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ERIC Number: EJ910346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Promise (Un)Fulfilled: Reframing Languages for the Twenty-First Century
Oxford, Raquel
Hispania, v93 n1 p66-68 Mar 2010
Change in higher education, as manifested in curriculum reform, can be particularly difficult as the structures of academia, such as rank and tradition, retard the process. Two recent reports from the Modern Language Association (MLA) strive to address needed curricular adaptations and offer a roadmap of considerations for modifications. The 2007 MLA Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages report, "Foreign Language and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World," posits that "the language major should be structured to produce a specific outcome: educated speakers who have deep translingual and transcultural competence." The second report--the 2009 "Report to the Teagle Foundation on the Undergraduate Major in Language and Literature--considers the needs of students in its recommendations for "a coherent program of the study, collaborative teamwork among faculty members, interdepartmental cooperative teaching, and the adoption of outcome measurements." Departments of Spanish and Portuguese must consider the needs of various constituencies--teachers, students, business--as a reframing of the current undergraduate major takes place to move forward a more integrative model where cultural, linguistic, and literary knowledge and practices are more functionally relevant outside the ivory tower. One reform focus, "Partnership for 21st Century Skills" (P21), has begun to steer the educational community in that direction, and it should be taken under consideration, along with the MLA reports, during any curricular changes in Spanish and Portuguese. The P21, formed in 2002, brings together education leaders, the business community, and policy makers to define a powerful vision for 21st-century education in an effort to ensure every child's success as citizens and workers in the 21st century. This group defines "21st century student outcomes" as the skills, knowledge, and expertise students should master in order to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. Four elements embodied in these outcomes are discussed: (1) core subjects and 21st-century themes; (2) learning and innovation skills; (3) information, media, and technology skills; and (4) life and career skills. (Contains 3 notes.)
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A