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A chronicle of standards-based curricular reform in a research university

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Title:A chronicle of standards-based curricular reform in a research university
Authors:Bernhardt, Elizabeth
Valdés, Guadalupe
Miano, Alice
Date Issued:01 Jan 2009
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Bernhardt, E., Valdés, G., Miano, A. (2009). A chronicle of standards-based curricular reform in a research university. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 54-85.
Abstract:In 1995, Stanford University embarked upon curricular renewal in all major foreign languages. This curricular renewal was motivated by the university senate’s concern that campuswide internationalization could not come about without a serious commitment to language teaching and learning. That commitment was then institutionalized in the Stanford Language Center. The Center was charged with encouraging excellence in language teaching, establishing and maintaining
performance standards, providing professional development opportunities for the teaching staff, and developing a research program about language teaching and learning. At the heart of the renewal process established by the Language Center was a professional development program focused on Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) certification that helped the teaching staff to acquire a common framework
and professional language upon which to engage and interact. Also key was a
focus on the Standards as blueprints for program development. This chapter narrates the process the staff negotiated over several years of development, using the
1st- and 2nd-year Spanish programs as the specific instance of Standards-based curriculum development. Appended to the chapter is the curricular document that includes objectives for interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive language based on a quarter system calendar for 2 years of instruction. In addition, the chapter chronicles how the Standards-based curriculum had both a washback and a feedback effect on staff-development and knowledge of language assessment.
Finally, the chapter maps a future path, noting the shortcomings of current
assessment procedures for analyzing presentational language, and proposing an alternative.

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