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Strengthening the connection between content and communication

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Title:Strengthening the connection between content and communication
Authors:Phillips, June K.
Date Issued:01 Jan 2009
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Phillips, J.K. (2009). Strengthening the connection between content and communication. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 29-37.
Abstract:This chapter presents some of the underlying concepts that informed the development of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, especially those that concern achieving communicative and content goals in all levels of language courses. It proposes that a firm understanding of the contexts embedded in the three modes of communication—Interpersonal, Interpretive, and
Presentational—establishes an instructional orientation that is more informative for teaching/learning than the four skills alone provided. Using the communicative modes as the starting point for a solid base of cultural or interdisciplinary content (including literary sources) results in learning that has strong intellectual content
in the humanities rather than rote learning and manipulative language practice. To facilitate this merging of communication and content, a series of templates are offered that instructors can use so that questions are asked at the planning stage that are appropriate to the content area. This scan of content with potential for student learning is then matched with communicative tasks appropriate to
the proficiency level of students. The templates help to establish a mindset for instructors so that new materials can be explored with minimal materials development time and also take advantage of contemporary events, student interests, and opportunities for curricular enrichment.

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