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Sandlin & Raulston Adopt Teaching Style Based on Language Acquisition Research

In the spring semester of 2014, Professors Steve Raulston and Betsy Sandlin received a $1500 grant from the Mellon Globalization Forum in support of innovative foreign-language teaching. For the past two years Raulston and Sandlin have piloted sections of Spanish 103 and 104 which do not use a textbook. These courses work, instead, on the theory, supported by research, that students acquire vocabulary and grammatical structures deeply and well by hearing language that they understand in an environment rich with repetition, physical movement, competition and other forms of play, and by reading. Creating and telling stories in Spanish have a central place in both professors’ classes. Raulston and Sandlin have used their grant money to purchase props, supplies, and games for their language classrooms. They are also building a library of level-appropriate novels that they will incorporate into their curriculum and also make available to students for free reading.
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