Boston, MA (PRWEB) September 07, 2011
Fifty-three percent of U.S. college students studying a foreign language are enrolled in Spanish classes, and with good reason: It’s the second-most common language spoken in the U.S. after English. And as the economy continues to struggle, many students are looking to enhance their Spanish and other World Language skills in order to stand out in a competitive jobs market.
According to a new report, student performance in world languages is increasing and instructors are benefiting following use of an interactive online homework and tutorial program that is reshaping how World Languages are taught. The program, MyLanguageLabs from Pearson, is in use at 700 colleges across the US.
For example, Purdue University, which serves up to 1,300 students in its intermediate Spanish courses each term, redesigned its courses to create a uniform curriculum and consistent grading experience. Instructors report that students are now more engaged with their learning and, in just one academic year, the overwhelming majority of students now earn a grade of C or better, with Bs the grade most awarded during the time period studied.
Many institutions, like Metropolitan Community College in Nebraska, are using online programs to increase access to learning. Professor Dallas Jurisevic wanted a learning resource to make her online courses as effective and engaging for students as the traditional lecture-format courses.
“Essentially, I wanted a better way to teach,” says Professor Jurisevic. “MySpanishLab has made both my online and on-campus teaching more effective. I can now spend more time on one-on-one instruction, intervening when students need individualized attention. [This] enables me to offer an online course that is fully robust and an effective alternative to the on-campus classes.
At Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania, where 20 percent of the students in Professor Charles Molano’s courses are returning adults, students’ final grades have increased by 17 percent following implementation of MySpanishLab, and the program gives students a learning advantage that lasts beyond the end of the term.
“Students are just amazed at the instant feedback they receive … they feel as though they’ve been given a personal tutor. The tutorials … are particularly effective at preparing students for active communication,” says Professor Molano.
MyLanguageLabs can be customized to suit each student’s level of knowledge and used in any environment—lab-based, blended and distance learning or classroom. Instructors can easily create, import and manage online homework, quizzes and tests, all of which are automatically graded for instant feedback to students—freeing instructors to spend less time grading and more time working directly with their students.
“This gives you time to spend on meaningful pedagogical activities like engaging and interacting with your students,” adds Anne Prucha, an instructor at the University of Central Florida.
Institutions profiled in the report are: Columbia Southern University, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Metropolitan Community College, Metropolitan State College, Midway College, Purdue University, University of Central Florida and the University of Mississippi.
The report, MyLanguageLabs in Action: Proven Performance, is available at http://www.myspanishlab.com/assets/documents/Language_In_Action_Brochure.pdf. In addition to Spanish, the MyLabs are available French, Italian, Chinese and Latin.
Pearson’s MyLab and Mastering programs have changed the way millions of students learn and have supported many successful faculty and programs in the redesign of college courses to effectively use technology to improve achievement and manage costs. Demand for the MyLab and Mastering programs soared to more than 8 million student registrations in 2010, with 232 million assignments submitted and more than 750,000 students logging in daily.
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has global reach and market leading businesses in education, business and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).
Media Contact: Susan Aspey, susan.aspey(at)pearson(dot)com or (800) 745-8489