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Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Article: Spanish in the professions and in the community in the US

by Ann Abbott

I'm very happy to see one of my writing projects now published: Spanish in the professions and in the US.

Barbara Lafford was the lead author and generously asked Darcy Lear and me to co-author with her.

Here's what I wrote about the article when I shared it on Facebook:
CSL and LSP are gaining steam, but there are some core issues that need to be addressed: 1) a curriculum focused on creating informed/resourceful bilingual professionals, not always so specific; 2) integrating LSP and CSL throughout the curriculum, not just at the higher-level courses; 3) making sure faculty are well trained in the foundational, ethical principals of CSL and LSP; and 4) building a solid research base.
And here's the abstract:

Over the past two decades, Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) and Community Service Learning (CSL) in the United States (US) have gained traction in post-secondary institutions. Abbott and Lear (2010) established that CSL provides excellent opportunities for students to meet the National Foreign Language Standards. After establishing a brief historical overview of programs and research in the fields of Spanish LSP and CSL, this paper provides an overview of core issues facing the field, i.e., the need to (1) focus LSP on a new specific purpose (foundational training in professionalism) (i.e., those linguistic abilities, behaviors, skills, and manners that are vital to all professions in the target culture), (2) thread this training in professionalism throughout the curriculum (from basic language, to majors, to graduate students), (3) build interdisciplinarity among faculty through professional development, especially in the field of CSL, and (4) provide professional research training to second language acquisition scholars, graduate students, and LSP scholars/practitioners to build the research base in LSP and in experiential learning in CSL environments (Lafford 2012, 2013). This study concludes with an exploration of the challenges and rewards of implementing those LSP and CSL action items and proposes directions for future research. 

En las últimas dos décadas, la inclusión de lenguas para fines específicos (LFE) y el aprendizaje-servicio (APS) en el currículo universitario en los Estados Unidos ha ganado terreno. Abbott y Lear (2010) establecieron que el APS provee excelentes oportunidades para alcanzar los Estándares Nacionales para las Lenguas Extranjeras. Después de ofrecer un breve repaso histórico de programas e investigaciones en los campos de LFE y APS, este trabajo plantea un repaso de asuntos clave que enfrentan estos campos en torno a la necesidad de: (1) enfocar LFE hacia un nuevo propósito específico: la formación profesional básica (las habilidades, los comportamientos, las destrezas y las maneras que sean vitales para todas las profesiones en la cultura meta), (2) incorporar esta formación profesional en el curriculo (desde la lengua básica hasta el nivel de los especialistas y los estudiantes de posgrado), (3) construir un ambiente interdisciplinario entre los profesores por medio del desarrollo profesional, sobre todo en el campo de APS, y (4) proporcionar formación en técnicas de investigación a especialistas en adquisición de segundas lenguas, alumnos de posgrado y profesionales en LFE para construir una base investigadora tanto en LFE como en el aprendizaje experiencial en contextos de APS (Lafford 2012, 2013). Por último, este estudio explora los retos y los beneficios de la implementación de estos asuntos clave y propone caminos para futuras investigaciones.

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