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Wednesday, August 12 • 4:00pm - 4:25pm
Recapturing the 'Lost C': Creating Communities and Common Bonds Within and Beyond the L2 Classroom

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As language educators today, many of us face the same issues: how can we keep student interest and motivation alive past the first or second semester of language study? How do we provide a positive balance to the negative effects of a language requirement? What can we do to encourage student investment and engagement? Perhaps the answer to many of these issues lies in the most humble of ACTFL’s Five C’s of Language Learning, the 5th C (which is sometimes referred to as the “Lost C”): Communities. This paper begins with a discussion of the Communities Goal (which often seen as least important by many educators, yet is highly prioritized by post-secondary students) as it relates to the foreign language classroom. Following a discussion of different definitions of the term community, this article describes a community-building project carried out in a third-semester Italian class at Bucknell University. The project combined spoken and written language practice in the target language and involved in-class activities, independent work, and contact with students’ relatives. The goal of the project was to foster a sense of shared bonds and community within the classroom by focusing on students’ Italian heritage as well as a connection with Italy today. Technology played a role in this project as students were encouraged to communicate in the target language with friends and relatives in Italy using Skype. This project provides a model for successful in-class community building activities through a meaningful, content-based project, which can be adapted to a variety of foreign language classrooms.


Lisa Perrone

Bucknell University

Wednesday August 12, 2015 4:00pm - 4:25pm EDT
Holden Chapel Holden Chapel, Harvard Bus Tunnel, Cambridge, MA