Syllabus For FL 4500/6500

Course Description

Student/Student Interaction


Faculty/Student Interaction

Course Objectives

Required Reading

Course Requirements

Grading Policy

Schedule of Classes

Media Player Plug-Ins

Wimba Voice Tools

Course Description:

This course is designed to address the needs and concerns of students preparing to teach foreign languages in the K-12 schools and inservice teachers who need a methods course for endorsement or licensure. It will also serve inservice teachers who are seeking to update their knowledge of second-language acquisition and instruction for personal growth or for academic credit toward state re-licensing or for national board certification.

This methods course is organized around the Standards for Foreign Language Learning, commonly referred to as the Five Cs: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. Students will learn about current theoretical bases for second-language acquisition and how theory informs classroom practice. The course does not promote a particular methodology but rather presents principles of learning from which teachers can draw as they make decisions about instruction. In today's classrooms with diverse learners and curricular options, teachers must possess a repertoire of teaching practices based on an evolving research and knowledge base.


This course is intended for upper division undergraduate students who are taking advanced level language courses. Students are encouraged to have taken an Oral Proficiency Interview prior to the course; if that has not been done, students should consider being interviewed to assess their proficiency level as soon as possible. (Information on the OPI can be obtained through your instructor.) Students planning to student teach should ideally take this course prior to that experience.

Course Objectives:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of current theories of second-language acquisition research.

2. Design unit and daily lesson plans in alignment with the standards for language learning.

3. Create lesson segments that reflect theory and practice.

4. Design performance-based assessments. 

5. Use technology as a tool for professional development and to promote student learning.

6. Develop the ability to reflect on their teaching, student learning and to make changes as warranted.

Schedule of Classes:

Week 1: Getting Started (10 January - 16 January)

Week 2: Module 1: Reflection and Goal Setting (17 January - 21 January)

Week 3: Module 2: Our Evolving Profession (22 January - 27 January)

Week 4: Module 3: Standards for Foreign Language Learning (28 January - 3 February)

Weeks 5 & 6: Module 4: The Foreign Language Learner and the Acquisition Process (4 February - 17 February)

Week 7: Module 5: Designing Curricula and Planning Lessons (18 February - 24 February)

Week 8: Module 6: Meeting the Needs of the Learner (25 February - 3 March)

Weeks 9 & 10: Module 7: Teaching for Interpretive Communication (4 March - 17 March)

Week 11: Module 8: Teaching for Interpersonal Communication (18 March - 24 March)

Week 12: Module 9: Teaching for Presentational Communication (25 March - 31 March)

Weeks 13 & 14: Module 10: Assessing Performance in Language Classrooms (1 April - 14 April)

Week 15: Modules 11 & 12: Understanding Cultural Perspectives and Making Comparisons and Connecting with Other Disciplines and the Target Language Community (15 April - 21 April)

Week 16: Assemble and turn in your Culminating Final project (DUE 6 MAY) 

Student/Student Interaction:

In a "live course", you would be interacting with other students in your class. That interaction is important to the learning process. In this online course, you are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities designed to promote interactive communication in cyberspace. Your classmates may be in sites distant from your location; they may have very different backgrounds and experiences with language learners. Get to know them, seek to work with them. You will do this through: 

1) Discussion Groups where you and your classmates post messages and react to one another. This activity promotes interaction among students as you would experience in a classroom. 

2) Voice Chatswhere you and a partner, assigned by your instructor, will communicate with one another to share ideas as you work on lesson projects. Collaborating and bouncing ideas off a partner will help solidify your ideas. 

Faculty/Student Interaction:

One of the major ways you will share your progress with your instructor is through submissions to your electronic portfolio. There are three kinds of assignments you will submit to your electronic portfolio:

  • Check-ins:These questions follow readings in the text or Web page material. In a classroom, professors often ask questions based upon reading assignments or discussion. Students respond to these spontaneously to show their understanding. The check-ins replicate this in your web course. You should respond to these questions thoughtfully based upon your understanding of the material. Spend a limited amount of time with these 2-point activities.
  • Reflect/Respond: These portfolio assignments ask you to reflect, to think about the topic a bit, to come up with a response, to create an example, to discuss an instructional decision you might make. Worth 8 points, these responses may require your exiting the program to find a reference or supporting material.
  • Project: During the course, generally at the end of a module, you will create a project that demonstrates your ability to formulate a lesson unit involving the topic you have studied in that module. Projects, worth 50 points, require planning, organization, and instructional decision-making. While devising your project, please refer to the Project Rubric that will be used to evaluate your project.

Required Text:

Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. (1999) LawrenceKS:Allen Press.

Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. (1999) LawrenceKS:Allen Press. [Best way to order is directly from the publisher for no overhead costs: Go to the ACTFL website: Use the "Quick Find" box and go to "National Standards." From there you can download the order form that can be faxed directly to the publisher or you can order by credit card through the 800 toll free number. You can also order online.]

Teacherís Handbook, 3rd edition by Judith Shrum and Eileen Glisan, ISBN 1413004628.  It is available through our online bookstore or you may choose to purchase it elsewhere.   Our online bookstore is

Grading Policy:

From a possible total of 814 points:

Web Portfolio submissions: 854 points (60%)

Check-Ins: 22 @ 2 points each.................................44 points
Reflect/Respond: 35 @ 8 points each.....................280 points
Projects: 7 @ 30 points each.....................................210 points

Exams: 2 @ 30 points each...................................................60 points (5%)

Participation: 60 points (5%)

12/16 online discussion groups @ 4 points each......48 points
3/5 live chat session @ 4 points each........................12 points

Extra points will be given for additional participation in the discussion groups and live chat sessions.

Culminating Course Project: 200 points (30%)

Overview: 3 @ 5 points each..........................................15 points
Unit & Lesson Plans: 15 @ 5 points each.......................75 points
Interdisciplinary Activities: 4 @ 5 points each.........20 points
Use of Technology: 4 @ 5 points each...........................20 points
Written Commentary: 4 @ 5 points each.......................20 points
Formal Assessment: 10 @ 5 points each..........................50 points

Discipline Bibliography:

REFERENCES: Each module in this online course has its own list of references so that you can consult additional resources for your research, assignments, and personal professional growth. You can access references by clicking on the word "References" on the left of your window. Please take advantage of these references because they represent the most current research in the field. Some of the references will be identified as being on electronic reserve. In those instances click on the phrase "reserve" to access the article or book.

RealOne Player, Windows Media Player and Flash Player Download 

You need to download the following plug-in media players for this online course. You need to download RealOne Player, Windows Media Player and Flash Player in order to listen to the audio files and see the video clips incorporated into this course. YOU MIGHT ALREADY HAVE THESE PLAYERS ON YOUR COMPUTER. To download RealOne Player go to and do the following:

  • When you get to the RealPlayer home page, on the top far right hand side on the screen you will see a link that says "Free RealOne Player". Click on this link.
  • You will be taken to another page that advertises the RealPlayer Plus. This is not the free player. Over on the bottom right hand side of the screen you will see another link that says "Download the Free RealOne Player". Click on this link.
  • Follow the instructions carefully until the download is complete. There is also a link to download the Mac version of RealOne Player.
  • Once the program file is on your desktop click on it to load it on your hard drive and follow the instruction. You are now ready to hear the audio file and see the video clips in this online course.

Go to to download the Windows Media Player. On the left hand side of the Microsoft home page click on the "Downloads" link, and then where it says "Download Center", click on  Window Media Player 10 Series to download this player. IF YOU HAVE WINDOWS XP THEN YOU ALREADY HAVE THE WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER ON YOUR COMPUTER.

Go to to download the Flash Player. Under the title "Shortcuts," click on the "Download Flash Player" link and then click on the button that says "Install Now" and follow the directions.

Wimba Voice Tools

These tools allow you to interact with your classmates and instructor in the most natural way of all: with voice. They are centered around real-time conference tools that will be used to carry out several objectives of this course.†You will need to have a microphone conntected to your computer to use these tools. You will be using the following tools throughout this course:

· Voice Direct: this tool enables you to engage in real-time, online, vocal communication with any of your classmates and instructor.

· Voice Boards: this tools allows you to listen to, record and post voice messages in a threaded message board format. They are available anytime for you to review.

· Voice Email: this easy-to-use application enables you to send voice messages via email to one or more of your classmates enrolled in this course. You classmates can easily respond with their own voice email.

Course Requirements:

Computer requirements: To find out what the minimal computer requirements you will need to take this course, go to: From that home page, click on Online Courses and go to course that is listed to find out about the minimum computer specifications.

There are 12 modules that students will need to complete. Within each module are reading assignments, portfolio submissions, and online interactions with other students.

Three modules contain examinations and the others have culminating projects.

At the end of the course, students will submit a teaching portfolio. The exact format will be negotiated with your instructor in consideration of institutional and/or state requirements.

FL 6500 is a graduate course.  In addition to submitting all of the regular assignments, projects, etc., graduate students will also be required to produce 2 of the following: 1) a paper that explores a research question beyond the course content; 2) a plan for a classroom action research project; or 3) a case study that presents a real classroom situation experienced by a foreign language teacher and which raises a question that can be explored in terms of research and practice.. Specific topics will be approved by the instructor.

Assignments: 60%

Exams: 5%

Paricipation: 5%

Final Project: 30%

Check-Ins 15%

Mod2 Exam 2.5 %

Dicussions 2.5%

Final Project 30%

Reflect/Resond 30%

Mod4 Exam 2.5%

Chats 2.5%

Projects 15%