2022 PCLS Talk Series – Bringing Spanishes into the language classroom through corpus-based pedagogic material

On December 7, 2022, Adriana Merino and Catalina Méndez Vallejo presented at the PCLS Talk Series at Princeton University. Both professors talked about their ongoing projects on building spontaneous oral speech corpora to replace commercially-produced inauthentic language samples, frequently found in traditional textbooks. In this context, Adriana and Catalina collected recordings of oral interactions and interviews, in an effort to expose the second language learner to Spanish varieties and colloquial talk that they are bound to encounter in real life, either at home, in their communities, or in potential study abroad programs. In this presentation, Adriana and Catalina described the process of building their corpora (Voces de Princeton and Intercultural Spoken Interactions, respectively) and how they use these data sets for pedagogical purposes at different levels of Spanish proficiency. They delineated the steps to developing corpus-based materials, addressing different students’ needs, and targeting different learning goals in selected excerpts such as the use of pragmatic features, language form-function samples, or dialectical variations (mainly, lexical and phonological differences). They also showcased some focused-noticing tasks that guide Spanish students in learning pragmatically and sociolinguistically appropriate uses of the target language so that they know how to use them in authentic scenarios.

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