As the semester is winding down and I am turning in all of my projects and final papers, I have finished my independent study report! If anyone is interested in reading a paper about second language acquisition from an individual's point of view, in an immersive setting, you might find this interesting.
I spent this past summer, as mentioned in my About Me section, studying French language at the Institut Français Des Alpes, or IFALPES, in Annecy, France. This program was a five-week intensive study where I spent three hours a day doing nothing but speaking and learning French alongside students from all over the world. I had students in my class from Russia, China, Brazil, Colorado (exotic, no?), Spain, even Venezuela. We all went through this process of language acquisition together, with a variety of language levels and a variety of reasons for being there.
I was fortunate to have gone there as an SLS student; this means that I have done some research, and been educated to some degree on the process of language instruction and language acquisition. Prior to my departure for Paris, and ultimately Annecy, France, I had spoken to my advisor, Priscilla Faucette, about doing a potential independent study project or 499. We decided that for this paper, I would go to IFALPES as a student of SLS, interested in what accepted methods were efficient or inefficient in my personal language acquisition process in a foreign language classroom.
In addition to my time spent in the language classroom, I was also exposed to a more natural level of speech from my home-stay family. I was placed with an amazing family outside of Annecy, in Annecy-le-vieux, which is more or less the suburb of Annecy, with whom I could freely and comfortably talk. I was fortunate enough that my host mother had a thirteen-year-old daughter who was semi-proficient in English, and could therefore understand me when I was searching for a word, and could help explain if her mom couldn't fully understand where I was going.
During this process, and all of my interactions, I spent time noting what I was doing to further my language acquisition, what worked, what didn't work, and I began to speculate as to why. During my classes, I would jot down notes in the side margins about what the teacher was doing at that point in the lesson that I found useful or what I didn't find useful. I also made notes in the journal about experiences with my host family that were useful, interesting things I encountered in the real world, maybe with shopkeepers or sales people, and what was efficient and inefficient in those situations.
Since I have been home, I have been working on this paper, and having weekly meetings with my advisor to discuss my progress. I am now in the twelfth week of developing my paper, and am well on my way to a paper that I can, and will be, very proud of. I am starting this blog entry to give you a reference to what it is that I have been working on and why it is important to me and to my academic portfolio.
I have attached below a copy of my proposal which was made before my departure to France, that can be used as a reference to my final paper to show what I was looking to get out of the paper, and what I did accomplish. When I have completed my paper you will be able to find it by clicking here.
That's all I have for now!
Chelsea received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the Department of Second Language Studies, and the Department of Language and Literatures of Europe and the Americas, studying French Language.