"Done well, personalized learning can serve to celebrate and validate what heritage speakers already know, which can increase their academic confidence and foster a willingness to spend more time on what needs improvement," said Felix. "Adopting a curriculum that adapts to these learners' needs means that they are not sitting idly by while their classmates struggle with vocabulary and pronunciation that the heritage speakers learned growing up; they can focus on honing the language skills they will need to be successful in academic and professional settings.”
The report also addresses the importance of educational institutions creating partnerships with government and industry to advance the field of language education. Included as a proof of concept is Rio Salado’s online Spanish Medical Interpreting curriculum, which was developed in partnership with Phoenix Children's Hospital in response to the urgent need for qualified interpreters in healthcare settings. Content from the two online classes has earned national accreditation from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.
Students who complete the classes can apply for a 40-hour externship, which provides opportunities for real-life interpreting experiences at hospitals, clinics, and organizations. See related story and Rio Salado’s Spanish for Medical Interpretation web page for additional details.
The full report, which is available online, was commissioned by the Language Flagship Technology Innovation Center (LFTIC) at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.
The New Media Consortium is a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. The NMC stimulates and furthers the exploration and use of new media and technologies for learning and creative expression.