American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs

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  • 27 Nov 2017 11:39 AM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    ACTFL 2017 was my first convention, and I was so grateful to have the intellectual and financial support of AAUSC. As an early-career course coordinator, I benefited greatly from attending the AAUSC meetings in Nashville. Specifically, I appreciated the honesty with which language program directors discussed the (exciting!) challenges of program-wide assessment; hearing the perspectives of colleagues from various types of institutions helped me contextualize the strengths and weaknesses of the language program at my own institution. Additionally, as a literature Ph.D., I sought out sessions that would enhance my ability to conduct and publish classroom-based research. I learned of various journals that publish the work of emerging scholars, and I was able to get some feedback on a peer review study that I’m conducting. In other sessions that concentrated on classroom practice, I was able to trouble shoot some of the challenges of the courses that I teach; I plan to consult the Routledge frequency dictionaries to revise my Intermediate Spanish vocabulary lists, and I’m going to modify my Advanced Grammar class so that students have more opportunities to engage with authentic texts and formally reflect on their language learning. Thanks to the high-quality sessions, welcoming colleagues from AAUSC, and meaningful one-on-one interactions, I left the conference feeling inspired and connected. Looking forward to next year!

    Kristen M. Turpin, Ph.D.
    Visiting Assistant Professor
    Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
    Villanova University

  • 18 Nov 2017 12:39 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    It's time to choose our leadership! Vice-President Lara Lomicka becomes President on January 1, 2018, and we must elect a new officer to take her place. 

    (1) Read the candidates' biographies and statements.

    (2) Go to the online ballot to choose the next Vice-President-Elect.

    Voting will be open until 12:00 a.m. December 25, 2017.

    Thanks to out-going President Colleen Ryan! She becomes Past-President on January 1. We appreciate her service and leadership.

  • 17 Nov 2017 12:58 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    AAUSC @ MLA 2018

    Session 384: Understanding Vocabulary Learning and Teaching: Implications for Language Program Development

    Colleen M. Ryan, Presider
    Friday, January 5, 2017
    3:30-4:45 p.m.
    Hilton, Concourse A

    1. The Case for Collaborative Dialogues to Learn Vocabulary in Upper-division Courses
    Celine Rose, U Iowa

    2. The Effectiveness of Second-language Vocabulary Teaching and Learning Strategies: Perceptions versus Reality
    Joseph Price, U Arizona-Tuscon

    3. Listening Tasks: A Longitudinal Study on Language-learning Vocabulary in L2 Spanish
    Cristina Pardo Ballester, Iowa State U


  • 20 Jun 2017 12:05 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)
    We are pleased to announce that the editorial board of the AAUSC series Issues in Language Program Direction, has selected two new co-editors: Kate Paesani (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota) and Johanna Watzinger-Tharp (University of Utah). The current editor, Stacey Katz Bourns (Northeastern University), is overseeing the transition to the incoming co-editors, who will assume editorship of the volume in November 2017. 

    Thanks to Stacey for all her years of service to the organization, and best of luck to Kate and Johanna!

  • 12 Jan 2017 11:45 AM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    The ACTFL convention 2016 was the second time I attended the conference, and the first time as an AAUSC member. During these three days in Boston, I participated in many sessions within my research and teaching interests, learned about new tools and strategies for planning and conducting lessons, and could get many impressions and ideas from other language programs. I found it particularly valuable that I could exchange ideas with language educators from all kinds of different contexts, for instance Saturday schools, community colleges, or exchange programs. I could consider and integrate new perspectives and learn from others’ experiences. I also attended the AAUSC German Sector Business Meeting, and the AAUSC Business Meeting and Reception. Both of these events stood out to me because of my colleagues’ thought-provoking presentations, the productive and engaging discussions we had, and the supportive AAUSC community that welcomed me and that I could be part of. I’m looking forward to attending many more ACTFL conventions and AAUSC events in the future.

  • 12 Jan 2017 11:43 AM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    On the 2016 ACTFL Convention: I am incredibly grateful for the support that the AAUSC provided me to travel to my first ACTFL Convention and first national conference. For me, the entire conference experience centered on building relationships within the AAUSC. First, attending the AAUSC French Section Meeting and the AAUSC editorial board meeting allowed me to network with a number of future colleagues whose names I had heard and whose work I had read. Because I am currently transitioning from completing my doctoral coursework to working on my dissertation, it was a great professional experience for me to be able to put faces to names and start to see other AAUSC members as my colleagues. Second, I was able to attend presentations given by other AAUSC members, which sparked ideas for me as a teacher and a researcher. As a teacher, I was profoundly inspired by one presentation on how current events might be incorporated into the language classroom, specifically in the wake of national traumas such as the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo. As a researcher, I continued to grapple with Systemic Functional Linguistics, aided by the presentation of two of the most prominent researchers in the field of genre-based learning. Third, I was grateful to have many of the AAUSC members I met in the audience during my own ACTCL presentation. Having the support and feedback of these colleagues at my first national conference presentation was invaluable! I look forward to continuing to build relationships with my AAUSC colleagues.

  • 03 Dec 2016 5:41 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    As an allied organization of the Modern Language Association, AAUSC sponsors one session at the annual conference, held this year in Philadelphia. Our session is Friday, 6 January:

    Session 212. Social Pedagogies in the L2 Classroom

    8:30–9:45 a.m., 307, Philadelphia Marriott

    Presiding: Colleen M. Ryan, Indiana U, Bloomington

    1. "Brecht's Die Maßnahme (The Measures Taken) in the Elementary German Classroom," Kaleigh Bangor, Vanderbilt U.

    2. "Mobile Students, Mobile Minds: Beyond Study Abroad or Immersion toward Understanding," Monica F. Jacobe, College of New Jersey

    3. "Travel Literature," Kristen M. Turpin, U Pennsylvania

    4. "Education as Community Building: App Design in the L2 Classroom," Sébastien Dubreil, Carnegie Mellon U

  • 03 Dec 2016 5:20 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    CALL FOR PAPERS: AAUSC Volume 2018

    Editors: Peter Ecke, University of Arizona; Susanne Rott, University of Illinois-Chicago

    Series Editors: Stacy Katz Bourns, Northeastern University; Jay Siskin, Cabrillo College

    Understanding Vocabulary Learning and Teaching: Implications for Language Program Development

    Singleton (1999) rightly stated that "much of what has passed for vocabulary teaching … addresses only the tip of the lexical iceberg" (p. 272). Despite advances in theories and research, there have been no new curricular proposals since Lewis’ Lexical Approach in 1993 that clearly outline how L2 learners will be able to acquire the depth and breadth of an advanced level of vocabulary proficiency within a four-year program of study.

    The curricular challenge, and thereby the challenge for language program directors, is that while over 80% of the students we teach in language programs at US postsecondary institutions are of low level proficiency, departmental outcomes aim at students’ advanced ability “to participate fully and effectively in conversations on a variety of topics in formal and informal settings” (p. 5, ACTFL proficiency guidelines for Speaking, 2012). Consequently, clearly articulated trajectories that integrate the learning and appropriate use of individual words, collocations, and idioms are particularly important in a setting where learners have limited time and exposure to acquire the 9,000-15,000 word families needed for advanced proficiency (e.g., Hazenberg & Hulstijn, 1996). Additionally, trajectories also need to account for diverse program contexts, such as face-to-face and online learning, as well as diverse student populations, such as heritage, second-language, third-language, and bilingual learners.

    This volume aims to provide language program directors and language teachers with the means to translate our current understanding of the processing, learning, long-term retention, and use of vocabulary into curricular decisions and classroom materials. In particular, the volume will address the following questions: How should teachers select, organize, present and explain new L2 vocabulary? How should they engage learners in repeated practice and use of vocabulary? How should they test vocabulary knowledge and usage as part of formative and summative assessment in language program?

    Questions that this volume seeks to address:

    • Which theoretical frameworks can be used to make principled decisions about vocabulary teaching and learning in a four-year curriculum?
    • What role do the L1 and other languages play in the acquisition and teaching of L2 lexis?
    • What challenges do prominent (e.g. communicative) approaches and more recent approaches to language teaching (e.g., literacy-based, genre-based, task-based or content-based approaches) face with respect to vocabulary teaching and learning, and how can they be addressed?
    • How can needs of heritage learners or learners studying a third language be addressed?
    • How do typological differences between the L1 and the L2 affect lexical development?
    • How can new media and online learning materials enhance word learning and retention?
    • Which learning and teaching strategies foster long-term retention?
    • How can learning materials in different modalities complement each other?
    • How many words can we expect students to know after two, three, or four years of university instruction?
    • How can teachers and learners assess vocabulary knowledge and skills?

    The editors of the 2018 AAUSC volume seek contributions on diverse approaches to the learning, teaching, and assessment of vocabulary knowledge and skills. We encourage submissions of conceptual/theoretical contributions, empirical studies, as well as pedagogical interventions. Authors should keep in mind that the main audience for this volume includes language program directors, curriculum and material developers, faculty focused on teacher training and professional development, and world language teachers in a range of educational settings.

    Articles should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words and follow APA format. See style sheet (APA format, 5th edition) in recent issues of the AAUSC series (http://www.aausc.org/page-240027), or visit http://www.apastyle.org.

    For questions about the volume, please contact the volume editors Peter Ecke (eckep@email.arizona.edu) or Susanne Rott (srott@uic.edu).

    The submission deadline for 400 word abstracts is January 31, 2017. More information regarding the deadline for full manuscript submissions will be provided soon.

  • 30 Nov 2016 10:28 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    AAUSC member Hiram Maxim (Emory University) speaks to the issue of university language requirements in SLATE.COM:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2016/11/in_defense_of_the_college_foreign_language_requirement_which_may_well_save.html

  • 19 Nov 2016 5:27 PM | Robert L. Davis (Administrator)

    2016 AAUSC Travel/Professional Development Grant

    In keeping with this mission, the AAUSC offers a limited number of travel/professional development grants to members who wish to attend the annual convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), which is held each November. The grant covers up to $500 and can be used to pay the conference fee to attend ACTFL, and travel or lodging expenses.

    Lauren Goodspeed, U Wisconsin-Madison

    Lauren Goodspeed is a dissertator in the Second Language Acquisition Ph.D. program and a teaching assistant in French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed her M.A. in French Literature at the same institution in 2013. Her current research project lies at the intersection of second language writing and literacy-based pedagogies for foreign language instruction.

    Kristin Lange, U Arizona

    Kristin Lange is a Ph.D. candidate in the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) at the University of Arizona. For her dissertation, she is investigating the role of everyday texts in textbooks and beginning German classes, focusing on learners’ literacies development, and also on the professional development of graduate teaching assistants. Some of Kristin's other research interests include literary texts and film in foreign language education, technology-enhanced language learning, particularly the use of digital games, and intercultural competence in the classroom and in study abroad.

    Katie Chapman, U Georgia


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