ERIC Number: ED342254
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
On Organizing a Learner-Centered Advanced Conversation Course.
The dilemma for instructors of advanced second language conversation courses is how to create a situation in which learners feel confident and at ease but, at the same time, feel engaged and challenged. syllabus can be designed to accommodate learner needs and preferences by allowing students to generate their own overall course goals and individual lesson goals, incorporating contract grading, and having students decide the order in which chapters are studied. Individual units can also be structured to promote advanced learning and maintain student interest. Using the text as a basis for general organization, the teacher can enhance content with authentic materials such as newspapers, journal articles, and videotapes. Class size helps determine activity group size and quantity of instructor feedback. Toward the end of a chapter or unit, students or small groups can be asked to find and prepare materials for class presentation and discussion. In advanced courses, student ratings on standard proficiency guidelines may not rise rapidly, so evaluation of progress can be made more effective by contracting with students for specified improvements in performance. Evaluations should be frequent and non-threatening, approximately half formal and half informal. Further research and development of strategies for advanced conversation courses is needed. (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the "Bridging Theory and Practice in the Foreign Language Classroom" Conference (Baltimore, MD, October 18-20, 1991).