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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Fall 2008

SPN 398T • Theory and Practice of Second Language Teaching

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48360 TH
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students in Spanish and Portuguese with theoretical and practical knowledge about second language teaching. The objectives are: (1) To acquire a critical, reflective attitude with respect to one's own teaching (2) To obtain a general understanding of language teaching at the college level (3) To become familiar with some second language acquisition approaches (4) To create a teaching portfolio for future professional development Throughout the course, students will engage in a range of theoretical, pedagogical, and reflective activities through a combination of readings, lectures, group discussions, and teaching activities that will enable them to: (1) Assess the knowledge and beliefs that they hold regarding languages, language learning, and language teaching and how such knowledge and beliefs influence and shape their classroom practices (2) Develop appropriate materials for the L2 classroom (3) Collaborate with other teachers and engage in activities such as observations, interviews, and action research (4) Actively reflect upon their development as teaching professionals

Grading Policy

15%: Homework assignments. 5%: Discussion leader of one assigned reading. 30%: Three in-class exams. 30%: Three pedagogical activities encompassing all skills. 20%: Teaching Portfolio: (a) a 1-2 page philosophy of teaching statement, (b) a 2 to 4-page model lesson plan, (c) a 2-3 page critique of pedagogical activities of different skills, and (d) a 3-page report with a critical analysis of your response to feedback received from peers/instructor.


Required readings: Jacobs, G. M., & Small, J. (2003). Combining dictogloss and cooperative learning to promote language learning. The Reading Matrix, 3(1): Larsen-Freeman, D. (2003). Teaching language: From grammar to grammaring. Boston: Thomson/Heinle. Richards, J. (1995). The Language Teaching Matrix. New York: Cambridge University Press. Willis, J. (1996). A Framework for Task-Based Learning. Edinburgh, UK: Longman.


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