Presentation on theme: "1 Teaching Heritage language students: Definition, placement, and curriculum development Kimi Kondo-Brown University of Hawaii at Manoa Cornell University."— Presentation transcript:
1 Teaching Heritage language students: Definition, placement, and curriculum development Kimi Kondo-Brown University of Hawaii at Manoa Cornell University Language Resource Center March 5, 2009
2 Context In the last decade, research on teaching heritage language (HL) learners has expanded enormously and encouraged language professionals to work toward responsible curriculum development for this specific type of learners. Behind this movement is a national and global interest in developing new approaches that promote advanced- level competence in non-dominant languages The MLA Ad Hoc Committee on foreign languages advocates for adopting and promoting best practices for heritage-language teaching as one of the national priorities (see the committee’s 2007 report, p.9).
3 Objectives By the end of today’s session, you will be able to… Define and characterize HL students in postsecondary language instruction settings Compare the placement procedures for HL students used in other institutions to those used in your program Describe approaches to designing upper-level courses for HL and non-HL students in a single-track curriculum Many university programs provide special beginning/intermediate level courses for a subgroup of HL students whose spoken and written language skills may be critically unbalanced. At the upper-level, HL and non-HL students are often merged into the same classroom in a single-track system (Kondo-Brown, 2003)
4 Defining and characterizing “heritage language” students
5 Who is a heritage language student? A heritage language is a “language which was first for an individual with respect to the order of acquisition but has not been completely acquired because of the switch to another dominant language” (Polinsky, 2008, p. 149). A heritage language student has acquired competence in a non-dominant language primarily through contact at home with foreign-born parents and/or other care takers (Vald é s, 1995). They may be “transnational” (travels from the home and host countries back and forth) or “”generation 1.5” (foreign-born but immigrated to the host country as a child).
6 Who is a heritage language student? (continued) If a speaker of a non-dominant language has not acquired competence primarily through interaction at home, such an individual may be referred to as a heritage identity student (if the target language is the student’s ancestral language) or a foreign language student. A foreign/international student is a foreign-born student who speaks a non-dominant language as his/her first language.
7 How are HL students different from traditional FL students? Campbell and Rosenthal (2000) Angelelli & Kagan (2002) Kondo (1999)
8 How are HL students different from traditional FL students?: Campbell and Rosenthal’s (2000) observations Comparative estimated distance between “educated native speakers (ENS),” HL, and traditional FL (TFL) speakers [See Material 1, p.1]
9 How are HL students different from traditional FL students? : Angelelli & Kagan’s (2002) observations [See Material 2, p.2] Angelelli & Kagan (2002) compared the language profiles of HL and non-HL learners of Russian and Spanish at the “superior” level and suggested that, regardless of the target language (i.e., Spanish or Russian), certain similarities and differences existed between superior-level HL and non-HL learners.
10 How are HL students different from traditional FL students? : Kondo’s (1999) observations In general, incoming HL speakers of Japanese at UHM can: Sustain casual conversations about a variety of familiar topics comfortably and easily, with native or near-native-like fluency and accuracy Read and write two basic Japanese scripts, namely, Hiragana and Katakana fluently
11 How are HL students different from traditional FL students? : Kondo’s (1999) observations (continued) Produce a variety of Japanese constructions orally and in writing, but have difficulty in describing and analyzing them due to their lack of meta-linguistic awareness, i.e., “explicit consciousness of linguistic form and structure” (Cazden, 1974). They lack in knowledge and skills in giving formal speeches and for academic reading and writing
12 Heritage language learners as a highly heterogeneous group Recent studies that investigate the language behavior of HL and non-HL students, especially those in upper-level university courses, have revealed sizable intra-group differences in the demonstrated knowledge and skills in the target HL (Kanno et al. 2008, Kondo-Brown & Fukuda, 2008, Rubio, 2003).
13 Heritage language learners as a highly heterogeneous group: Contributing factors Diverse L1 backgrounds such as age of immigration/arrival, L1 use at early ages, and parental L1 background Extensive contacts as well as opportunities to use the language Various socio-psychological factors such as attitude, motivation, orientation, identity, and vitality perception Quality and duration of formal instruction received
14 Heritage language learners as a highly heterogeneous group: Kondo-Brown (forthcoming) Distributions of total self-ratings (in percentages) for the HL and non-HL groups [See Material 3, p.3]
15 Heritage language learners as a highly heterogeneous group: Kondo-Brown (forthcoming) (continued) Distributions of self-ratings (in percentages) of the HL and non- HL groups by reading tasks [See Material 3, p.3]
16 Placement of heritage language students: Issues and procedures
17 Placement procedures: A nationwide placement survey of 169 modern FL departments: Brown, Hudson, and Clark (2004) A majority of programs use single or multiple language- placement procedures A majority of programs use locally/internally developed tests and self-ratings although certain commercial or externally developed tests are also widely used (e.g., AP subject test, SAT II subject test, CAPE [BYU], OPI, etc.)
18 Placement procedures: A nationwide placement survey of 169 modern FL departments: Brown, Hudson, and Clark (2004) (continued) The locally/internally developed tests were largely constructed by teachers The receptive skills of reading, writing, and grammatical knowledge are much more commonly assessed than oral skill or “real world” tasks The primary source of test contents were course objectives, course textbooks, authentic materials, etc.
19 Example: Japanese language placement at UHM: Kondo-Brown (2005) Listening comprehension: Formal and informal dialogues of various levels of lexical difficulty and syntactic complexity Grammar knowledge: Syntactic, morphological, and sociolinguistic rules of Japanese. Reading comprehension: Japanese texts of beginning to advanced levels.
20 Example: Japanese language placement at UHM: Kondo-Brown (2005) (continued) The distributions of total placement test scores (in percentages) by group
21 An institutional strategy for encouraging students to take FL courses and do their best in placement exams… “Back-credit policy” at the UHM [See Material 4, p.4] All students with experience in another language other than English (including HL students) may earn “back credits.” Upon completion of a course, if students earn a letter grade of C or better in the course, they will receive between 3-16 back credits.
22 Examples of recent studies on placement exams for university-level heritage language learners Korean: Placement tests for HL learners should assess academic writing skills. A diagnostic OPI is also recommended (Sohn & Shin, 2008) Filipino, Russian, and Thai: Performance-based placement tests (Oral/written) based on ACTFL guidelines have been developed and used (Dolgova, 2008; Takahashi, 2008; Zamar & Robotham, 2008)
23 Examples of recent studies on placement exams for university-level heritage language learners (continued) Filipino & Hindi: The use of self-ratings to create HL student biographical profiles was recommended (Domingo, 2008, Ranjan, 2008). Japanese: Productive performance tests such as essay writing seem to be effective for identifying students with the highest-level overall proficiency (Kondo-Brown, 2004)
24 Examples of recent studies on placement exams for university-level heritage language learners (continued) Spanish: S-CAPE seems to be a popular placement instrument for Spanish programs. Faculty-made exams are additionally given to HL learners (e.g., contextualized paragraph-length cloze test, a composition that requires a formal writing style, etc.) (Fairclough, 2006) Russian: ACTFL OPI guidelines as well as SOPI may be useful for placing Russian HL learners; HL learners of a given level may have better pronunciation, higher fluency, and a wider vocabulary range (Kagan & Friedman, 2003)
25 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 1: Essay writing test The students can choose one of the three prompts which are all descriptive in nature Prompt 1: Asked the students to describe how they like to spend their vacation Prompt 2: Asked them to describe themselves, their background, and their family members Prompt 3: Asked them to describe Hawai‘i to a friend in Japan There were 20 lines below the prompt, and students were asked to write an essay there.
26 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 1: Essay writing test (continued) Kondo-Brown (2004) study 225 incoming students of Japanese at UHM took an essay writing test. The length of the writing samples ranged from one or two lines (one or two sentences) to the entire 20 lines. Each essay was evaluated by 3 judges using an adapted version of Jacob et al.’s (1981) rating profile. Average scores were used as essay test scores. [See Material 5, p.5]
27 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 1: Essay writing test (continued) The distributions of the essay test scores (in percentages) by group (Adapted from Kondo-Brown, 2004, p.15)
28 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 2 : Biographical profiling Biographical filing at UHM [See Material 6, p.6] Background information Self-assessment of language use Self-assessment of language choice Self-assessment of oral performance: Self-perceived speaking ability scales Reliability The reliability estimates for the total scores of three self assessment measures were.790,.817, and.912 respectively – Very good
29 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 2 : Biographical profiling (continued) Tasks used in speaking ability self-rating scales [See Material 6, p.7] Domain 1: Very basic tasks simply requiring the production of isolated words Count to 10 in the language. [Task 1] Say the days of the week. [Task 2] Give the current date (month, day, year). [Task 3] Domain 2: Simple communicative tasks requiring mostly formulaic expressions Introduce myself in social situations, using appropriate greetings. [Task 4] Order a simple meal in a restaurant. [Task 5] Give directions on the street. [Task 6] Domain 3: Narrative tasks requiring more extended speech on personal topics Give simple biographical information about myself. [Task 7] Describe my present job, studies, or other major life activities accurately and in detail. [Task 8] Domain 4: Extended communicative tasks requiring prolonged register-sensitive speech Sustain everyday conversation in casual style Japanese with my Japanese friend. [Task 9] Sustain everyday conversation in very polite style Japanese. [Task 10] Domain 5: Explanatory tasks requiring speech on abstract topics Describe the U.S. educational system in some detail. [Task 11] State and support with examples and reasons of my position. [Task 12]
30 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 2 : Biographical profiling (continued) Self-rating means by task and group (adapted from Kondo- Brown, 2005, p, 572)
32 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 3: Use of prototype interview questions based on ACTFL OPI Brown et al. (1991) developed prototype interview questions based on the ACTFL OPI. [See Material 7, p.8] The questions are already available in five Indo- Pacific languages (Indonesian, Khmer, Tagalog, Thai, & Vietnamese).
33 Placement strategies for HL learners Suggestion 3: Use of prototype interview questions based on ACTFL OPI (continued) The effectiveness of the instruments in these languages as proficiency tests has been validated. It’s possible forms to develop the same interview questions for other language groups and pilot them for placement & exit assessment purposes.
34 Curriculum development for upper-level heritage language and non-HL students in single- track systems
35 Issues and challenges Most university FL programs in the U.S. that host both HL and non-HL students rarely offer multi-track systems Demonstrated and perceived proficiency levels among students in upper-level courses are critically different and that these differences exist not only between HL and non-HL learners but also within each group (Kondo-Brown & Fukuda, 2008, Kondo-Brown, forthcoming).
36 Issues and challenges (continued) Student views on the presence of both HL and non-HL students in the same upper-level class may influence the attitudes and motivations of either type of students in either direction-- negatively or positively (for example, see Lee & Kim, 2007)
37 Suggestions Take into account the diversity in students' previous language learning experiences and current linguistic and cultural knowledge and skills (A principle of learner-centered curriculum, Nunan, 1998) Identify a common goal that meets the language needs of either type of student at this level (e.g., advancing competence in formal, academic register in oral and written discourse to a higher level)
38 Suggestions (continued) To some extent, allow students to be active and responsible for the course of their learning, i.e., have them develop learning outcomes for themselves so that the work is personally relevant to past experiences, present concerns, and future goals (A principle of learner-centered curriculum, Nunan, 1998)
39 Suggestions (continued) Allow students to advance their language competence by integrating particular content with the teaching of language skills. In other words, “(t)he focus for students is on acquiring information via the second language and, in the process, developing their academic language skills” (A principle of content-based instruction, Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 2003, p. 2) * Content-based instruction is recommended by HL educators (e.g., UCLA heritage language resource team)
40 Suggestions (continued) Encourage cooperative Learning, rather than learning based on competition, that may foster positive interdependence between HL and non- HL learners and individual accountability (A principle of cooperating learning, Oxford, 1997) Develop a sense of a learning community and positive perceptions of the community (Booker, 2008)
41 Recommendation: Project-based instruction Encompass principles of content-based instruction and learner-centered curriculum (Beckett, 2006). Can be translated in practice in so many different ways (e.g., degrees of student ownership, purposes, data collection methods, products, classroom interactions, assessment procedures, etc.) (Beckett & Miller, 2006)
42 Recommendation: Project-based instruction (continued) Offer a number of benefits in foreign language learning and teaching (Stoller, 2006) [See Material 8, p.9] Create “purposeful opportunities for language input, language output, and explicit attention to language-related features (e.g., forms, vocabulary, skills, strategies)” (Stoller, 2006, p. 32)
43 Recommendation: Project-based instruction (continued) Work toward mixed-abilities classrooms where both HL and non-HL students are present (e.g., Gabriela Nik, 2008) Provide upper-level students an opportunity to integrate their cumulative language abilities and cultural knowledge through individualized, project-based learning
44 Example: Japanese 493 (Project work in Japanese) [See Material 9, pp. 10-11] Each student is expected to … Commit himself/herself as a responsible member of a learning community where students of Japanese from diverse language backgrounds and life experiences work together. Learn how to conduct and present a survey research project that deals with a specific aspect of Japanese language use, variation, or changes.
45 Example: Japanese 493 (Project work in Japanese) (continued) Aims at advancing competence in the formal, academic register in an oral and written discourse to a higher-level by using the language in carrying out and presenting a research-based project Essentially content-based, but a substantial amount of time will also be spent drawing students’ attention to formal academic expressions and vocabulary to enhance the fluency and accuracy of their academic speech and writing
46 Example: Japanese 493 (Project work in Japanese) (continued) Each student’s contribution should help his/her classmates become more aware of key linguistic, sociolinguistic, and pragmatic issues so that they can use that information in improving their competence in Japanese The products that the students will produce may also be used to showcase their Japanese language abilities for wider audience or different purposes (e.g., be included as part of job/grant/graduate admission applications)
47 Example: Japanese 493 (Project work in Japanese) (continued) The teacher assumes the role of… Student Advisor Language and research expert (on academic discourse and research) Co-evaluator (regular use of self-, peer-, and instructor evaluations) [see Material 10, p. 12]
48 Example: Japanese 493 (Project work in Japanese) (continued) Students’ performance will be evaluated based on their portfolios which include: 10 % Attendance and participation records 10 % Research proposal 20 % Questionnaire construction and data gathering 40 % Ten-page report (that includes the background, reason, purpose, motivation, methodology, results, and conclusions) 10% Self/peer/instruction feedback sheets 10 % Final project presentation using technology
49 Example: Japanese 493 (Project work in Japanese) (continued) Formative and summative evaluation The student work is monitored and evaluated in stages using multiple criterion-referenced evaluation tools and procedures (e.g., teacher evaluations, peer reviews, self-reflections, etc). HL and non-HL students’ proficiency outcome data (e.g. ACTFL OPI standards) as well as their learning experiences are systematically collected and used for future development of the course. Curriculum development Data collection & analyses Theoretical foundation Assessment Implementation
50 Mahalo nui loa! Tahitian dancers at our campus