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Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton The ab initio teaching experience (…at the U. of Southampton) Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton The ab initio teaching experience (…at the U. of Southampton) Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton The ab initio teaching experience (…at the U. of Southampton) Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills University of Southampton

2 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Our agenda today… The study of Modern Languages in the Higher Education context What does Southampton do in order to fulfil these expectations? Challenges for our ab initio courses in this context Examples of tasks (& assignments) Challenges ahead (your questions)

3 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton The study of Modern Languages in Higher Education

4 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Peter Scott (1989) in Higher Education into the 1990s wrote: “ Knowledge is at the heart of higher education. […] In the context of modern higher education, of course, knowledge must be interpreted in the widest possible sense. It embraces not only the what, the content and methods of particular subjects, but also the why, the larger intellectual and cultural questions they provoke, and the how, their practical application to the solution of personal, social and economic problems” (Scott, 1989, 7)

5 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton The purpose of a Modern Languages (ML) degree “I always say to students: you don’t go to university to learn a language, you go to university to learn about cultures, societies where the language is spoken […] You don’t learn a language on its own, just… because… and in fact, if all they really want to do is to speak terribly good Spanish I actually, I don’t think they should do a degree…” (Head of ML, interviewed)

6 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton What does Southampton do in order to fulfil these expectations?

7 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Learning experiences at Southampton LANGUAGE classes CONTENT classes RESIDENCE abroad INDEPENDENT learning

8 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton THE LANGUAGE COMPONENT & The Stage System at the University of Southampton

9 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton STAGE 1STAGE 2STAGE 3STAGE 4STAGE 5STAGE 6 STAGE 7: Translation

10 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton STAGE 1STAGE 2STAGE 3STAGE 4STAGE 5STAGE 6 STAGE 7: Translation Spanish Accelerated Course (1-2) Required level at exit

11 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton The Spanish Accelerated course is: For students doing a ML degree with a Language component. For students who have studied a language before. 2 “double units” per week (3 ½ contact hours) 7-10 hours of independent study per week = (Roughly) 300 hours total per academic year

12 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Learning experiences with the strongest presence in the design of the ACC course: LANGUAGE CONTENT RESIDENCE abroad INDEPENDENT learning

13 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Challenges for our ab initio courses in this context

14 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Stage 1 – Grading criteria (written work)

15 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Learning experiences with the strongest presence in the design of the ACC course: LANGUAGE CONTENT RESIDENCE abroad INDEPENDENT learning

16 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Example activities of the Spanish ab initio course at Southampton “Before I couldn’t speak or understand a word of Spanish and now I can have a conversation, listen to BBC Mundo and write an interview! It’s so brilliant!” (Course Evaluation forms, )

17 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton

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22 What students think: “I have learnt such a great deal this year, not only linguistically but also in terms of some Hispanic history and culture” “SPAN9007 made the language come alive” “[The tutor] made the point of using interactive resources making the lessons truly enjoyable” “I was quite challenged, but I’ve learnt so much” (Course Evaluation Questionnaires, )

23 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton In summary…

24 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton What we (try very hard to) avoid is: assuming it is the first time students hear/are exposed to Spanish confusing the terms “simple” and “fun” with “simplistic” and “infantile” relying on a textbook for class reinforcing the stereotypical portraits of the target cultures presented in course books

25 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton What we try (very hard) to do is: making the most of our students’ linguistic background building up a dynamic of peer- teaching/support leaving the textbook for students to study at home! pushing all (or most) theories of language teaching/learning that has been written to its limits…

26 Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills, 2009 ©. University of Southampton Any questions? Dr. Patricia Romero de Mills


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