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    Introduction: From description to theory
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Paesani, Kate ; Barrrette, Catherine M.
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    Factoring in previous study of other foreign languages when designing introductory courses
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Magnan, Sally Sieloff ; Frantzen, Diana ; Worth, Robin
    A theory of articulation for foreign language (FL) programs must consider factors that differentiate students in courses.This empirical study identifies one factor affecting horizontal and vertical articulation of first-semester French, Spanish, and Italian courses: whether students new to the language of the current class have experience studying another FL at the post-secondary level.This new variable—no other college language (NOCL) versus other college language (OCL)—was used to determine (1) whether NOCL and OCL students differ in anxiety level and plans to continue language study, (2) if anxiety levels differ between OCLs who have studied another Romance language and those who have studied a non-Romance language, and (3) classroom factors that foster comfort. Students completed a questionnaire including the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope 1986), MacIntyre and Gardner Anxiety Subscales (1989, 1994), demographic information, and an open question. Statistical analyses revealed that although neither group was extremely anxious, NOCLs were significantly more anxious than OCLs and NOCLs taking Spanish experienced significantly more anxiety than those taking French and Italian. There were significant differences for NOCLs and OCLs on the Input, Processing, and Output subscales, with significantly higher Input anxiety for Spanish than Italian students and significantly higher Processing anxiety for Spanish than for French or Italian students. No significant difference in anxiety was found between OCLs who had studied a Romance language and those who had studied a non-Romance language.No significant difference was found between NOCLs and OCLs in their plans to continue studying the language. Student-identified sources pointed to the importance of instructors and classmates in creating a comfortable classroom. Interview comments from randomly selected students reinforced these findings. The chapter concludes by suggesting that this new factor be considered part of interdisciplinary articulation:each language, like each discipline a student studies, affects learning other FLs subsequently.
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    Language program articulation from the perspective of the learner: Constructing coherence through the use of a language learning portfolio
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Woody, Diane Beelen
    This chapter focuses on the issues of language program articulation from the perspective of second language (L2) learners, in particular, post-secondary learners at the transition point between lower-level language courses and advanced-level courses. The chapter presents the pedagogical use of the language learning portfolio and explores it as a concrete, yet flexible format for eliciting and documenting learners’ reactions to the language program in which they are enrolled.The portfolio can be structured to guide L2 learners to actively perceive, or construct, articulation in their program of L2 learning. Language educators and language program directors (LPDs) will have an inside glimpse at how learners attempt to situate their current L2 learning within a time frame (vertical articulation); how they perceive internal coherence of process across the various learning activities in a given course (horizontal articulation); and how they situate their language learning within a framework of general cognitive and personal development (interdisciplinary articulation). The portfolio can be viewed as an articulation project that encourages learners to reflect on the sequencing, coherence, diversity, and relevance of the language program as they experience it. When viewing the product that the portfolio becomes, language educators and LPDs can observe the effect of their efforts at program articulation and curriculum design, over time, from the vantage point of learners.
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    Co-construction and articulation of code choice practices in foreign language classrooms
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Levine, Glenn S.
    In developing a theoretical foundation for language program articulation the author argues that code choice practices be co-constructed by instructors and students as an integral part of the adult second language acquisition (SLA) and socialization process. A principled approach to classroom code choice is introduced and related to issues of vertical and horizontal language program articulation. This multilingual model derives from a rejection of the “monolingual native speaker” as the target toward which adult second language learners should strive, in favor of training them as multilingual, intercultural speakers in their own right. Motivated also by the tenets of critical applied linguistics, sociocultural and sociocognitive approaches to SLA, and the conceptualization of language as social semiotic, learners are granted a vital and ongoing role in co-constructing classroom code choice norms. This role is facilitated by a critical examination of codes, dynamic strategies instruction, and investigation of multilingual speech communities in the target culture(s). The model contributes to horizontal articulation in multi-section language courses by providing a unifying yet heterogeneous framework for code choice practices. It contributes to vertical articulation by treating the development and modification of code choice norms as a longterm, multi-stage endeavor. This chapter concludes with consideration of the implications of the multilingual model for language program articulation and direction.
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    An articulation study of post-secondary German students: Results, implications, and suggestions
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Sinka, Margit M. ; Zachau, Reinhard
    Dwindling financial resources for education and low enrollment figures at the post-secondary level often lead to the elimination of entire German programs, yet improved program articulation may help overcome this situation. Information about students’motivations for studying German can inform both vertical and interdisciplinary articulation efforts, thereby making better use of the limited funds available and providing students with better programs of study. In this chapter the authors report a large-scale survey of post-secondary German students’ reasons for enrolling in their first German course, motivations for studying German beyond the language requirement, and perceptionsof the importance of several components of the German curriculum. Statistical comparisons of responses to twenty-five Likert-scale items indicate that learnersare more motivated by affective factors and the development of oral and written proficiency than by pragmatic factors such as career benefits. The survey results lead to the identification of issues relevant for curricular reform and program articulation throughout the undergraduate language program, and may lead to higher enrollment figures in German. In particular, the results suggest that the careful spiraling, or integration, of language and content across all levels of the undergraduate curriculum is the key to motivating students to study German and to successful articulation.The chapter concludes with comments on the crucial role of the language program director in shaping and maintaining a well-articulated language curriculum.
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    Articulating foreign language writing development at the collegiate level: A curriculum-based approach
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Maxim, Hiram H.
    In light of the well-documented structural and professional obstacles to developing articulated curricula in collegiate foreign language (FL) departments, in this chapter the author presents a procedural approach for overcoming these obstacles and implementing an integrated four-year undergraduate curriculum. Specifically, the approach consists of the following steps: the formulation of shared departmental goals, the establishment of a close linkage between language and content at all levels of instruction, a clear principle for organizing and sequencing the content, a consistent pedagogy for engaging the content, and a systematic approach for assessing the degree to which the curriculum meets its stated goals at all levels of instruction. To demonstrate the practical application of this approach, the author discusses the implementation of an articulated program for developing collegiate FL learners’ writing abilities within a recently revised and integrated undergraduate curriculum. Following a genre-based literacy orientation, the curriculum is able to establish a context for developing learners’ writing abilities across all four years of instruction. In addition, the implications of an articulated curriculum for the language program director are discussed.
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    The role of special focus sections in the articulations of language literature courses
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Schutlz, Jean Marie
    In this chapter the author explores the multiple issues involved in the vertical and interdisciplinary articulation of language programs, particularly from intermediate-level language courses to the advanced-level reading and composition course. After tracing some of the impediments to effective articulation, including the definition of articulation itself, textbook issues, and practical constraints, the author proposes a multi-dimensional model for achieving smooth vertical and interdisciplinary articulation. Finally, a sample intermediate-level French focus section serves to illustrate the model.
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    Articulating study abroad: The depth dimension
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Wilkinson, Sharon
    As more and more undergraduate students at all levels within our foreign language programs opt to complete part of their studies in a target language country, the need to consider the curricular fit between study abroad and the home campus program is becoming imperative. Using Lange’s (1982) concepts of horizontal, vertical, and interdisciplinary articulation, this chapter considers (1) what we can learn about articulating study abroad when we examine it through Lange’s lens, and (2) what we can learn about articulation theory when we take into account the unique characteristics of study abroad. It is argued that the overseas immersion environment differs crucially from the home campus setting in its proliferation and importance of out-of-class learning opportunities. Study abroad research reveals that this extracurricular setting is notoriously complex, characterized by a convergence of multiple linguistic and cultural demands that are also sensitive to numerous personal factors.To capture this issue of intensity that seems to be the key difference between home and host environments, a depth dimension to Lange’s model is proposed, encompassing interdisciplinary articulation and complementing existing horizontal and vertical axes. Implications of applying a broader three-dimensional articulation model to the home curriculum, particularly the introductory language program, are also discussed.
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    The theory of constraints thinking process: An approach to the challenges of curriculum articulation
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Murillo, Adriana
    Language program articulation presents ongoing challenges to educators, in part because the descriptive nature of much of the published work is not sufficiently generalizable to the variety of contexts in which articulation must occur. As such, this chapter addresses the issue of foreign language (FL) curriculum articulation using Theory of Constraints (TOC) Thinking Process logic and tools, which offer a generalizable, process-focused alternative to previous approaches to articulation.This business-oriented model of organizational problem solving has the potential to develop effective solutions to the challenges of FL program articulation, while facilitating communication, collaboration, and agreement among participants. To introduce the reader to the TOC Thinking Process and facilitate the understanding of each tool, the key elements of this theory are summarized. Next, the TOC Thinking Process tools are applied to the Wayne State University undergraduate Spanish program. Implications for improvements to articulation and for the language program director emerge as a result of this case analysis. A discussion of the use of the TOC Thinking Process as a theoretical model of articulation, generalizable across language programs, concludes the chapter.
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    The role of the language program director within a three-dimensional model of articulation
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2004-01-01) Paesani, Kate ; Barrrette, Catherine M.
    Post-secondary educators have been discussing the challenges of foreign language (FL) program articulation since the 1960s, and have as yet been unable to find a generalizable approach to achieving coherent programs. Research to date on this topic has been descriptive, making it difficult to generalize the successes of one program to others. To address the need for a generalizable model of language program articulation, the authors propose a model of articulation and report the results of a pilot survey used to test, and subsequently modify, the model. Survey respondents’ perceptions of the relative contributions of eleven factors to overall program articulation suggest that these factors interact differently and to varying degrees along three axes of articulation: Curricular Content and Instructional Delivery, Learner Experience, and Scope of Influence. The role of the language program director in articulation is compared with the role of the ten other factors on each of the three axes independently as well as in the three-dimensional model. Finally, implications of the survey results for the proposed model and for FL program articulation are presented.