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Authors:Norris, John
Mills, Nicole
Date Issued:01 Jan 2014
Publisher:Heinle Cengage Learning
Citation:Introduction. (2014). The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 1-14.
Abstract:Despite rapid globalization within contemporary society and the seemingly obvious
need for the study of foreign languages (FLs) and cultures, recruitment to undergraduate
FL degrees has dwindled, graduate programs have disappeared, and
institutions have restructured language programs. At the same time, the FL and
humanities disciplines have engaged in soul-searching exercises in an effort to
understand and express a renewed sense of value for the study of FL and culture.
As a result of these kinds of societal and disciplinary movements, FL programs,
along with other educational sectors, are facing the increased need to engage with
heretofore peripheral forces like accountability and accreditation, to express and
ensure their value through outcomes assessment, and to begin to think, innovate,
and behave programmatically. Key to enacting these changes systematically and
effectively is heightened awareness of the importance of program evaluation, not
only as a means to demonstrate how and why FL study is a valuable pursuit in
today’s world but also as a process through which sound improvements can be
made, participants can learn, and educational relevance can be sought. The volume
provides language program directors with an overview of innovative methodologies,
guidelines, and frameworks in language program evaluation and includes
topics such as the integration of professional standards, university benchmarks,
departmental goals, and outcomes assessment in language program evaluation.
Ideas and examples emanating from the volume should equip language program
directors with tools and knowledge to help innovate and otherwise transform
their language programs in response to the pressing needs to do so.

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