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InTASC STANDARD Three: Learning Environments: The teacher works with others to create

environments that support individual and collaborative learning and that encourage positive

social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Name of Artifact: FL 664 Final Synthesis Activity

Course: FL 664 Second Language Acquisition Theory and Practice

Date: 21 August 2016

ACTFL Standards Addressed: Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives: Learners access

and evaluate information and diverse perspectives that are available through the language and its



In order for students to acquire language, teachers must create an environment where

students are encouraged to express themselves in the target language without fear of reprisal. If

students fear humiliation, they will not express themselves. It is essential that the teacher create

an environment of tolerance and acceptance (Brown, 2014). The teacher has the power to accept

the speech of students or deny the students the opportunity to speak. Accepting or denying the

students speech acts can be one manner of creating an accepting or oppressing classroom

environment. If a student is allowed to challenge a teachers assertion, it sends a different

message to the class than if that challenge is answered with a reprisal. The manner in which a

teacher accepts a challenge may also send the students a different message. It may be that a

teacher requires a respectful format for the challenge. This is an important point to keep in mind.

As a teacher, I must remember that I am not only source of information. With the rise of the

Internet there is more information available to my students than that to which previous

generations had access (Cazden, 2001). With that in mind, I must recognize that while my
students have access to more information, they still need to know how evaluate the validity of

the information and apply the information for their own use. Instead of reacting negatively to

my students challenging my assertions, I can accept that I do not always have to be the sole

source of information. I can promote tolerance and acceptance when I allow the students to

engage in discussion about topics instead of demanding that they blindly accept my assertions.

As we discuss the information we can also discuss the source of the information and the students

can collaborate as we work together to determine the validity of the information.

This contextualization of the content can make the learning more meaningful to students.

As the concepts appear in context, we negotiate meaning and the concepts become more salient

for the students (Shrum & Glisan, 2015). Contextualization adds the dimension that the concept

becomes the students own. When students read words from a source or an authoritative figure,

those words have power. They do not belong to the student. When the student can restate the

concept in his or her own words, the student has ownership of the concept (Cazden, 2001). A

tolerant and accepting atmosphere contributes to this occurrence.


Brown, H. D. (2014). Principles of language learning and teaching A course in second language

acquisition (6th ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson.

Cazden, C. B. (2001). Classroom discourse The language of teaching and learning (2nd ed.).

Potsmouth, NH: Heineman.

Shrum, J. L., & Glisan, E. W. (2015). Teachers handbook (5th ed.). United States of America:

Cengage Learning.