A. Louise Cole

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Collaborative learning, Foreign language learning, Spanish language learning, L2 learning, HIPS, High impact practices, Student success


Second Annual University of Arkansas Teaching and Learning Symposium: Sharing Teaching Ideas

Collaborative learning requires students to actively engage with others, typically fellow students, to achieve a common goal (Nokes-Malach et al, 2015). The form of this collaboration may vary from prescriptive, teacher-facilitated activities to more open-ended and reflective projects. Within the L2 classroom, students work toward language proficiency. The current World-Readiness Standards for Language Learners evaluate linguistic abilities in speaking, listening, reading, and writing but also require that students develop cultural competencies and understanding. In this vein, Oxford posits that within a collaborative learning framework, the notion of community should be extended beyond the language-learning classroom to include the community of those who speak the target language: “L2 learning can be a global adventure that involves learning about, understanding, and (at least to some extent) identifying with another culture in which people use a different language, possibly in a completely different part of the world” (1997, p. 449). Collaborative learning assignments within the L2 classroom can be used to help students develop both linguistic proficiency in the target language and cultural competencies.