Drawing on Community Language Resources to Improve Foreign Language Education (K-12)

    The goal of this project is to capitalize on community language resources in developing programs and products to improve foreign language education (primarily at the high school level). The project will encourage utilization of resources within the less-commonly taught language communities of Hawaiʻi, including Ilokano, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Tongan, and Maori, serving as a model for foreign language education nationwide. The project will have three major components: 1) an NFLRC and Hawaiʻi State Department of Education-sponsored summer course aimed at 8th-12th grade foreign language and other educators. The course will examine the potential for drawing on the linguistic resources present in the school and surrounding community and provide participants with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to develop curriculum which utilizes these resources; 2) a fall course offered in weekend workshop format to assist participants of the summer course in implementing a community language resources curriculum; and 3) formative and summative evaluations of implementation of curriculum, including consultation with teachers and administrators on ways in which to improve and expand the curriculum. Each of these components will result in products (curriculum guides, program models, and evaluation results) for dissemination throughout the U.S.

    • Language awareness workshops. The first phase of the project will be development of a one-session workshop which will be held at state conferences such as the annual conference of the Hawaiian Association of Language Teachers (HALT), state and district teacher conferences organized by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education, and schools. This workshop will inform language teachers about the ways in which they can use community language resources to supplement and enhance in-class learning. The primary audience for this workshop will be middle and high school foreign language teachers. The workshop will also promote the summer and fall courses on utilizing community language resources. The workshop component will result in a handbook, tentatively titled Language Awareness Approaches to Heritage and Foreign Language Instruction, which will be disseminated by the NFLRC to teachers and teacher trainers nationwide who are interested in developing similar programs.
    • Summer course: Drawing on community language resources to improve foreign language education. (Course participants may choose to take only this course or continue with the fall implementation course). This course will provide 8th-12th grade foreign language teachers and other educators with theoretical and practical information about sociolinguistics, ethnography, second language acquisition, and relevant education theory. The course will specifically involve modeling language awareness, student as ethnographer, and foreign & heritage language partnership approaches to language learning. Course participants will learn how to develop curricula utilizing these approaches by engaging in activities based on these approaches throughout the course. The course product will be foreign language projects or curriculum for implementation in their own schools.
    • Academic year course: Implementing community language resources curriculum. During this course, participants will implement their proposed project in the public schools. Class readings and discussions during the implementation course will center around evaluation procedures, implementation problems and possible solutions, and the potential for maintaining and expanding projects. The final project for this course will be a description and evaluation of the project that was carried out. This component will result in a Community Language Resource Manual for teacher trainers and teachers based on the theoretical content of the courses