This mixed methods study examines the difference in high school foreign language learners’ acquisition of French oral proficiency skills by types of task. This study also examines the roles of the student learners and the teacher in developing oral proficiency skills during two different types of tasks in the high school foreign language classroom, namely the power of the social interactions between learner groups and between learners and teacher in developing oral proficiency. Over the course of an eight-week unit of study, three participating French 2 classes and one participating French teacher completed a prescribed series of speaking tasks. Class one completed only information gap tasks. Class two completed only dictogloss tasks. Class three alternated each task types every other week. Learner pre- and post-test scores were collected from the World Languages Department’s speaking test for the unit. ANOVA was conducted using the quantitative data collected. While no significant differences were present between classes, qualitative findings indicate that the learners and the teacher have created powerful constructs of learning and that students were able to progress conversational skills across a unit of study. Teacher interviews, classroom observations, and video transcripts display the scaffolding of learning inside the classroom and lend insight to the roles of the learners and the teacher in the development of high school foreign language learner oral proficiency skills. The findings of the study suggest that the tasks, implemented through social interactions in the classroom, and constructed by the teacher’s purposeful design, support foreign language learner oral proficiency development. The manner in which the participating teacher in this study implemented the taught curriculum demonstrates the influence of scaffolding, support systems, and the ability of learners to take ownership over their learning.
|Commitee:||Cohen, James, Wilkins, Elizabeth A.|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|Department:||Curriculum and Instruction|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Foreign language education, Education, Language|
|Keywords:||Foreign language, French, Language learning, Oral proficiency, Second language, Tasks|
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