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Contribution to Book
Program Articulation and Management
The Routledge Handbook of Hispanic Applied Linguistics (2014)
  • Gillian Lord, University of Florida
  • Christina Isabelli
Broadly speaking, this chapter provides an overview of language program design with respect to the teaching of Spanish as a second language (L2) or foreign language (FL). Although at first glance the topic may seem a simple one, it is in fact a complex theme with multiple avenues.  We focus here on the development of language program design over time as a way to frame our current situation, which we discuss in terms of curriculum and student outcomes. Each of these subtopics merits a more detailed discussion than we can give it here, but we reference them in order to show the interconnectedness of program design. The interested reader is referred to the section on further reading as well as to the other chapters in this volume that discuss these topics in greater detail.
The chapter begins with a historical perspective on the main issues related to program management, including the most traditional structures employed in language programs and departments. This background is then used to set the scene for a discussion of the changing landscape of language programs. The field of L2 education is reconsidering, if not yet reformatting, the role and activities of language departments, and this section examines the impetus behind these changes, as well as their curricular and administrative implications. Also relevant is the issue of academic study abroad (SA) programs, which add depth and breadth to the language curriculum but require prudent articulation and management to ensure alignment of the learning goals in the SA context with the mission of the stateside program. In the final sections of the chapter we summarize the path of change we are witnessing and provide some areas that will require the attention of applied linguists and their colleagues.

Although a considerable amount of research exists relating to the general issues of L2 program articulation, remarkably little work has been carried out with specific respect to Spanish language programs. Work in this vein tends to focus on programs for heritage Spanish speakers residing within the United States (US; also known as Spanish for bilinguals or Spanish for native speakers; e.g., Potowski 2002, 2005; Potowski and Carreira 2004) rather than on the instruction of Spanish as a L2 to English speakers. To be sure, the population of heritage speakers merits a unique approach to language instruction, given their different background and exposure to language. Chapter 9 in this volume addresses the specific issues relevant to this population, so they are not discussed in detail here. It is also necessary to note that research regarding the structure of language programs beyond the US is scarce, with most published work related to articulation and program management being generated from within. What limited studies can be found (e.g., Cortés Moreno 2013; Sant’anna and Daher 1995) point to similar issues as those that are discussed here, namely how to meet the needs of new generations of students whose interests lie not so much in theoretical approaches to linguistics or literature but rather in practical and pragmatic uses of language in a variety of careers. With these caveats in mind, this chapter focuses largely on those general issues that affect any language program, although we relate them to the extent possible to the situations that affect Spanish programs. 
  • foreign language programs,
  • university curriculum,
  • world language program
Publication Date
Fall September 12, 2014
Publisher Statement
The Routledge Handbook of Hispanic Applied Linguistics is published by Routledge. Please see this link to purchase.
Citation Information
Gillian Lord and Christina Isabelli. "Program Articulation and Management" The Routledge Handbook of Hispanic Applied Linguistics (2014)
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