Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

6-2014

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

David Hargreaves

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks

Abstract

Fostering communicative competence goes far beyond throwing students into conversation groups. A communicative approach to language teaching involves using authentic language from the very beginning of instruction, presenting real or at least plausible language tasks, and focusing on use of language not on specific grammatical function. What this tends to mean for a classroom is much less time spent on explicit grammar instruction and more time spent on students “getting their hands dirty” and exploring the language for themselves. For all the shifting away from constant grammar lessons in second language teaching, there is still a time when some of the fine inner workings of grammar must be explained. This type of grammar instruction requires that teachers and students engage in “metalanguage,” the vernacular or language used to talk about language. This is where my project fits into the scheme of second language Spanish instruction.

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