Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

The Adaptive Approach: A Step Forward

Enrique Porrua, University of North Carolina at Pembroke (United States)

Roxana Renken, New Century International Middle School Fayetteville (United States)


In the previous edition of this Innovation in Language Learning International Conference, we presented an informal paper, based on extensive teaching experience, in which we mostly showed our discomfort with the application of the Communicative Approach to teaching foreign languages under
certain institutional conditions. While the Communicative Approach or approaches, is a widely accepted approach for it is quite successful in many academic environments, private and public, across the World, as applied as rule of thumb doesn’t necessarily represent the best practice for all
educators under all conditions. Very important variables such as students personal and academic interests, internal academic regulations, individual learning styles, or even accessibility to technology, and/or geographical location itself, call for an adaptive approach that takes into account the immerse variety of interests within a single foreign language classroom. During the 2019 Spring academic semester, which runs from January to May, we implemented such adaptive approach at UNCP in four sections of Elementary Spanish --two sections of Elementary I and two of Elementary II, with a maximum enrollment of 20 students each—and at New Century International Middle School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in an attempt to modestly validate our suspicions as applied, exclusively, to our institutions. Staring with the premise that learning a foreign language is a natural skill (as opposed to learning other disciplines) the results have been impressive. Student satisfaction, appreciation, performance, and retention rose very significantly since the very first week of the semester. This presentation will explain what was changed with respect to previous approaches and methodologies, how it changed students’ attitude, and what the academic results were.

Keywords: Foreign Languages, Methodology, Teaching Approaches;

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