This presentation shares findings from a mixed-methods research study to document the speaking proficiency gains made by students enrolled in face-to-face (F2F) and online intensive summer programs in one of fourteen “less commonly taught“ languages. The online programs were offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, when F2F instruction was impossible or impractical. Data for the study include (1) pre- and post-program ratings obtained with ACTFL OPIs (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview) ratings from OPIs conducted over five years, and (2) interviews with over 90 students conducted over two summer terms. The study compares the speaking proficiency outcomes of the F2F and online programs, and provides insights into the students’ subjective experiences in the F2F and online intensive learning contexts.
Dianna Murphy is director of the Language Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a center for collaborative initiatives in research, education, advising, and outreach related to the study of human languages. She also co-directs the UW-Madison Russian Flagship Program and serves as a core member of the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition. She is principal investigator of the study, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education International Research and Studies Program and ACTFL on the Speaking Proficiency Outcomes of Face-to-Face and Online U.S. Intensive Postsecondary Summer Programs in lLess and Least Ccommonly tTaught fForeign lLanguages. Her other current research includes a survey-based study on the reasons U.S. undergraduate students are (not) studying languages other than English in a collegiate setting, and a project to document languages (not) represented in U.S. doctoral programs in languages and literatures other than English.
Lidia Gault is a Ph.D. student in second language acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, where she received her Master’s in Education. A certified ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) tester for Russian, Gault has extensive experience teaching Russian at the university level and for the government. Her main research interests include foreign language comprehension, bilingualism, and heritage language acquisition.
Date: Thursday December 7, 2023
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