Foreign language education Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Intercultural Citizenship at the Lilly Conference on Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning

Last month, I participated in the annual Lilly Conference on Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning, in Anaheim, CA. The theme of the conference was “Active and Engaged Learning.” I was invited to present on “Teaching Intercultural Communicative Competence and Social Engagement”—a subject I have been implementing in my courses and currently researching through the BLC Fellowship.…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Developing Performative Competence and Teacher Artistry: A Pedagogical Imperative in the Multicultural Classroom

Teaching performatively is an art that must be honed and developed through sustained practice. In this paper, I explore the theoretical considerations of a performative-humanistic approach to second language acquisition and the practical applications for a performance-based pedagogy, which is meant to offer readers an occasion to reflect on what it means to prepare students to become reflective and critical performers on the world stage. Particular attention is placed on the unique roles teachers play, and the responsibilities inherent in those roles. The paper is also an invitation to revisit existing approaches and practices through a performative lens engaging in a dynamic interdisciplinary dialogue, reflecting on the aesthetic dimension of language learning, and exploring the potential of the theatrical experience in the construction of a Self able to represent, perceive, create, and reflect.

Disinventing and Reconstituting the Concept of Communication in Language Education

In this article we draw on the praxiological framework of disinvention and reconstitution of language(s) to problematize the concept of communication in language education. Considering the fact that the concept of language as an instrument of communication was a metadiscursive regime used to (re)invent language as an isolated and unprob­lematic element, we argue for an idea of communication that embraces the complexity of language practices, communicative interactions, and the world at large. The critical (re)views shared throughout the text point to a complex perspective of communicative language classes, which requires an understanding of language and communication as complex social practices and as spaces with great potential to promote epistemic decoloniality.

Literacy-based Curricula in University Foreign Language Instruction: Perceptions from Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

Recent scholarship has underscored the need for a new paradigm in university foreign language programs and put forward literacy as a necessary curricular goal (e.g., Byrnes, Maxim, & Norris, 2010; Kern, 2000; Paesani, Allen, & Dupuy, 2016; Swaffar & Arens, 2005). In light of the high percentage of courses they teach, non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) are instrumental to implementing new curricular paradigms. As such, knowing how they understand literacy and its role in foreign language education is essential to advancing the implementation of literacy-based pedagogies. This study reports on how non- tenure-track faculty conceptualized literacy during a 2.5 month Professional Learning Circle (PLC). Sociocultural and cognitive dimensions of literacy dominated the ways in which participants conceptualized literacy and its associated pedagogies; linguistic dimensions were backgrounded. Findings suggest that ...

Mapping Monolingualism within a Language/Race Cartography: Reflections and Lessons Learned from ‘World Languages and Cultures Day’

An interactive exhibit at a university’s ‘World Language Day’ challenges systems of privilege that organize the study of ‘foreign’ and ‘world’ languages. Through discursive framing, participants’ written responses reveal an alignment with hegemonic ideologies of race and nation that elevate English monolingualism as a proxy for a White, virtuous cultural order within which ‘World language’ education safely—and additively—finds its place.

Translations and Paradoxes of ‘Western’ Pedagogy: Perspectives of English Language Teachers in a Chinese College

This paper engages the perspectives of teachers working in an English language department of a vocational college in China. It takes a transdisciplinary approach, applying constructs from the fields of comparative education, postcolonial theories in education, and critical applied linguistics to a case study of English language teaching; while the study assumes somewhat one-way flows of ‘best practices’ from ‘West’ to ‘East,’ it maintains a postcolonial skepticism of the East-West binary and of essentialist notions of culture and progressive education. Specifically, it situates the shifting conditions and practices of so-called Western pedagogies in China under heightened transnationalism ...

Whose ‘Crisis in Language’? Translating and the Futurity of Foreign Language Learning

This contribution questions to whom and to whose learning experience has the idiom of crisis that so pervades the domain of U.S. foreign language teaching been addressed. The authors report on an advanced foreign language classroom-based study from 2013, in which undergraduate German learners translated a 14-page prose poem about translingual experience—“Das Klangtal” (“The Sound Valley”) by British-Austrian poet and translator Peter Waterhouse (2003). The course—located at a university in the American Southwest—created an opportunity for the students and the instructor to reflect on a constellation of relations—transdisciplinarity, translingualism, and transcontextuality—often perceived under the aegis of a “crisis” of the subject. Through an analysis of the students’ reflections as translators, readers, and languagers, the study considers ...

Bildung Reloaded–Educational Challenges for a Globalized World

Worldwide, education promises a better future for aspiring generations. However, our current educational landscape has been shaped by neoliberal thinking, and is thus often oriented toward economic objectives. In Germany Bildung is a notion ...

Space and Language Learning under the Neoliberal Economy

Neoliberalism, as an ideology that valorizes and institutionalizes market-based freedom and individual entrepreneurship, derives from the logic of highly advanced capitalism, and thus must be understood in relation to the material conditions of our capitalist economy. One such material condition is space. However, the intersection of space and neoliberalism ...

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