Purpose of the Study Guides
The semi-independent nature of the Mentored Language Program makes explicit study guides imperative. The weekly Study Guide should describe in detail what students need to accomplish in order to progress as well as provide a means through which students can measure their accomplishments.
Study Guide Content
Each Study Guide contains the assignment for the week. In addition to the standard chapter assignments from the text or texts, there are audio and video assignments, activities to prepare before the conversation session and homework to be turned in at the mentored tutorial. Answer keys make it easy for students to check their own work throughout the week, which then needs to be reworked if errors have occurred or pushed to the next level if the student has been able to internalize the information covered in the week’s lesson.
Once the students have completed the week’s assignments, attended the mentored tutorial and the conversation session, they fill out an online self-assessment and send it to the program staff. The self-assessment phase of language study provides an organized point of reflection for the students regarding the successes and failures of the week. Which exercises were most useful? What can the student glean from that information that informs their language study? Which methods of language acquisition are particularly effective for them? How can they harness that knowledge and apply it to the next week’s lesson?
Diagnostic Role of Self-Assessments
The self-assessments also play a role in the administration of the program. Due to the semi-independent nature of the program, the self-assessments provide the only weekly contact between the student and the program office. Reading the self-assessments gives the program director(s) insight into the student’s progress and serves to alert the program staff if the student is encountering difficulties that need to be addressed immediately.