More Children: Videoconferencing in the Spanish Foreign Language Elementary School Classroom" (2015). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 6828.