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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Effectively Teaching A Second Language: Principles And Practices, Alexander Gatica May 2017

Effectively Teaching A Second Language: Principles And Practices, Alexander Gatica

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

This portfolio is the amalgamation of the author’s research and experience during his time in the Master of Second Language Teaching program. The first section contains the Teaching Philosophy, which centers on applying effective teaching methods, increasing learner motivation, and incorporating technology into the classroom. The next section consists of three artifacts in which the author further investigates specific aspects of language teaching. The language paper focuses on the effect that identity has on motivation to learn a language. The literacy paper discusses how to increase vocabulary acquisition via a mobile-assisted language learning application called Duolingo. The culture paper ...


Open Educational Resources In The United States: Insights From University Foreign Language Directors, Joshua J. Thoms, Becky L. Thoms Aug 2014

Open Educational Resources In The United States: Insights From University Foreign Language Directors, Joshua J. Thoms, Becky L. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This study reports the results of a survey completed by 155 university foreign language (FL) directors in the United States (US) during Fall 2012. Survey respondents come from a variety of institutions and direct a range of FL programs. The objectives of the study are to (a) determine what FL directors know about open educational resources (OER), (b) understand respondents’ perceived benefits and challenges of using OER, and (c) determine what resources and support are critical to establish or expand the use of OER in FL courses in the US. Results indicate that while 66% of FL directors do not ...


The Future Tense In Spanish L2 Textbooks, Rafael Orozco, Joshua J. Thoms May 2014

The Future Tense In Spanish L2 Textbooks, Rafael Orozco, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This paper revisits the treatment of the expression of futurity in Spanish foreign language (FL) textbooks. We analyzed twenty college-level Spanish FL textbooks to determine and quantify how futurity is represented. Variationist research has shown the periphrastic future (PF) to be the most frequent variant of futurity followed by the simple present (SP) and the morphological future (MF). Our findings reveal that, despite over two decades of communicative language teaching, Spanish FL textbooks still do not completely present the reality of the expression of futurity. Introductory texts present all three variants of futurity. However, there is a dramatic difference in ...


An Ecological View Of Whole-Class Discussions In A Second Language Literature Classroom: Teacher Reformulations As Affordances For Learning, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2014

An Ecological View Of Whole-Class Discussions In A Second Language Literature Classroom: Teacher Reformulations As Affordances For Learning, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This article analyzes whole-class discussions between a teacher and her students in a Latin American Colonial literature course at the college level. The study is theoretical–exploratory in nature in that it (a) articulates theoretical assumptions inherent in an ecological perspective on second language learning and teaching, and (b) attempts to operationalize the affordance construct (van Lier, 2000, 2004) in the context of a second language (L2) literature classroom. The study’s findings underscore the importance of teacher reformulations when engaging students in whole-class discussions, as well as students’ engagement with and awareness of the unfolding talk. Furthermore, how the ...


Hybrid Language Teaching And Learning: Looking Forward, Fernando Rubio, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2013

Hybrid Language Teaching And Learning: Looking Forward, Fernando Rubio, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This introductory chapter discusses the current state of affairs in hybrid or blended second language teaching and emphasizes the main issues that need to be taken into account when starting or maintaining a hybrid foreign language (FL) course. After providing a summary of the content of the different sections of our co-edited volume ('Hybrid language teaching and learning: Exploring theoretical, pedagogical, and curricular issues'), the chapter closes with our view of how blended language teaching and learning will continue to evolve and contribute to the ever-changing landscape of FL education.


Analyzing Linguistic Outcomes Of L2 Learners: Hybrid Vs. Traditional Course Contexts, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2013

Analyzing Linguistic Outcomes Of L2 Learners: Hybrid Vs. Traditional Course Contexts, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This chapter reports on a small-scale empirical study that analyzes the speaking and writing gains of students enrolled in an introductory Spanish language course taught in a traditional, face-to-face context and a second, introductory Spanish language course that was delivered via a hybrid course format. Both were college-level courses taught by the same instructor. The overarching research question investigated in this project is the following: what are the differences in speaking and writing gains of students enrolled in each of the two types of courses over the course of an academic semester? Results indicate that there were no statistically significant ...


Classroom Discourse In Foreign Language Classrooms: A Review Of The Literature, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2012

Classroom Discourse In Foreign Language Classrooms: A Review Of The Literature, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This article reviews studies that have investigated discourse in foreign language (FL) classroom contexts from the perspective of sociocultural theory. Sociocultural theory maintains that language learning and development in a classroom context are intimately tied to the discursive practices by which and through which learners interact with each other and their teacher. Furthermore, the research has shown that teachers play an important role in that the specific types of patterns created in their interactions with students are a fundamental source of learners’ competence in the FL. This review raises additional questions that remain to be addressed in future research that ...


Investigating Foreign Language Graduate Student Instructors’ Perceptions And Use Of Technology In The Classroom, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2011

Investigating Foreign Language Graduate Student Instructors’ Perceptions And Use Of Technology In The Classroom, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

This study investigates how graduate student instructors (GSIs) in several universities across the United States perceive and make use of technology to teach foreign language (FL) courses. Results indicate that while the majority of GSIs receive some kind of training in computer assisted language learning (CALL) upon entering their programs, much of the training focuses on technologies that are not Web 2.0 tools (e.g., wikis, blogs, social networking sites). Specifically, participants indicate that they use PowerPoint, grammatical and lexical websites, and discussion boards most often in teaching. Survey results also suggest that lack of planning time, limited online ...


Researching The (Dis)Connection Between Literary Discussions And Speaking Functions: A Replication With Intermediate Learners, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2011

Researching The (Dis)Connection Between Literary Discussions And Speaking Functions: A Replication With Intermediate Learners, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

Responding to the call for more replication studies in the fields of second language acquisition and applied linguistics (Ortega, 2009; Polio & Gass, 1997), this chapter reports on a conceptual study based on the work of Donato and Brooks (2004). The current study is different in that it analyzes whole-class discussions in Spanish between an instructor and her 19 students in an introductory Spanish literature course (i.e., 5th semester) at the college level. One overarching research question is explored along with two sub-questions: (1) Does an introductory-level literature course for Spanish language learners provide occasions during whole-class discussion for participation in Intermediate-level speaking functions as defined in the ACTFL Speaking Proficiency Guidelines?; (a) How often do students produce turns of more than one sentence while participating in a whole-class discussion?; and (b) Why and when do students produce turns that are more than one sentence? The study sheds light on the role of whole-class discussion on L2 learning in a college- and introductory-level L2 literature course.


Hybrid Language Teaching And Learning: Assessing Pedagogical And Curricular Issues, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2011

Hybrid Language Teaching And Learning: Assessing Pedagogical And Curricular Issues, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

In recent years, several economic factors have led to an increase in the number of hybrid courses offered in foreign language departments at the post-secondary level in the United States (U.S.). Hybrid courses incorporate several technological applications not typically used in a traditional face-to-face course. Hybrid courses combine contact time in a traditional classroom with virtual days, in which students are responsible for working with content on their own or in small groups outside of the classroom. This study reports on student and instructor perceptions of and reactions to a hybrid course piloted in three lower-level Spanish language courses ...


Journal-Based Self-Studies Of L1 English/L2 Spanish Speakers Learning L3 Kichwa In Ecuador And L3 Guaraní In Paraguay, Carol Severino, Joshua J. Thoms Jan 2007

Journal-Based Self-Studies Of L1 English/L2 Spanish Speakers Learning L3 Kichwa In Ecuador And L3 Guaraní In Paraguay, Carol Severino, Joshua J. Thoms

Joshua J. Thoms

Both Carol and Joshua, speakers of L1 English and L2 Spanish, were recently granted opportunities to learn two of the most common indigenous languages in South America–Kichwa and Guaraní. We lived with Spanish-dominant bilingual families who spoke the target language (L3) we were studying. We both kept learning journals recording our language learning progress. After highlighting the tradition of journal-based studies of language learning, and reviewing the perspectives on interaction in second language acquisition, we first describe the contexts for bilingualism in Ecuador and Paraguay. Second, we present data from our journals to illustrate how each of our language ...


The Use Of L1 In An L2 On-Line Chat Activity, Joshua J. Thoms, Jianling Liao, Anja Szustak Jan 2005

The Use Of L1 In An L2 On-Line Chat Activity, Joshua J. Thoms, Jianling Liao, Anja Szustak

Joshua J. Thoms

This study focuses on the use of the native language (L1) by second language (L2) learners when carrying out a collaborative jigsaw task in a computer chat environment. It investigates the extent and function of L1 use by means of a sociocultural theoretical framework. The research project was carried out in three languages: Chinese, German, and Spanish. Students were assigned to dyads at random and were asked to perform a jigsaw task activity. The chat logs were collected and analyzed via descriptive statistics and discourse analysis. The findings suggest that across all three languages, the students used their L1 (English ...