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A ‘DEEP APPROACH’ TO LANGUAGE LEARNING

Here is an introduction to Tochon's Deep Approach on video.
The videos present:
(1) the conceptual framework that gives sense to the deep approach;
(2) what are the principles underlying deep teacher planning;
(3) how to organize deep projects; and
(4) what is the role of grammar in the deep approach.

What does the language instructor or the deep learner do to start with the program?
1) RATIONALE. Explain that the deep approach is based on self-directed projects, which link together various disciplines within a self-actualizing, empowering perspective and small group achievement that target global issues. Thus the disciplinary Communication contents and Comparison tasks are integrated into interdisciplinary Connections within a broader transdisciplinary, Cultural and Community framework. The deep approach supports the 5Cs standards of the American Council for Teaching Foreign Languages.
2) TOPICAL MODULES. Instructional modules are proposed for various possible projects. Students pick those of interest. They are not meant to be ALL done in the course of a semester. Students must see how projects are created with a balanced number of tasks in each four tasks domains. Explore the topics proposed for your language level, here: http://deepapproach.wceruw.org/modules.html

Review the SITEMAP with them, here.
Read the project summaries, here.

3) LIFE GOALS. Students are invited to discuss their interests in life, and verify which topics would best match their life goals. This is the condition for intrinsic motivation to energize self-directed learning. If none of the project topics were a nice fit, students could adapt the structures of existing projects or create their own; then they would articulate and list the tasks for each four domains themselves.
4) SCHEDULE. The instructor may decide to devote a number of in-class hours per week to projects. We believe that projects should be the meal piece, NOT the side dish. In addition, part of the work can be done as outside-of-class group tasks or individual homework. Students choose one topic and establish the map of their project.
5) ASSESSMENT. The instructional modules proposed evaluation formats. The project map can help create a rubric of student’s anticipated achievement in all four domains. In the rubric, the tasks can be associated with deadlines and it becomes their instructional agreement or contract. Students can collaborate in creating project-related tasks for their tests and examinations, which should focus on proficiency.
6) FLEXIBILITY. Since the deep approach emphasizes the learning process over specific products, rubrics and instructional agreement can be re-negotiated as the project evolves. This means that the instructional needs to be flexible in terms of deadlines and products, as long as a clear intrinsically motivated energy moves the project ahead. With practice, the instructor will learn how to conjugate various individual, peer and group projects having different deadlines within the institutionally required framing.
7) FORUM AND CONTACT WITH COLLEAGUES. For many instructors, organizing deep classroom activities is a paradigmatic shift. Contacts with colleagues within the deep approach is crucial to resolve issues that may pop up; we can send you a password to be part of our online forum: http://deepapproach.wceruw.org/forum.html
8) ADVOCACY. Feel free to ask for blurbs and documentation to present the deep approach to your language coordinator. We are available to present the deep approach in your education institution. For contacts: ftochon@education.wisc.edu