Article published in:Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education
Vol. 8:2 (2020) ► pp. 200–229
A focus on language in the immersion language arts curriculum
Insights from a fourth-grade Portuguese classroom
Grounded in research on explicit and implicit knowledge and on the role of conscious awareness in language learning, this interpretive case study examined the efforts of one Portuguese teacher to implement a focus on language within a language arts curriculum based on literary genres with a class of fourth grade (9-year-old) students over the course of an academic year. The study found that lessons on authentic literary texts provided a meaningful context for calling students’ attention to nominal and verbal agreement patterns in Portuguese. By the end of the year, students’ nominal and verbal agreement had improved dramatically on a written test, but only their nominal agreement had improved significantly in an unstructured interview, although they had begun to use a greater variety of verb forms. Students were also able to correct many of their own errors and to use metalinguistic terminology to explain the language patterns involved.
Keywords: immersion education, immersion language arts, focus on form, counterbalanced instruction, CAPA model, Utah Dual Language Immersion, Portuguese, nominal agreement, verbal agreement
Published online: 10 August 2020
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