Exploring foreign language (Spanish) teaching best practice in online delivery of the Reading Comprehension and Writing Module at the UWI, St. Augustine

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Title: Exploring foreign language (Spanish) teaching best practice in online delivery of the Reading Comprehension and Writing Module at the UWI, St. Augustine
Author: Arrieta Castillo, Carolina; Corredor Sánchez, Suly; Palma Rojas, Paola; Roberts, Nicole
Abstract: Reading Comprehension and Writing are skills that are taught as one of three modules in the Spanish Level 1 degree programme at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine. Historically, this language course has been taught as face-to-face. At UWI, the Spanish Section decided that we could no longer ignore the extensive changes to literacy taking place in a digital world of information and communication. Moreover, we felt that we had precious little research on which we could fall back, both to inform our understanding of the use of online modalities in foreign language teaching as well as to theorise on the impact of online delivery on foreign language courses. After an impact and assessment study in 2013, the Spanish Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics decided to begin teaching this two-hour module of the course SPAN 1001 - Spanish Language IA in the online mode in the 2014-2015 academic year. This paper seeks to provide an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual mode of delivery through a reflection on one semester's work in the programme. It examines the format used and the perceptions of both students and lecturers with respect to workload, motivation, and flexibility. Among its recommendations, the paper suggests that this online module is necessary both for increasing the technological literacy of students in the Spanish programme and for raising the level of competitiveness of students of Spanish graduating from the UWI.
Description: Paper presented at the Regional Conference on Institutionalising Best Practice in Higher Education, UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, 24-26 June, 2015.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2139/40089
Date: 2015-07-15


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