This presentation will share the results of a descriptive study of a new intermediate-level world language (WL) Spanish reading and translation course taught at a mid-sized university in the western United States. This course was recently redesigned to take advantage of second language acquisition research and cutting-edge Computer Assisted Language Learning tools to create a more effective and engaging WL reading experience. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to a teaching profession which prioritizes online learning more every year, the decision was made to develop this important course to online, asynchronous delivery. This new design does not use a traditional textbook, but instead a mix of Spanish young adult literature and other functional texts such as newspaper articles. Before each reading learners complete an extensive preparatory activity to prepare them to understand the text. They then read the text and answer comprehension questions and follow this phase up with a short creative follow-up activity. Because the course is taught asynchronously online, students are asked to complete a much larger number of these activities than they would in a lecture-style university course. Students enrolled in two different intact sections of this course (n = 55) participated in the study: an experimental online section and a control face-to-face section. Students in both groups completed a pre-test of their reading proficiency at the start of the instructional period, and another reading proficiency test at the end of that period. Study participants were also asked to complete a survey of their attitudes and opinions regarding the design of each course element. The design of this online course will be explained in detail in this presentation, along with results from the proficiency tests administered to experimental and control groups and a summary of students’ opinions on the design of different course activities.
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