Classroom preparation for language learning in higher education requires careful planning, as well as special attention to learning resources and environments.
In that regard, high-frequency teaching practice that involves using strategies and activities that encourage constant, repetitive exposure to the target language is highly recommended. This helps students develop fluency and communicative skills more effectively.
The key to high-frequency teaching practice is consistency, along with constant exposure to the language. By providing students with multiple opportunities to listen, speak, read, and write in the target language, instructors will be creating an environment conducive to effective language learning.
In addition, maintaining a communicative focus, rather than focusing solely on grammar rules, can also be beneficial to students’ progress. Here are some strategies and activities that instructors can implement to achieve this goal.
Create an attractive and inviting classroom environment that encourages active participation and interest in the target language. Keep the input in the class at the appropriate level and use visual resources related to the culture of the language being taught so students can benefit from seeing language in context while learning about the culture.
Make sure you have a wide variety of teaching materials that offer all types of learners the opportunity to be part of the process. Use online resources to support students outside the classrooms. When using authentic materials (newspapers, magazines, movies) in the target language, make sure you offer scaffolded activities to support students’ learning.
Technology and Multimedia
Integrate technology in the classroom in order to access multimedia resources and online educational materials that can enrich the learning experience.
In fact, a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, The use of digital technology in foreign language learning, notes that electronic devices have become an integral part of language learning, and their widespread use in education has continued to increase.
“Thus, technology-based learning, as a process of learning through electronic technology, has emerged and substantially enhanced language learning, making it no longer confined only to the traditional school learning environment. It has enormous educational potential both inside and outside the classroom, as it allows learners to easily access various learning materials using different educational platforms, facilitates learners’ exposure to lessons and tutorials from native speakers, and their participation in various online courses,” the article notes.
Create different groups for work zones within the classroom, such as a reading corner, a writing station, and an area for group activities. This allows for a variety of activities and learning approaches, andalso opens the door for students to share their findings and create a sense of community.
Create thematic corners in the classroom related to different aspects of culture in the target language. For example, a food corner, a music corner, a literature corner, etc., all relating to one topic to reinforce the three modes of communication and open the opportunity for negotiation of meaning among the students.
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) recommends that when the goal of a program is language proficiency, instruction should be delivered in a language-rich environment. The language “environment” includes everything that learners encounter: what is said and used by the teacher; what is read and viewed; what learners access or produce; and online resources.
Finally, remember that the key to high-frequency teaching practice is variety and constant interaction with the target language. Make the most of your classroom environment to provide meaningful learning opportunities for your students.
By Andreina Ibarra.