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Advancing Dutch Through Intensive Instruction: Planning for Success with Backward Design and Social Media. Language Matters Series Texas Language Center Vince VanderHeijden 15 February 2012. Outline. Specific Context of Dutch at UT Backward Design Using Social Media Initial results.

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Advancing Dutch Through Intensive Instruction: Planning for Success with Backward Design and Social Media

Language Matters Series

Texas Language Center

Vince VanderHeijden

15 February 2012


Specific Context of Dutch at UT

Backward Design

Using Social Media

Initial results

dutch at ut
Dutch at UT

6 hours 3 times per week

Lower-division courses only (604, 612)

ZomercursusNederlandseTaal en Cultuur


operating principles
Operating Principles

The Classroom is for interactive practice

Students learn as much from each other as from instructor

Students are informed partners in instructional design

operating principles the classroom is for interactive practice
Operating PrinciplesThe Classroom is for interactive practice
  • Mechanical practice occurs at home
  • Homework = practice and preparation
  • At least 4 interactive activities per lesson
    • Brainstorming, role-play, information-gap, jigsaw
operating principles students are included in instructional design
Operating Principles Students are included in instructional design

Homework is explicitly connected to each day’s objectives

Each day’s objectives are included in the homework

Most lesson planning occurs before the homework is posted

backward design
Backward Design

An orientation to planning and instructional design which emphasizes transferable skills and learning.

It begins at the end

backward design1
Backward Design
  • Three questions:
    • What should my students know, understand, be able to do at the end of the course/unit? (Goals and outcomes)
    • How will I know they’ve hit their targets? (Assessment)
    • How will I help them get there? (Instruction)
  • Understanding by Design
    • Wiggins & McTighe (2001, 2006)
backward design2
Backward Design
  • What are the outcomes? What’s the end?
    • Students will engage with a variety of personal interests in Dutch and relate these interests to a Dutch context
    • Students will develop skills of interaction and inquiry which reflect emerging independent language learners
    • Students will write at approximately an Intermediate-High level (ACTFL, 2012) , with emergent Advanced low features
      • Cohesion
      • Paragraph-length
      • Expansion beyond present-time into past time as well as conditional/irrealis
backward design3
Backward Design
  • How will I know they’ve hit their targets?
    • What kind of evidence will be acceptable?
    • Preferably from authentic, performance-focused activities
      • What kind of activities will provide evidence of the ability to write cohesively?
      • How will I know whether students can interact and investigate in ways which deepen their language learning?
backward design4
Backward Design
  • How will I help them get there?
    • Student focused instruction
      • What are the students doing ?
      • Why are they doing it?
      • What does it have to do with the outcomes?
affordances of social media
Affordances of Social Media

Breaking the “Fourth Wall”

Sandbox for experimentation



Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication

Community Building


why google plus
Why Google Plus?
  • Hybrid of Facebook and (Micro)Blogging
    • Social network
    • No limit on post length
  • Allow for easy linking of external resources (media, content)
  • Multi-person video chat
  • Instant Messaging/Chat Capability
a rationale for micro blogs
A Rationale for (micro)Blogs
  • Fellner& Apple (2006), Chapelle (2001)
    • Language Learning Potential
    • Learner Fit
    • Meaning Focus
    • Authenticity
    • Positive Impact
    • Practicality
    • Enhancement
  • Contribution types:
    • Share discoveries
    • Pose hypotheses
    • Respond to original posts
      • Elaborate
      • Challenge
      • Introduce
      • Inquire
sample prompts
Sample Prompts

Yesterday we mentioned the Elfstedentocht. For more background information, I’m posting a number of links about the “Tour of tours”. No one is yet certain if the race will be run, but Frisian authorities are planning to make it possible.

So a few questions for you:

  • How long is the route?
  • Where does it take place?
  • How many participants are there?
  • When was the last Elfstedentocht?
  • What other questions do you need to have answered about the tour?
sample prompts1
Sample Prompts

This article has to do with coffee and your generation. What is the trend in the Netherlands? Do you agree with the reported opinions of Dutch young people? And what about the sustainable production of coffee—do you think about it when you order your cup at Starbucks?

sample prompts2
Sample Prompts

My brother has a darling little girl of 4. This weekend he shared a YouTube channel he found with a huge collection of children’s songs. His daughter is apparently crazy about these videos (even though she can’t speak a word of Dutch). Some are simple Dutch versions of well-known English songs. Others are old but still popular songs such as “’k Zag twee beren.” The text for the first verse follows.

What do you think about the song? Can you write a new verse? All you have to do is substitute the bolded words for your own. Add your own verse in the comments!


MikeIk hou van idiomen! Ik vind hen interessant. Ik onderzoek graag en hou van vinden waar ze vandaan komen. Het is interessant dat "donder" is een woord gebruikt. Het is een grappige woord in Engels vertalen. De woord "donder" is "thunder" in Engels. De idioom is "by thunder" in Engels maar dat is een heel oud idioom. Ik wil oude idiomen weten in Nederlands. Ik wil de evolutie van idiomen in Nederlands zien.


Ik vind dit heel interessant. Een interessant ding met de taal van nederland is "God Verdomme". In Engels zegt wij "God Damn it" maar in nederlandse ze verdomme zelf. De bedoeling is hetzelfde, maar het zou betekenen dat heel anders in het Engels. De verschillende manier waarop we zinnen zeggen in de taal is zeer interessant.


Is de koffiedrinker een uitstervend ras?


Jonge Nederlanders drinken weinig koffie omdat het te bitter is, volgens het artikel. Maar koffieconsumptie groeit licht in Nederland en zou in de komende jaren blijven groeien.

Ik drink heel weinig koffie omdat ik veel thee drink. Thee heeft minder cafeïne en ik denk dat thee beter smaakt. Ik ben geïntereseerd in duurzame productie, dus ik denk erover veel na. Mijn mening is dat veel mensen er niet over nadenken. Het artikel zegt datmeer mensen voor duurzaamheid zullen zorgen. Bedrijven zullen naar de klanten luisteren en duurzamer worden. Zal deze koffieconsumptie vergroten? Denk je dat duurzaamheid echt belangrijk voor klanten is?


Ik denk datjonge Amerikanen heel verschillend zijn. Wij drinken koffie regelmatig. Waarom? Misschien koffie geeft energie, maar misschien koffie is echter een comfort voor studenten en werkers. We hebben andere werkende mensen, studenten, en onze ouders koffie drinken gezien. Deze mensen hebben druk gehad. Als ik drink koffie, heb ik druk ook. De koffie drinkers in Nederland lijken over hun koffie smaak en kwaliteit zorgen. Misschien hebben ze niet op elke hoek een Starbucks.


 Het is ook interessant dat ontbijt meer belangrijk voor Nederlanders is. Alsik elke dag een hele ontbijt at, zou ik meer koffie drinken. Ik denk datthee makkelijker te maken en goedkoper is, dus het is beter voor mijn korte, bezige ochtenden. 

Toenik werkte in de zomer dronk ik meer koffie. Dus, ik ga volgens Alma (zij zei dat koffie een comfort voor werkers is). Het is goed wanneer je moe bent, zoals vroeg in de ochtend bij je kantoor.

for the future
For the future
  • Google Plus as a social network allows for synchronous CMC as well
    • Chat
    • Hangouts (video conferencing)