• Colleen M. Ryan posted an update in the group Group logo of LSL Second-Language Teaching and LearningLSL Second-Language Teaching and Learning on MLA Commons 2 years, 9 months ago

    I am honored to have received a nomination to candidacy for the LSL Second-Language Teaching and Learning Forum. With 20 years of combined experience as director of language program and director of undergraduate studies at two different universities, I bring a holistic perspective to questions of articulation, assessment, classroom teaching, and teacher training, both in terms of language and cultural content, and in terms of theories and practices that are applicable across the curriculum and connect foreign language study with other disciplines.

    As a representative of the Second Language Teaching and Learning Forum, I would encourage departments to review their missions or vision statements and I would discourage them from fostering program goals that conceive language proficiency separately from content knowledge, or lower division study as separate from upper division work. I would strive, instead, to dialog vertically (first year to fourth year) and horizontally (across areas of specialization) with the goal of articulating a clear and unified vision for program identity that reflects the unique aspects of the institution as well as the interdisciplinary goals of a 21st century liberal education.

    At a time when many language programs must actively recruit to maintain enrollments, in some cases survive, I would continue through my work with AATI, ACTFL, and AAUSC to create opportunities for dialog, collaboration, and greater mutual understanding between high school and college faculty. Furthermore, based on insights gleaned from recent ADFL Seminars, I would emphasize sharing strategies between small but successful language programs and larger but shrinking ones. My emphasis overall would be on showing, not just stating, the invaluable role that foreign language study has across degree programs and levels of education. Furthermore, I would promote systematic and varied professionalization programs for graduate student teachers, with a keen eye toward (1) the high impact practices characterizing excellence in undergraduate education today and (2) how research and teaching can be both consciously and fruitfully integrated.

    To vote, please log in to the MLA website. If you have any questions or comments about my statement, please feel free to contact me via this forum or by email at ryancm@indiana.edu.
    Thank you for your attention today.