At present I am completing my first year in the Doctoral Program in Spanish in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University. My goal is to specialize in the area of Second Language (L2) Acquisition within the field of Applied Linguistics, with a focus on classroom-based instruction and teacher education. My objective is to investigate the effectiveness of research-based classroom practices in the development of student’s performance and proficiency
Even though there exists a plethora of studies that have examined the role that output-based methodologies (such as the communicative approach) plays in instructed L2 acquisition, very few have looked at new, innovative literacy-based teaching practices such as Learning by Design (Kalantzis & Cope, 2015) and assessment approaches such as Integrated Performance Assessment (Adair-Huck et al., 2013). These two methodologies are becoming more and more important in the field of L2 pedagogy because they have provided us with a theoretically-sound, standards-based practical way to develop and assess L2 learners’ performance, and to measure their success in achieving the Communication Goal outcomes delineated in ACTFL’s World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (The National Standards Collaborative Board, 2015).
Through my doctoral work, I seek to investigate the connection between these two research-informed practices and assessment approaches by examining their implementation in intermediate mid and intermediate high L2 Spanish university classes at Texas A&M. My goal is to focus on university students’ performance development in the three modes of communication—interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational—after being exposed to teaching based on the tenets of Learning by Design and Integrated Performance Assessment. I also plan to concentrate on factors connected to classroom dynamics, such as the way in which teachers perceive and implement pedagogical materials and what impact these can have on learner success.