Introducing a Student-Centered Focus in EDLC 5003
Francisco Ramos, Language and Culture in Education
EDLC 5003, Theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), is a required course for graduate students in the teacher preparation program at LMU. Its content encompasses three main topics: Federal and state policies regulating the education of English Learners (ELs), an overview of SLA theories, and a thorough examination of the most significant factors impacting individuals' SLA processes.
I have traditionally presented this curriculum in class via instructor-led lectures, usually followed by students' discussions in small groups. Yet, this approach has not effectively bridged the existing disconnect between the content of the course and students' backgrounds adequately, as noted in some of the final course evaluations. Hence, this project intends to overcome this weakness by introducing a more research oriented focus that increases students' active involvement and participation in class. In so doing, the project intends to answer the following question: Do graduate students become more involved in, and more knowledgeable of, the content of EDLC 5003 as a result of 1) their participation in projects requiring them to read scholarly articles and conduct investigations on the major topics addressed through the semester, 2) their presentation of this information in class, and 3) their leading subsequent discussions with classmates?