The Modified Foreign Language Program (MFLP) is an alternative foreign language curriculum developed to meet the needs of students experiencing significant difficulty with foreign language learning. The methodologies developed by the MFLP are loosely based on the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach to teaching to students with dyslexia. For the past 20 years, the MFLP has been providing at-risk students a means to attain proficiency in a language and meet their foreign language requirement for graduation.
The MFLP offers one-day workshops for K-12 teachers with support from CU Boulder Outreach. The goals of the workshop are (1) to identify at-risk students who would most benefit from our methodologies, and (2) to demonstrate methods used in our modified language classrooms, including games and activities that we have found most successful in supporting students' learning.
The Modified Foreign Language Program is part of the Center for Language and Learning (CLL). Housed in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the CLL is a research and development center that conducts research into the nature of oral and written learning disabilities in first and second languages and their effect on first and second language acquisition. It focuses upon the development of model programs for students with learning disabilities. The CLL faculty represent a number of disciplines, including speech and language pathology, special education, and foreign languages.
The activities provided below were developed and adapted over the years to support students who struggle severely with learning foreign languages. The materials are designed for Spanish language classes. Feel free to use them in your classroom and adapt as necessary for the language that you teach.
Information on analysis of a typical quiz and exam discrete point tasks. Includes a sample test section. Download
Includes suggestions on how to use "Charlas" or mini-presentations around personalized topics as part of everyday class time. Helps community-building through a low-pressure presentational mode practice. Download
Provides a list of words and expressions frequently used in the classroom, by the teacher and by students, and allows for maximum, comprehensible use of the TL in the classroom. Download
Each student draws his or her own version of an extraterrestrial and later has a conversation with a fellow student about this alien figure. Both the drawing and conversation are examples of capitalizing on non-foreign language skills such as creativity and artistic expression to boost student confidence. The partner communicative activity is a highly structured interview with much support given for formulating and answering questions. Download
This classroom activity is a basic set of flashcards that can be used by students to review new vocabulary. The mnemonic devices appearing on the second page can be added to this basic set to help students remember the meaning in English of the Spanish verbs. Download
The game of Jeopardy is a popular review activity, as its categories facilitate organization of chapter or exam topics. It can provide student with language learning difficulties review and reinforcement of content. The document includes a “game board” and instructions. Download
This packet includes a pre-quiz plus a quiz to show how the Modified Spanish classes provide very detailed pre-tests so that students can familiarize themselves with the test formats before the test, and target their review for optimal performance on the test. All quizzes and tests are preceded by a pre-quiz or pre-test, to be completed at home and corrected with a provided answer key. Any questions on the pre-quiz or pre-test are addressed in class before the actual assessment begins. Download
Includes sample repeating tables that display information clearly for students trying to boil down the essentials of grammar lessons. The highly visual and structured format helps students organize and recall important data. Download
Provides an example of a weekly calendar that allows students to see what activities will take place each day in class and what homework must be completed before each of the week’s classes and over the weekend. Download
Read Language Learning Disabilities: The Ultimate Foreign Language Challenge
Sharon M. DiFino, PhD and Linda J. Lombardino, PhD
University of Florida
Foreign Language Annals, Volume 37, Issue 3, Pages 390-400, October 2004. Download