Research Talk Title: The Normalization of Physical Language Learning Spaces
Our preschooler programs are open to children ages 3-6 and introduce children to the target language and culture in a playful way. By speaking in the target language throughout the entire class, the children are immersed in the language and become familiarized with the sounds of the language while learning to say simple phrases. The focus of the class is on listening and speaking, supported by visual cues.
Multiple-program/child discounts are available (10%). To qualify, registrations must be on the same transaction. Classes will be cancelled if fewer than 5 students enroll. All classes meet in Wells Hall.
French meets on Mondays from 5-6 pm, starting January 22 and running for 10 weeks through April 16, 2018. There will be no class meetings during MSU’s Spring Break (March 5-9) and area schools’ Spring Breaks (March 26 – April 6).
Our kids programs are open to children ages 6-12 and are designed to provide a fun learning environment that focuses on playful interactions in the target language. It will sensitize children to language learning, help them acquire an awareness and appreciation of other cultures, enhance their understanding of the native language, and hopefully motivate them to pursue language study. Our goals are to introduce the children to different facets of the target language and culture, expand their existing knowledge, and increase their abilities in speaking and listening while incorporating some reading and writing in the target language. We emphasize functional language use and cultural awareness. Our small class sizes allow us to work more closely with your children, differentiate instruction, and maximize learning outcomes. Concurrent sections to accommodate different levels are offered for most languages.
French meets on Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30 pm, starting January 23 and running for 10 weeks through April 17, 2018. There will be no class meetings during MSU’s Spring Break (March 5-9) and area schools’ Spring Breaks (March 26 – April 6).
Research Talk Title: The Acquisition of Spanish as a Heritage Language during Childhood: Reconciling Formal and Pedagogical Theorizing
The first part of this talk discusses the acquisition of grammatical gender and N/ADJ word order in Spanish-English bilingual children. A picture-naming task revealed overextension of the masculine form and high levels of ungrammatical word order strings. There were no significant differences by age with gender concord or N/ADJ word order. I argue that the differences found stem from a re-assembly of gender features leading to both morphological and syntactic variability. This approach conceptualizes heritage language variation along the lines of current linguistic theorizing regarding the role of innate linguistic principles and language experience. The second part of the talk discusses the role of literacy instruction in the development of reading and writing skills in young Spanish heritage children (K-4). Measures included phonological awareness, receptive vocabulary knowledge, word reading accuracy and fluency. Results showed significant gains for the treatment group across all measures. Contextualized and explicit instruction on word reading and decoding, as well as oral language and vocabulary knowledge, helped the children develop literacy skills in their L1. The study provides strong evidence towards validating the efficacy of service-learning/engagement programs aimed at facilitating early child bilingual development.