A Structured/Enhanced Input Approach for L1, L2 and Heritage Learners
Project Director: Dr. Ana Carvalho (U Arizona) [In collaboration with the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Description: Building on the language skills of Spanish speakers (native speakers, heritage speakers, FL/SL learners of Spanish), this project focuses upon teaching Portuguese through the early introduction of reading authentic texts. This project provides a rich source of authentic materials for Portuguese teachers and learners through a website offering both classroom tasks and web-based language learning materials online. By using learning tools available on the web, the tasks are designed so as to enhance learners’ exposure to authentic input in the target language and draw learners’ attention to form and how structural aspects of the target language (syntax, vocabulary, pragmatics, and morphology) differ from Spanish. Authentic texts, arranged in thematic units, have been compiled and placed online; it also developed a wide range of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) tasks for learners of Portuguese for this purpose. The texts and other online materials were piloted in language classes at the University of Arizona and a web discussion board was created for learners to react to the readings and reflect on the target language. A workshop was held in 2009 for grade 9-16 teachers to familiarize them with the web-based products, and presentations were given at ACTFL and the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).