Senior Project Advisor
Spanish, Linguistics, Pronunciation, Teaching, Pedagogy, Second Language Acquisition, Phonology
Students in the language classroom often face a variety of challenges inherent to the process of learning a second language as an adult. These range from lack of sufficient motivation to structurally uninspired curriculum and are often amplified in the case of a drastic shift in environment. Such a shift took place rapidly over the course of 2020, transforming thousands of classrooms into virtual versions of themselves in a matter of weeks. Students began to receive vastly different quantities and types of language input and interacted with the language in substantially affected ways. Factors that previously played a large role in classroom success, like student confidence and willingness to communicate, became almost impossible to effectively address, especially in the face of a huge lack of resources for educators. To attempt to address the variety of challenges wrought by the pandemic, I surveyed high school teachers on the changes in experience created by the shift to online learning and used their input to create a lesson concerned primarily with explicit pronunciation concepts. I then observed a high school AP Spanish class over the course of six weeks and delivered this lesson virtually. The content communicated in the lesson was inspired by the work I had completed as part of a previous research team at Western, that investigated the effectiveness of explicit pronunciation instruction in the intermediate college-level Spanish classroom.
vanWoerden, Brahm, "(Not) Speaking Spanish: Explicit Pronunciation Instruction in the Online High School Classroom" (2021). WWU Honors Program Senior Projects. 497.
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