2003 ADVANCED FOREIGN-LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION

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    Expanding visions for collegiate advanced foreign language learning
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2003-01-01) Maxim, Hiram H.
    This paper examines the prevailing departmental, professional, and research practices in collegiate foreign language (FL) learning and argues that, as it is currently conceptualized, collegiate FL learning needlessly limits the opportunities for developing advanced language abilities. In response to this predicament, alternative approaches to FL learning are proposed that center around more comprehensive and integrated curricular planning that recognizes the longterm nature of FL learning. Specifically, in contrast with the current privileging of spoken language, individualistic approaches to language use, and naturalistic learning, this paper advocates a genre- and discourse-based orientation to FL learning that reflects a social understanding of language use.
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    Fostering advanced-level language abilities in foreign language graduate programs: Applications of genre theory
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2003-01-01) Crane, Cori ; Liamkina, Olga ; Ryshina-Pankova, Marianna
    Findings from two surveys (Spring 2002) regarding the perceived needs of graduate students from US. Foreign language (FL) doctoral programs in fostering advanced second language (L2) development are discussed. Participants include thirteen FL graduate students, nine FL program coordinators, and one FL department chair. Analysis of the surveys reveals (1) the central role lower-level language teaching plays in FL graduate students' L2 development; (2) the need among graduate students to understand L2 ability in terms of contextualized language use; and (3) graduate students' desire for greater departmental support of their L2 abilities. The paper argues for the construct of genre as a means for conceptualizing and promoting advanced-level language development. Genres graduate students will likely encounter as future members of the profession are presented. Two case studies of graduate students' experiences with the genre précis further illustrate how a genre approach can foster L2 academic abilities. General recommendations for FL graduate programs are offered.
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    "What's business got to do with it?" The unexplored potential of business language courses for advanced foreign language learning
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2003-01-01) Weigert, Astrid
    tAdvanced-level foreign language business courses have an as yet unexplored potential to contribute to advanced students' literacy and discourse development. The first part of the paper highlights current limitations for the development of new approaches for advanced-level content courses as they present themselves within the SLA research community, within departmental structures, and within the practitioner community of business language instructors.The second part of the paper offers a theme and genre-based approach to the design of business language courses. Examples are drawn from a thematic unit on international mergers developed for a Business German course at Georgetown University.
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    Study abroad for advanced foreign language majors: Optimal duration for developing complex structures
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2003-01-01) Isabelli, Casilde A.
    SLA research has explored the many benefits of study abroad programs. However, there is limited research that explores syntactic gains made abroad by the advanced learner and addresses the question: How does length of stay abroad affect language acquisition, particularly advanced L2 features? The present study addresses this question from a UG perspective by evaluating 31 advanced learners of Spanish L2 who spent an academic year abroad in Barcelona. The development and acquisition of the properties of the null subject parameter were measured at one month (representing a summer abroad), four months (representing a semester abroad), and nine months (representing an academic year abroad). A discussion follows on some additional factors that need to be considered when sending an advanced language learner on a study abroad program.
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    Heritage speakers' potential for high-level language proficiency
    (Thompson & Heinle, 2003-01-01) Kagan, Olga ; Dillon, Kathleen
    tThe paper examines the conditions under which heritage students of Russian might achieve advanced or higher proficiency within an undergraduate program. While the research reports on the needs of Russian heritage speakers,its conclusions are relevant for curriculum development in other less commonly taught languages. The proposed matrix for a heritage program in Russian includes the following components: proper placement; a multi-year sequence in an uninterrupted, comprehensive curriculum; heritage learner-specific instructional materials; instructors trained in heritage language acquisition; a home/community native speaker environment; and a metalinguistic framework that raises awareness of the importance of grammatical accuracy and register In discussing this matrix we analyze the prevailing/traditional attitudes of the teaching profession towards heritage learners and provide information about a number of studies that have suggested the proposed matrix.