Thursday, May 24, 2007

Broader Vision for Languages: MLA

From Inside Higher Ed:
Taken together, the [MLA] report says that the definition of successful language training should change. “The language major should be structured to produce a specific outcome: educated speakers who have deep translingual and transcultural competence,” the report says. “Advanced language training often seeks to replicate the competence of an educated native speaker, a goal that post-adolescent learners rarely reach. The idea of translingual and transcultural competence, in contrast, places value on the ability to operate between languages. Students are educated to function as informed and capable interlocutors with educated native speakers in the target language. They are also trained to reflect on the world and themselves through the lens of another language and culture. They learn to comprehend speakers of the target language as members of foreign societies and to grasp themselves as Americans — that is, as members of a society that is foreign to others.

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