BRIDGING THE COMMUNITY AND INSTITUTION GAP: A SAMPLE COURSE WITH CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND LANGUAGE FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES COMBINED
professional communication in foreign languages
Foreign language deficit
languages for specific purposes
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractA crisis looms on the horizon for graduate programs in foreign languages. It is evident in ever tightening budgets, institutional demands for cross departmental collaboration, interdisciplinary courses, community service-learning, online courses and majors, greater enrollment and retention, and student needs for applied language courses beyond those offered at the undergraduate level. Symptomatic of greater changes in the job market and society impacting the restructuring of higher education across the board, this crisis threatens to render graduate language programs as traditionally conceived obsolete. Meeting the current challenge, however, will require a critical reflection on not only existing course content and delivery, but also on the very purpose, potential value, and goals and objectives of graduate foreign language programs. To this end, this article presents a graduate level Spanish course combining civic engagement and Language for Specific Purposes (LSP), titled “Teaching Spanish for Specific Purposes and Civic Engagement.” (SSP) as well as model for assessment. This course serves as a model to graduate foreign language programs, aims to inspire interdisciplinary collaboration, and exemplifies the innovation needed in meeting current needs and challanges. In the process, this paper assesses the current state of graduate foreign language programs and considers the potential value of integrating LSP courses as a core component of graduate curricula. I argue that the development of such courses and the broadening of our thinking with regards to aims and objectives of graduate programs in foreign languages are imperative if we are to remain relevant for students, institutions of higher learning, and society at large in the ever-changing world of the 21st century.