A New Curriculum for New Purposes


  • Wilga M. Rivers

    1. Harvard University
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      Wilga M. Rivers (Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University; Cambridge, MA


ABSTRACT To prepare for the new surge of interest in foreign languages which is rising across the country, classroom teaching needs to be upgraded. However, with the same old content this will not be sufficient. Five directions foreign language programs can take are outlined with recommendations for classrom teaching: linking foreign languages with international studies; teaching language for career purposes; for intercommunity understanding; for an insight into the process of communication; and, finally, as the key to humanistic experiences. Courses must be designed to attract and retain students, according to the needs of particular school districts. Imagination and willingness to innovate are essential.