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ERIC Number: EJ872642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-0578
Revisiting the MLA Report on Reconfiguring Foreign Language Programs: The Role of Reading
Grabe, William
Reading in a Foreign Language, v22 suppl 1 p11-14 Jan 2010
In this article, the author critiques the MLA Report. His first response to the MLA report is that it clearly identifies a number of the problems facing modern languages departments today. Enrollments and majors are declining in most modern languages departments throughout the U.S. Other academic departments do not strongly enforce language requirements, especially the modern languages requirements for PhD students. Most other departments are not looking to modern languages departments for integrated or interdisciplinary studies. Modern languages departments often have serious divisions among their faculty, especially between the language teachers and the literary scholars. Most senior faculty do not, and for the most part do not want to, teach language courses. Finally, the Report notes that "the standard configuration of foreign language curricula" is in need of major rethinking. Yet, a Report that, in part, blames modern languages department difficulties on a lack of cooperation from other university departments would seem to suggest a limited vision in an increasingly competitive university environment. His second response is that this Report does not provide many useful guidelines for radically different modern language instruction in U.S. universities in the coming years. In brief, it seems to be written for the benefit of the modern languages faculty. It gives little serious thought to contemporary students in U.S. universities and how they could be encouraged to learn and use foreign languages. However, the future of foreign language study at U.S. universities is not likely to rest with what faculty want, but with what students want, or at least what students are willing to value. There seems to be very little awareness in the Report that university curricula need to address relevance to student needs first and foremost.
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States