FOR LANG 4340 Fall 2011
11:30-12:20 MWF     WB 111
..Prof. Tom Mathews 


Office: EH 420 Office Phone: 626-6345
Off. Hours: MWF 9:30-11:15; or by appointment e-mail:

  Foreign Language Acquisition and Teaching for Proficiency  


Understand the current trends in Second Language Acquisition theory.

Become acquainted with several methods used in the classroom to teach foreign languages.

Create and teach a series of short lessons in order to practice several L2 teaching techniques.

Text Books & Materials


Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century (3rd edition).  You may order this directly from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

There is a selection of readings that must be accessed on this course's site at They can be found in a folder called "Reading Assignments. A bibliographical list of the readings can be found here.

Internet access to visit (the Annenburg/ACTFL series on foreign language teaching and the standards. You must register (for free) to view these videos. Several of them will be assigned throughout the semester.

Some Rules and Other Information
Consistent, punctual attendance and enthusiastic participation are necessary to succeed and receive good grades in this class.

Late work & Make up
Course work must be turned in on time and exams taken when scheduled. Assignments are due at the beginning of the period on the day indicated in this syllabus. Things WILL be accepted later that day (after class, in my office - EH 265, or to the department - EH 434) but with one letter grade reduction from what they would otherwise have received. Assignments turned in through the next class period, will be reduced by 50%. After that, papers may not be graded. Exceptions to this policy should be arraigned beforehand.

Grade Descriptions

A Note on Curves

If at any time during the semester you want an approximation of your grade, or if after the semester is over, you wish to know what grade you received, email the instructor at . Include your name and your student ID as well as a request for your grade.

It is expected that students will submit their own work. A complete description of cheating and plagiarism can be found in the WSU Student Code (Section IV, Part D, Paragraph 2). Plagiarism will result in failure on an assignment or in the course, depending on its severity. On the other hand, students are encouraged to collaborate on assignments and to have others read their work and give comments and suggestions before turning work in.
If for any reason the university is forced to close for an extended period of time, we will conduct our class via e-mail and through Weber online. Look for announcements on your Weber State email account and at

Students with Disabilities
When students seek accommodation in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities (tel. 626-6413) before the beginning of the semester in which the accommodation is being requested. When a student fails to make such arrangements, interim accommodations can be made by the instructor, pending the determination of the request for a permanent accommodation.

Core Beliefs
Students are to determine, before the last day to drop courses without penalty, if any course requirements conflict with their core beliefs. If there is such a conflict, the student should consider dropping the class. A student who finds this solution impracticable may request a resolution from the instructor. This policy does not oblige the instructor to grant the request, except in those cases when a denial would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal. This request must be made to the instructor in writing and the student must deliver a copy of the request to the office of the department head. The student's request must articulate the burden the requirement would place on the student's beliefs.

Any disclosure by a student, orally or in writing, whether related to class assignments or not, that communicates the possibility of imminent danger to the student or others will be shared with appropriate authorities.


Assignments and Evaluation

Quizzes, homework and Participation
There will be a series of mostly unannounced quizzes throughout the semester. Quizzes may not be made up due to absence. From time to time, points will be given in class for participation in classroom discussions. Obviously, students who are not in class will not receive these points. Few excuses will be accepted for missing class.

Thought Papers
Each student will write a series of four thought papers or position papers. These essays need not present the results of any research beyond what is presented in class and in the text, but rather, should be a synthesis of the student's ideas and concerns about the assigned topic. Nevertheless, if the words or ideas of anyone other than the student are included, proper citation must be used. It is expected that each essay will be between three and five pages, typed and double spaced. (Wikipedia and other non-reviewed on-line sources are generally considered to b
e unreliable and should be supported by other sources.).

Professional Development
Students will engage in at least five hours of activities that would earn them  in-service professional development towards state licensure or re-licensure. This includes attending or participating in approved workshops, classes, professional organizations, conferences, etc. One obvious possibility is the Utah Foreign Language Association annual
meeting on Nov. 11 at Utah Valley University.
Each student will observe at least three hours (three different class periods) of lower-division language classes -- either 1010, 1020 or 2010. A list of acceptable classes is here. Please call or email the instructor several days before you plan to attend the class and ask for permission as well as whether or not the day you have in mind will be an appropriate day for a visit. Please attend and observe the entire class period. For each class visited, complete this form and hand it in.

Peer Teaching & Presentations
Each student will prepare and present a series of short ( lessons to peers in the class. Each lesson will focus on certain topics or techniques. In addition, groups of students will present each of the standards to the class during the semester.

Final Exam
The final exam will be comprehensive.  It will consist of an oral section as well as short answer and essay type questions.

All work in this class including the final grad will be based on the following scale:
































Calendar for FL 4340
This is a "living calendar" and is subject to change. Please check here often to see if dates for assignments or other activities have been moved.

The dates indicated on this calendar show when each reading or other assignment is due. Reading should be done before coming to class. Assignments are due during class on the date indicated.






Aug. 22 Is First Language Acquisition different from Second Language Acquisition?  

Aug. 22 Introduction to the course. Review of Syllabus.  


Aug. 26 A Brief History of Foreign Language Teaching Read 01 Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (1986)


Aug. 29 (continued)  

Aug. 31

How are languages Learned Read 02 Pinker, S. (1999).

Sept. 2 What is grammar? Read 03 Chomsky, N (1988)


Sept. 5 NO CLASS Labor Day

Sept. 7 Pratice makes perfect
Demonstration: The Silent Way

Essay 1:
Why do we teach L2 in our schools?


Sept. 9 Demonstration: Audiolingual Method  


Sept. 12 Communicative Competence Read 04 Canale, M. & Swain, M. (1980).  

Sept. 14 Bilingualism Read 05 Cummins, J., & Swain, M. (1986).


Sept. 16 Proficiency  


Sept. 19    

Sept. 21 The Oral Proficiency Interview  


Sept. 23 The National Standards Read Standards pp. 7-38


Sept. 26 (continued)
Read Standards pp. 39-52

Essay 2:
Is learning L2 the same as learning L1?

Sept. 28 Input and the Monitor Model First classroom observation due.
Read 06
Krashen, S. D. (1995).


Sept. 30 (continued) Read 07 Krashen, S. D. (2008).


Oct. 3 Communication: X  

Oct. 5 Anxiety Read 08 Guiora, A. Z. (1972).
Read 09 Randall, K. (2007).


Oct. 7 Interlangauge and Fossilization Read 10 Ellis, R. (1997 a).
Read 11 Ellis, R. (1997 b)


Oct. 10 Cultures: X
Essay 3:
What is the role of grammar in a proficiency oriented classroom?
Oct. 12 Acculturation Theroy Read 12 Schumann, J. H. (1978).
Read 13 Gardner, R. C. (2007).


Oct. 14 Connections: X  


Oct. 17

Oct. 19 Interaction Read 14 DiPietro, R. J. (1987).


Oct. 21 NO CLASS Fall Holiday


Oct. 24 Comparisons: X  

Oct. 26 Strategic Interaction Scenarios
Three scenarios due


Oct. 28 The Silent Way Read 15 Gattegno, C. (1982).


Oct. 31 Communities: X Second classroom observation due.

Nov. 2 Suggestopedia Read 16 Lozanov, G. (1982).

Nov. 3 Utah Foreign Language Association Annual Conference, Orem, UT


Nov. 4 Total Physical Resonse Read 17 Asher, J. J. (1977).


Nov. 7  

Essay 4:
Is negative affect good or bad?

Nov. 9 TPRS Read 18 Ray, B. (2006).
Read 19
Gaab, C. (2006).


Nov. 11 Teaching Culture



Nov. 14 Culture Capules

Four related culture capsules due

Nov. 16 Teaching Grammar Read 20 Van Patten, B. (1994).
Read 21
Van Patten, B. (1989).
(Optional) Read 22 VanPatten, B. (2010).


Nov. 18 NO CLASS ACTFL in Denver


Nov. 21 Lesson Plans  

Nov. 23 Assessment and Testing  


Nov. 25 NO CLASS Thanksgiving Day Holiday


Nov. 28 Student Teaching Evaluation Third classroom observation due.

Nov. 30 Discipline  


Dec. 2 Review for final exam
Course evaluations
FINAL EXAM - EH 408  Monday, Dec. 5, 2010 11:30 AM - 1:20 PM