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The next convention of the Modern Language Association will be held January 5-8, 2017 in Philadelphia. Please consider submitting a proposal (by March 15) for one of these two sessions focused on the impact of the 2007 MLA report on FL departments and curricula. The session are organized by the MLA Forum on Second Language Teaching and Learning.


Session 1:

Ten Years after the 2007 MLA Report Part I: The Status and Influence of Languages within Colleges and Universities

 

In 2007, the MLA published  “Foreign Languages and Higher Education:  New Structures for a Changed World." Motivated in part by the post-9/11 “language deficit” crisis faced by the United States, the report sought to contextualize the academic structure in which foreign language and cultural studies are undertaken in this country, as well as the availability of a professoriate capable of meeting the instructional needs of a globalized society. 

 

In addition to its central recommendation of advancing translingual and transcultural competence through curricular integration, the report’s authors call on language departments to “strengthen the demand for language competence within the university”  (p. 7) and to raise the profile of languages through the promotion of study abroad, guest speakers lecturing in languages other than English, and so on. 

 

This session invites presentations that detail how today’s foreign language departments and programs have responded to these recommendations. To what extent has the report’s call to strengthen the demand for language competence within institutions been met? How has the proliferation of language double majors affected language departments and programs? Do students perceive foreign language study to be a necessary and integral part of the university experience? How have language departments and programs responded to institution-wide initiatives related to, for example, assessment, general education, career preparation, community outreach, diversity, and internationalization to enhance the status of languages within their institutions and beyond? 

 

Please send abstracts (maximum 200 words) to Johanna Watzinger-Tharp ([log in to unmask]) by March 15, 2016. 

 

 

Session 2:

Ten Years after the 2007 MLA Report Part II: Curricular Integration in Language Programs

 

In 2007, the MLA published  “Foreign Languages and Higher Education:  New Structures for a Changed World.”  Motivated in part by the post-9/11 “language deficit” crisis faced by the United States, the report sought to contextualize the academic structure in which foreign language and cultural studies are undertaken in this country, as well as the availability of a professoriate capable of meeting the instructional needs of a globalized society.  

 

In the report, the relationship between language and culture is discussed in terms of curricular disassociation.  The authors suggest that foreign language departments and programs often separate the language and literature parts of the curriculum, creating governance and instructional divisions between the two. The report calls on foreign language departments and programs to reexamine the intersection between language, literature, and culture and to promote more integrated, interdisciplinary programs and curricula.

 

Detailed in the report are recommendations for integrated curricula that develop students’ translingual and transcultural competence, offer multiple paths to the major, and “situate language study in cultural, historical, geographic, and cross-cultural frames within the context of humanistic learning” (p. 4). This session invites presentations that detail how—or if—today’s foreign language departments and programs have responded to these recommendations and to the report’s call to transform the traditional two-tiered system. 

 

Please send abstracts (maximum 200 words) to Johanna Watzinger-Tharp ([log in to unmask]) by March 15, 2016. 

 


Link to the MLA report: https://www.mla.org/Resources/Research/Surveys-Reports-and-Other-Documents/Teaching-Enrollments-and-Programs/Foreign-Languages-and-Higher-Education-New-Structures-for-a-Changed-World

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Jennifer Redmann
Associate Professor of German
Department of German and Russian
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster PA 17604
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