It's great to see the attention that foreign language community service learning (CSL) is getting within our profession. My friend and colleague, Darcy Lear (UNC-CH), is working on a piece for a special issue of The Modern Language Journal on specialized language instruction. She is focusing specifically on the role of CSL in the teaching of Spanish (or other languages) for the professions.
Here are a few other opportunities that are still open:
- Hispania has put out a call for papers for their special focus issue on the Scholarship of Community Engagement. Although CSL is not the only focus within the scholarship of community engagement, it is an important one, and I will be sure to submit something.
- The University of Arizona will host a conference entitled: Intercultural Competence and Foreign/Second Language Immersive Environments. Again, CSL is not the only type of immersive environment, of course, but it is an important one and one in which transcultural and translingual competence is crucial.
- The International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement will hold its 2011 conference in Chicago. This conference is not specific to foreign languages, but I think I will submit a proposal about developing students' transcultural competence when doing service learning in multicultural contexts. I hope to go to the conference or co-present with Valeri Werpetinski; she coordinates the service learning efforts at our Center for Teaching Excellence.
What we need to present in these and other forums is rigorous research results. There are important research questions that need answers. However, as I have said many times on this blog, that will not happen until our profession begins to reward research on service learning in the same ways it rewards research on linguistics, applied linguistics and literature.
Will you submit a manuscript or presentation proposal to these venues? Do you know of other upcoming publication and conference opportunities for foreign language CSL? If so, please share in the comments.