The Changing Landscape of Spanish Language Curricula
Spanish remains a large and constant fixture in the foreign language learning landscape in the United States. As Spanish language study has grown, so too has the diversity of students and contexts of use, placing the field in the midst of a curricular identity crisis. Spanish has become a second, rather than a foreign, language in the US, which leads to unique opportunities and challenges for curriculum and syllabus design, materials development, individual and program assessment, and classroom pedagogy. In their book, Brown and Thompson address these challenges and provide a vision of Spanish language education for the twenty-first century.Using data from the College Board, ETS, and the authors’ own institutions, as well as responses to their national survey of almost seven hundred Spanish language educators, the authors argue that the field needs to evolve to reflect changes in the sociocultural, socioeducational, and sociopolitical landscape of the US. The authors provide coherent and compelling discussion of the most pressing issues facing Spanish post-secondary education and strategies for converting these challenges into opportunities. Topics that are addressed in the book include: Heritage learners, service learning in Spanish-speaking communities, Spanish for specific purposes, assessment, unique needs for Spanish teacher training, online and hybrid teaching, and the relevance of ACTFL’s national standards for Spanish post-secondary education. An essential read for Spanish language scholars, especially those interested in curriculum design and pedagogy, that includes supporting reflection questions and pedagogical activities for use in upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
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