L2 Spanish university students’ perceptions of the pedagogical benefits of culture portfolios
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article investigates the use of culture portfolios in second language Spanish university classes at an American private university as part of an innovation that incorporated an ACTFL standards-based curriculum to a basic language programme. The portfolios required students to complete different types of tasks through interactions with members of the Hispanic community in the area. The study examines novice high, intermediate low, and intermediate mid students’ perceptions of the portfolio tasks, focusing on their views of the pedagogical benefits of these tools not only in terms of culture, but also for the development of their performance. Data were collected with a questionnaire and through the analysis of opinions. The results show that the participants’ opinions were generally positive, and that most students believed that the portfolio not only had allowed them to learn more about Hispanic cultures, but had also provided them with opportunities to use the target language beyond the confines of the L2 classroom, and helped them develop their performance in the interpersonal and presentational modes. However, there were statistical differences among the proficiency levels, and novice high students exhibited the most negative perceptions, which could have been related to their low level of proficiency.
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