Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Foreign Language Houses and Their Role in the Foreign Language Curriculum


Vicente Cano

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The Summer Language Houses (SLH) in French, German, and Spanish at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have been extremely effective in teaching language skills and encouraging students to continue language study. The five-week intensive language programs at the second-year level emphasize oral communication but provide practice in all language,skills. Daily activities and classes are in the target language on weekdays, and weekends are free. Summer tuition is charged, and all 62 students live, dine, and have classes informally in one house with a house parent and two graduate student instructor/counselors. The program is advertised on campus, through regular school mailings, and through interviews published in the local newspaper. The staff includes one coordinator, three individual language' directors, and three graduate teaching assistants or instructors for each language. Special guests for each language also participate. The teaching and testing methods are varied. The SLH has been found to be a good setting for students to become comfortable with their chosen language and to become aware of other languages and language use opportunities. It is an affordable alternative to travel abroad, ,and it allows the faculty to experiment with curriculum and teaching methods.