Educating the Future Foreign Language Professoriate in 2010 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities (Plenary address)International Language Teacher Education Conference (2011)
AbstractEducating the Future Foreign Language Professoriate in 2010 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities Over the past two decades, numerous calls for change have been made regarding the undergraduate foreign language (FL) curriculum in U.S. institutions of higher education. Most recently, the 2007 Modern Language Association Report, entitled Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World proposed reform aimed at creating “unified, four-year curricula that situate language study in cultural, historic, geographic, and cross-cultural frames; that systematically incorporate transcultural content and translingual reflection at every level; and that organize the major around explicit, principled educational goals and expected outcomes” (p. 5). However, implications of such calls for change for future professors' readiness to teach in a transformed curriculum are less readily apparent. Left unanswered are questions including: What pedagogical approaches are most appropriate to unify the study of language and content? What professional development activities and tools might best instantiate reforms such as those called for in the MLA Report? How feasible is it to transform the professional development experiences of teaching assistants (TAs) given the prevailing conditions and constraints under which FL departments in U.S. universities operate today? This plenary presentation argues for the need to enact theoretically driven professional development of FL TAs to better reflect current calls for change in undergraduate education and the long-term nature of teacher development. We will briefly review research conducted on TA professional development in U.S. collegiate FL departments during the past two decades and identify recurrent preoccupations and recommendations in this body of work. Next, in light of ongoing challenges to carry out FL graduate education that takes into account both the short and long-term needs of graduate students as both teachers and scholars, we will illustrate how a pedagogy of multiliteracies (Kern, 2000; New London Group, 1996) can be used as an overarching concept to frame TA professional development. Examples will be drawn from an ongoing multi-site longitudinal study of TA professional development.
- teacher development,
- second language
Publication DateMay 19, 2011
Citation InformationHeather W. Allen and Beatrice Dupuy. "Educating the Future Foreign Language Professoriate in 2010 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities (Plenary address)" International Language Teacher Education Conference (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/heatherwillisallen/33/