|Brianna Anderson, "Spanish in the Community" student, serving tamales at the Refugee Center's fundraising dinner. What research questions could we ask about her time in the community, her Spanish and her learning?|
Out of the many positive things ACTFL does for our profession, one of the latest efforts involves establishing and supporting research priorities. As explained in "Moving Language Education Forward: ACTFL's Research Priorities Initiative" (The Language Educator April 2012), the project follows these steps:
1. Researchers conducted reviews of the literature in nine research priority categories. Those reviews will be published this summer.
2. Those research priorities were condensed to five areas:
- Foreign Language Teacher Preparation Model Programs: Documentation, Implementation, and Outcomes
- Profiles of High-Performing Foreign Language Teachers in K-12 Settings
- Language Use in the Community
- Mentoring K-16 Foreign Language Teachers and Classroom Discourse
- High-Leverage Teaching Practices
3. Later this year, ACTFL will fund research projects in those five areas. "We are hopeful that in Phase II, research projects will be undertaken at multiple sites across the country in collaborative work by K-16 research teams." (p. 30).
Obviously, I am most interested in the research priority on language use in the community. I am also excited about the possibility of a research project involving multiple sites across the country and involving my colleagues in K-12 education.
Let's see where this can lead us!