Teaching World Languages at Vanderbilt: Goals & Approaches Vanderbilt University Center for Second Language Studies Virginia M. Scott September 2, 2011 FL learning in the 21st century In the face of complex political, economic, and ecological challenges of the 21st century, second language learning will play an increasingly important role. People of all languages and cultures will need to talk to each other and, more importantly, be sensitive to the many ways that people construe and convey meaning. FL learning at Vanderbilt The VU Undergraduate Catalogue: “The holistic focus of a liberal education encompasses all areas of human knowledge: the sciences, mathematics, foreign languages and cultures, the arts, and the humanities.” (p. 66) FL learning at Vanderbilt The AXLE requirement: International Cultures (INT) 3 courses “The study of international culture provides students with a basis for understanding the diversity of experiences and values in our contemporary, global society.” “Language courses introduce students to the language of a different culture and provide insight into that culture in ways that are not possible through detached study. At intermediate and advanced levels, students are able to explore the culture in depth, using the language itself to read, discuss, and write about its various aspects. Even at the most basic level, exposure to the language of a different culture prepares students to think and act in terms of living in a global community”. VU goals restated Understand diversity of experiences in our global society Develop cultural awareness Get an “insider’s view” of other cultures Use the language to speak, read, and write. Exploring our own beliefs - Fill out the questionnaire. - Discuss your answers with a person from another language group. Klaus Brandl’s 8 principles of communicative language teaching 1) Use tasks as an organizing principle (rather than grammar topics) Ex: Talk about your family; organize a dinner; plan a trip 2) Promote learning by doing 3) Input needs to be rich and authentic; maximize use of the target language 4) Input needs to be meaningful and comprehensible IRE vs. IRF Klaus Brandl’s 8 principles of communicative language teaching 5) Promote cooperative and collaborative learning 6) Focus on form explicit grammar teaching: deductive = rule example inductive = example rule 7) Provide error corrective feedback positive vs. negative feedback 8) Recognize and respect affective factors of learning (anxiety, motivation, attitude, etc.) Define goals in terms of developing literacy “What I mean by “literacy”… is more than reading and writing as skills or as prescribed patterns of thinking. It is about relationships between readers, writers, texts, culture, and language learning. It is about the variable cognitive and social practices of taking and making textual meaning that provide students access to new communities outside the classroom, across geographical and historical boundaries. It involves an awareness of how acts of reading, writing, and conversation create and shape meanings, not merely transfer them from one individual or group to another. It is precisely because literacy is not monolithic, but variable and multiple, tied to the various sociocultural practices of a given society, that is of key importance in our teaching of language and culture .” Kern 2003, p. 3. ). 9 References Brandl, K. (2008). Communicative language teaching in action: Putting Principles to Work. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kern, R. G. (2003). Literacy and advanced foreign language learning: Rethinking the curriculum. In H. Byrnes & H. H. Maxim (Eds.), Advanced foreign language learning: A challenge to college programs (pp. 2-18). AAUSC Issues in Language Program Direction. Boston, MA: Heinle. Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Catalog.