This session reports on a project that addressed the plateau students demonstrate in speaking development during the third year of language study, as confirmed by four years of large-scale proficiency testing. By incorporating activities that elicit extended discourse in upper-level Arabic, German, and Spanish courses, our project addressed the question: How can students continue to improve their FL speaking proficiency after reaching the intermediate level? We first provide an overview of the design and implementation of techniques (e.g., collaborative dialogues, presentational exercises, jigsaw activities, and role plays) designed for upper-level content courses. We then describe the activities and explain how they fit within the course and program curriculum and discuss outcomes as the instructors and students perceived them. We conclude by addressing the benefits and challenges of providing student feedback, considering both a focus on form and on meaning.
Emily Groepper, Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Alex Korte, Emily Sumner (University of Minnesota)
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