Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Modern Languages and Literature (French Option)
Department or School/College
Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Pablo E. Requena
Ione Crummy, Lucila Rudge
second languages (L2s), elementary education, Montana, foreign languages, additive bilingualism, teaching
University of Montana
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education
This study addresses the position in which elementary school teachers find themselves when they recognize the benefits of bilingualism but are limited in being able to provide second language (L2) instruction. It seeks to answer the following questions: How many elementary school teachers in Montana have added a L2 component to their instruction? How likely are those teachers to turn to the Internet for materials and resources in order to add a L2 component to their instruction? What do elementary school teachers expect from those online materials? What L2 materials are available online and how can they be used? What should online L2 materials/resources be like based on the principles and best practices in the field of L2 teaching as established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)? In this study, I review the research on additive bilingualism in elementary school children and find that learning a second language has inherent cognitive, academic, and affective benefits. Also, I review how language can be taught effectively through various perspectives to language and language learning. I conducted a survey of public Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade teachers in Montana and found that almost half of them were already trying to include a L2 component in their teaching. A very limited number of these teachers had a trained second language educator at their school, and because of this, many turn to online resources to help them. Almost all the participants were receptive to the idea of a free, online resource that would teach one or more world languages in an engaging, relevant way. Therefore, I analyzed online second language resources available for teachers who do not already speak the language and found that all of them lacked the discursive feature that characterizes classroom dynamics. The resources, both for free and for a price, had a lack of focus on instructing students how to ask the questions themselves. I finish this paper by addressing this need. I propose a new resource that seeks to address the shortcomings of the resources reviewed. The proposal for the proposed resource takes into consideration the feedback received from the teachers during the survey and is directly tailored to the Montana Elementary K-2 context.
Barnes-Smith, Seth A., "Starting World Languages in Elementary Schools" (2017). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11038.
© Copyright 2017 Seth A. Barnes-Smith