CALL FOR PAPERS: AAUSC Volume 2014
Innovation and Accountability in Foreign Language Program Evaluation
John Norris, Georgetown University; Nicole Mills, Harvard University
Stacey Katz Bourns, Harvard University
Despite rapid globalization within contemporary society and the seemingly obvious need for the study of foreign languages and cultures, numerous post-secondary institutions are decreasing their investment in language education by closing or restructuring foreign language (FL) programs. In response to the challenge of today’s economic climate, undergraduate recruitment to foreign language degrees has dwindled, graduate programs have disappeared, and institutions have restructured independent language departments into mega-departments of languages, literatures, and cultures. Departments have also moved to hire increasing numbers of part-time and non-tenure track faculty with contractual constraints, higher teaching loads, and lower pay scales to teach and coordinate FL courses. As a result of these kinds of societal and disciplinary movements, FL programs, along with other educational sectors, are facing the increased need to engage with heretofore peripheral forces like accountability and accreditation, to express and ensure their value through outcomes assessment, and to begin to think, innovate, and behave programmatically. Key to enacting these changes systematically and effectively is heightened awareness of the importance of program evaluation, not only as a means to demonstrate how and why foreign language study is a valuable pursuit in today’s world, but also as a heuristic via which sound improvements can be made, participants can learn, and educational relevance can be sought. Language program evaluation should enable departments and institutions to gain empirical information about the attainment of goals and outcomes, the program’s strengths and weaknesses, and a program’s congruence across the diverse areas of language learning and the complex structures of university departments. Furthermore, language program evaluation can assist language program directors (LPDs) and department chairs in demonstrating a program’s effectiveness to stakeholders like students, professors, and administrators, as well as encouraging the formulation of plans of action to enhance program achievements in the lower and upper levels of foreign language instruction.
This volume aims to provide language program directors and department chairs with contemporary approaches, tools, and recommendations for how to make the most of both internal and external evaluation as a means for identifying and acting on a program’s’ strengths and weaknesses, enabling congruence across institutional, departmental, and professional goals, and perhaps contributing to the survival of FL programs in higher education. The volume intends to address topics such as the integration of professional standards, university benchmarks, departmental goals, and outcomes assessment in language program evaluation; LPD, instructor, and graduate teaching assistant evaluation practices; and the evaluation of the development and perspectives of language learners’ within language programs.
Some of the questions to which this volume seeks to respond include:
- What are updated and innovative guidelines, methodologies, and frameworks in language program evaluation?
- What is the relationship between institutional and/or departmental goals and language program evaluation? How can we encourage accountability from within language programs?
- How can evaluation help to resolve tensions related to the disarticulated teaching of language and cultural content, ‘lower’ and ‘upper’ level courses, and curricular coherence?
- What are innovative instructor evaluation practices? What role do the language program director, departmental chair, and students play in the evaluation process of tenured and non-tenured faculty members?
- How can technology play a role in language program evaluation today?
Topics that might be addressed by contributors include:
1. Methodologies, guidelines, and frameworks in language program evaluation
a. Guidelines for the innovative design of language program evaluation
b. Evaluation of student learning outcomes
c. Instruments for language program evaluation
d. Heterogeneity of evaluation needs and approaches
e. Longitudinal evaluation of language programs
f. Making the most of program review processes
2. Relationship between national standards, institutional and departmental goals, outcomes assessment, and language program evaluation
a. Influence of Benchmarks and standards on language program evaluation
b. Accountability to institutional and departmental goals in language program evaluation
c. The influence of accreditation-mandated student learning outcomes assessment on language programs
d. Evaluation as a mechanism for language program innovation, improvement, and surviva
3. LPD, instructor, and TA evaluation practices
a. Instructor accountability and professional development
b. Innovative approaches to faculty, instructor, and TA evaluation
c. Assessment of teaching effectiveness
d. Evaluation of language program chairs, directors, and coordinators
e. Developing practitioners’ competencies in evaluatio
4.Technology-mediated language program evaluation
a. Innovative online approaches and instruments for language program evaluation
b. Evaluating technology-mediated language teaching and learning
For questions about the volume, please contact the volume editors at your earliest convenience at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com. Submission deadline for one page abstracts is March 15, 2013 and the deadline for full manuscripts is September 1, 2013. See style sheet (APA format, 5th edition) in recent issues of the AAUSC series or visit http://www.apastyle.org.
CALL FOR PAPERS: AAUSC Volume 2013 (CLOSED)
Individual Differences, L2 Development & Language Program Administration: From Theory to Application
Cristina Sanz, Georgetown University
Beatriz Lado, Lehman College, CUNY
Stacey Katz Bourns, Harvard University
The democratization of schooling and greater access to higher education, together with the implementation of language requirements in colleges and universities across the United States, have led to a higher degree of diversity in language classrooms. We usually think of gender, ethnic, racial, or social diversity, but individual differences, including learning disabilities and special needs, also contribute to diversity and have an impact on assessment, placement, and curriculum. In their role as administrators and teacher educators, Language Program Directors (LPDs) seek to integrate current practices and research in applied linguistics into program design and administration, including assessment. To make individual differences a theoretically grounded integral component of their decision-making processes, LPDs need resources that provide them with cutting-edge primary and secondary research on the conceptualization, measurement, and consequences of individual differences on language development in the classroom.
This volume will provide LPDs with the means to transmit information to their instructors in effective ways so that the instructors develop a sophisticated understanding of individual differences, including learning disabilities, special needs, and strategies for dealing with diverse student populations. In addition, this volume will create a forum for reflections about and solutions to challenges related to diversity as it relates to individual differences.
We will divide the volume into three sections:
1. Constructs and measurements of individual differences.
For example, for aptitude, and in terms of constructs and definitions, we are interested in how current models of working memory have replaced the broader construct of aptitude that was common in the 1980s and how they relate to L2 development.
Suggestions for Possible Chapters
2. Empirical studies
- Critical assessment of current views of individual differences as they relate to adult L2 learning;
- Critical reviews of measures of individual differences for language learning;
- Current tests to screen students for learning disabilities, especially those that affect language learning or use, as implemented by university Academic Resource Centers: Are they useful tools for LPDs?
. Qualitative and/or quantitative, including case studies, on the role of individual differences. We are especially interested in studies that look at L2 development under various pedagogical conditions and contexts, be they traditional, on-line, hybrid, or study abroad.
Suggestions for Possible Chapters
3. Practical connections.
- Individual differences and context of language learning: traditional classes, computer-assisted learning environments, hybrid courses, and study abroad programs;
- Individual differences and pedagogical conditions: is teaching grammar explicitly equally beneficial across levels of motivation or aptitude, for example?
- Interactions between aptitude and other individual differences, such as motivation, age and cognitive maturity, or learning style;
- Studies on the cognitive consequences of learning a foreign language: does studying a FL enhance one’s aptitude to learn additional languages?
- L2/L3 development in deaf and blind students.
Translating concepts and assessment into curricular decisions. How do LPDs address individual differences? The place of individual differences in decisions about instructor training and curricular design.
Suggestions for Possible Chapters
- The place of individual differences in TA education (e.g., workshops, methods courses);
- Teacher and student beliefs about individual differences, with special attention to aptitude;
- Differential role of individual differences in curriculum development of grammar-based, content-based, and task-based programs;
- Heritage language programs and individual differences;
- From bilingualism to multilingualism in language programs: the bilingual as the good language learner
- Examples of best practices: solutions to challenges posed by diversity as they relate to individual differences, including Foreign Language Learning Disability and learning impairments that affect college-level language students.
For questions about the volume, please contact the volume editors at your earliest convenience at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com. Submission deadline for one-page abstracts is March 15, 2012, and for full manuscripts, September 1, 2012. See style sheet (APA format, 5th ed.) in recent issues of the AAUSC series, or visit http://www.apastyle.org.
CALL FOR PAPERS: AAUSC Volume 2012 (CLOSED)
Hybrid Language Teaching and Learning: Exploring Theoretical, Pedagogical and Curricular Issues
, University of Utah
Joshua J. Thoms
, Louisiana State University
Stacey Katz Bourns
, Harvard University
Hybrid language teaching and learning, also referred to as “blended learning,” has become an increasingly popularmodel for the delivery of foreign language (FL) courses at the college level in the United States. Several factors have contributed to the proliferation of hybrid models of instruction in various institutions. Some include a more thorough understanding of how computer-assisted language learning, when informed by second language acquisition theories, can facilitate learners’ abilities to access input and produce output more effectively in the second language (L2), notice and correct linguistic errors more efficiently, interact more easily with native speakers of the L2 to understand facets of the L2 culture better, among other benefits. Similarly, many FL textbooks now incorporate interactive online components that allow an instructor or FL program director to be more creative and flexible when planning a course and determining what can be taught in and outside of the classroom. Yet another factor that plays a role in the growing number of hybrid course offerings is the economy. Given the recent economic downturn, many institutions’ budgets have been cut, which has directly affected how FL programs (both large and small) deliver their courses. Administrators in many universities have suggested that FL programs adopt a hybrid/blended learning model to use resources more efficiently. While recent studies have investigated the effects of hybrid models of teaching and learning on students’ L2 linguistic competencies, much more work is needed to fully understand the various aspects related to the implementation of hybrid courses and their effect(s) on L2 learning.
Papers are therefore sought for the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators’ 2012 volume, entitled Hybrid Language Teaching and Learning: Exploring Theoretical, Pedagogical and Curricular Issues. Manuscripts that address the theoretical, pedagogical and/or curricular issues related to implementing and maintaining a hybrid FL course, along with empirical studies both quantitative and qualitative, that investigate the effects of hybrid FL courses on students’ L2 learning, are welcome. Possible chapter topics may include, but are not be limited to, the following:
- the development of curricular/course models of hybrid teaching and learning;
- the training of instructors and teaching assistants to teach FL hybrid courses effectively;
- the use of SLA theory and research in CALL to inform decisions about how content is delivered and used in an online environment;
- the use of web 2.0 tools to facilitate the delivery of FL hybrid courses;
- an investigation of the effects of FL hybrid courses on specific student learning outcomes (e.g., writing, reading, speaking, or listening proficiencies);
- the role/effect of computer literacy on L2 learning in a hybrid course environment;
- the delivery of FL hybrid courses from an instructor’s or teaching assistant’s point of view;
- the adaptation of traditional FL textbooks to fit into the hybrid model;
- the indirect effect of the online component on the face-to-face component of hybrid courses (e.g., how do hybrid courses force instructors to modify what they do in the classroom?);
- the economic and political factors that motivate the implementation of hybrid courses; assessment within the hybrid model
For questions about the volume, please contact the volume editors at your earliest convenience. Submission deadline for one-page abstracts is April 1, 2011, and for full manuscripts is September 1, 2011. See style sheet (APA format, 5th ed.) in recent issues of the AAUSC series, or visit http://www.apastyle.org.
CALL FOR PAPERS: AAUSC Volume 2011 (CLOSED)
Educating the Future Foreign Language Professoriate for the 21st Century
Heather Willis Allen
, University of Miami
, Emory University
Stacey Katz Bourns
, Harvard University
Papers are sought for the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators’ 2011 volume. Entitled Educating the Future Foreign Language Professoriate for the 21st Century
, this collection takes the 2007 MLA Report and its proposed changes as a point of departure and explores pedagogical and structural means and models for graduate student education in light of the significant changes the FL profession is and has been undergoing. Some of the questions to which this volume seeks to respond include:
- Which theoretical frameworks or approaches are consistent with the goals of FL learning called for in the MLA Report (i.e., “translingual and transcultural competence”)? Which pedagogical approaches, concepts, and techniques do graduate student teachers need to understand in order to instantiate this type of teaching?
- In light of the MLA Report’s call to “situate language study in cultural, historical, geographic, and cross-cultural frames,” what types of courses as well as professional development activities and / or materials can best help graduate student teachers understand the interrelationships between form and meaning and language and culture?
- What is the role of graduate teacher education in collegiate FL departments? How do the calls in the MLA Report for collaboration and changed governance affect teacher development practices? How can teacher education be conceptualized to facilitate the most effective socialization into the FL profession?
Topics that might be addressed by contributors include:
- Proposing new frameworks for FL teacher development (e.g., sociocultural theory, functional perspective, literacy-oriented approaches, etc.)
- Developing graduate student instructors’ understanding of the place and role of the different language modalities in language education
- Developing graduate student instructors’ ability to comprehend, analyze, and teach cultural narratives
- Envisioning teacher education beyond the standard “methods” course
- Overcoming the division between language and literature teachers, i.e., developing language-based literature teachers and literature-based language teachers
- Implementing systems for graduate student teacher supervision and observation grounded in SLA theory and research
- Assessing graduate student teacher performance
- Developing graduate students’ advanced language abilities
Additionally, we are interested in empirically based qualitative and quantitative research that addresses the efficacy of teacher development and supervision practices or explores how graduate students teachers perceive their development as teachers and scholars in foreign language departments.
For expressions of interest and questions about the volume, please contact the editors at your earliest convenience. Submission deadline for one-page abstracts is April 1, 2010, and for full manuscripts is September 1, 2010.
See style sheet (APA format, 5th ed.) in recent issues of the AAUSC series, or visit http://www.apastyle.org
CALL FOR PAPERS: AAUSC Volume 2010 (CLOSED)
Glenn S. Levine
, University of California, Irvine
, University of Glasgow
, University of Texas at Austin
Critical and Intercultural Theory and Language Pedagogy
Critical theory, cultural studies, postmodernity as a label for today’s world, and postmodernism as an intellectual movement have come to mean many things to diverse academic fields of inquiry and different sectors of society. Yet many of those who study and teach languages in the North American context have largely ignored crucial theoretical issues that have been taken up in a wide range of fields, from literary studies to anthropology to management. And on the “other side of the fence,” those in literary and cultural studies often have viewed what happens in language classrooms as irrelevant to the intellectual work of the academy. This dilemma was recently fleshed out in the MLA ad hoc committee report, “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World” (http://www.mla.org/flreport
); language departments and professionals were challenged to find new ways to bridge the gap between conventional language instruction and more advanced ‘content’ courses, to better integrate and articulate language instruction with the goals and mission of a liberal arts education, and to pursue new ways for language instruction at all levels to contribute to students’ development as global citizens.
To foster this important endeavor, the goal of the volume is to explore the role of language teaching and learning in a postmodern world and the ways that literary theory, critical theory, social theory, cultural theory, and other theories, can or already do contribute to our thinking about curriculum, teacher training, and language teaching and learning. The volume should inform language program directors and instructors about these theories, as well as provide fuel for discussion and debate in language departments as they work toward addressing and implementing proposals put forth in the MLA Report. The volume thus seeks to bridge the language-literature/culture divide that is still the reality of many language departments. The group of projected contributors, who come from diverse fields within and outside of applied linguistics and SLA, represents a new direction for the AAUSC series. The twofold purpose is to provide a forum for those scholars to weigh in on issues of second-language teaching and learning, and to foster a dialogue among scholars from many fields who are concerned with critical issues of language, learning, and education.
With regard to the place of theory in language pedagogy, the volume aims to bring theoretical debates center stage for language professionals and to tackle the suspicion in which theorists are thought to hold practitioners and in which practitioners are thought to hold theorists. The editors take the view that for new forms of belonging to be imagined for our plurilingual times, and for political questions of language to truly inform language practice, then theories are needed which are strong enough to bear the weight of collective and individual self-reflection. There is, in language studies, an urgent need for thinking which may bring about a new consciousness of the import, place and incontestable profundity of the activityundefinedpractical and engagedundefinedof language learning. Indeed, it is the editors’ view that much of the theory developed over the last few decades in the humanities and social sciences has overshot the political and practical realities of classrooms and language learning practices. This volume, then, seeks to think about the fundamental textures of shared intercultural experience in teaching and learning languages. Without such a focus, then language pedagogy risks being left with little to say, and little conceptual novelty with which to say it, when faced with the profound questions raised by the politics of our current age.
Suggestions for Possible Topics
Manuscript proposals are welcome that consider any aspect of how theory can, should, or does relate to, inform or impact language curriculum, program direction, teacher training, or teaching practice. The intended readership includes language program directors and coordinators, basic language instructors, and language department faculty at large. Though we envision most contributions to be in essay form, we also welcome empirical research reports exploring connections between theory and issues of language teaching and learning. The focus may be as broad or narrow as the author(s) choose; they can deal with broad concepts or with specific features or aspects of language, culture, teaching, learning, etc. Specific questions of interest include but are not restricted to the following:
• Theory and theories
o An accessible ‘introduction’ to a specific theoretical framework in terms of its relevance for language education and/or language program design and direction
o How do specific theories (e.g., social theory, critical theory, sociocultural theory, cultural theory, complexity theory) relate to or inform particular aspects of language curriculum and teaching?
o How can language program directors and language teachers best make use of or ‘apply’ theory in designing curricula and teaching?
• Postmodernism and postmodernity, and preparing global citizens through language education
o Investigations/interrogations of issues of race, gender, class, postcolonialism etc. as these relate to collegiate language education
o Issues of globalization and language education
o Critical pedagogy and/or contribution of collegiate language instruction to social change
o Transcultural communication and intercultural communicative competence as a vehicle and goal for collegiate language education
o Language socialization and literacy perspectives
Whatever the specific focus, each contribution should address in concrete terms the implications or applications of particular theories for language program directors and language teachers, and ideally, each should also speak to scholars working in the author’s field of inquiry, highlighting what they could learn from issues and aspects of language teaching and learning.
Interested parties should submit abstracts to both editors by May 1, 2009. Potential contributors will receive feedback through a blind peer-review process by June 1, 2009. All manuscript submissions will also be blind peer-reviewed.
The deadline for full-length manuscripts is September 15, 2009, and final revisions will be due by March 15, 2010. Please note that the deadlines for full- length manuscripts and final revisions may be subject to change. The volume will appear in November, 2010 at the annual AAUSC meeting held in conjunction with the MLA
Please direct inquiries to Glenn S. Levine
or Alison Phipps