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ERIC Number: EJ910357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Science in Foreign Language Education: A Response to MLA Reports from a Liberal Arts College Spanish Program Perspective
Domcekova, Barbara
Hispania, v93 n1 p139-143 Mar 2010
According to the author, the Modern Language Association's (MLA's) recent publication of the reports "Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World" and "Report to the Teagle Foundation on the Undergraduate Major in Language and Literature" concerning foreign language education has caused many of them to reexamine the language programs at their institutions and reflect on how they measure up against the proposed goals. The challenges with today's foreign language education identified in the 2007 report "New Structures" stem mostly from the two-tiered system where "two or three years of languages sequence feeds into a set of core courses, primarily focused on canonical literature." The authors point out the professional disconnect between the "humanists," who do research, and the "language specialists," who provide technical support and language training. The proposed solution lies in "replacing the two-tiered language-literature structure with a broader and more coherent curriculum in which language, culture and literature are taught as a continuous whole, supported by alliances with other departments and expressed through interdisciplinary courses" ("New Structures"). Furthermore, "New Structures" acknowledges that this transformation has already started taking place and that "foreign language faculty have been working in creative ways to cross disciplinary boundaries, incorporate the study of all kinds of material in addition to the strictly literary, and promote wide cultural understanding through research and teaching." The 2009 "Undergraduate Major" report echoes this position and suggests that in order to fully commit to courses that cut across disciplinary and language boundaries, institutions need "to invest in the interdisciplinary capacity of their faculty members through support of team teaching and faculty development." In this essay, the author discusses an initiative at her institution that through collaborative efforts and faculty development led to the creation of interdisciplinary courses that begin to address the need to broaden the foreign language curriculum. (Contains 6 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; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A