Beyond the Language–Content Divide:
Integrating Language and Literary–Cultural Content in Upper-Division Courses
Judith E. Liskin-Gasparro
University of Iowa
Since the publication of the 2007 report of the MLA Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Languages, which called for “replacing the two-tiered language–literature structure with a broader and more coherent curriculum in which language, culture, and literature are taught as a continuous whole” (p. 3), there have been numerous efforts by language departments to respond productively—if not across the whole spectrum of the undergraduate curriculum, then at least in individual courses at elementary/intermediate or advanced levels. Third-year courses, in which students typically engage for the first time in reading literary–cultural texts both extensively and intensively, writing analyses, and summarizing and interpreting texts orally in class, are good sites for experimenting with ways to integrate linguistic development, literary analysis, and cultural learning. This workshop will present for discussion several approaches and activity types that promote language learning as well as development of interpretation and analysis of literary–cultural texts.
Judith Liskin-Gasparro (PhD, University of Texas–Austin) is Associate Professor Emerita of Spanish and Applied Linguistics at the University of Iowa. During her 22 years at the University of Iowa, she directed the elementary and intermediate Spanish program (1993–2006) and co-directed the university’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition (2000–2016). She taught courses in second language acquisition, applied linguistics, and Spanish language. Her research interests include the development of second language speaking skills in classroom and study abroad contexts, oral proficiency assessment, and program evaluation and the assessment of student learning outcomes. In addition to her publications in these areas, she gives presentations and workshops on foreign language program evaluation and on linking outcomes assessment and program evaluation to strategies for improving language instruction. She is the co-author of three college-level Spanish textbooks, and formerly was the co-editor of the Pearson monograph series, Theory and Practice in Second Language Classroom Instruction, and the Associate Editor for Reviews of The Modern Language Journal.
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