Using Student Expectations and Perceived Needs to Rethink Pedagogy and Curriculum: A Case Study


  • Ali Alalou,

    1. Columbia University
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      Ali Alalou (Ph.D. University of California, Davis) is Assistant Professor of French and Director of the French Language Program at Columbia University.

  • Elizabeth Chamberlain

    1. Dartmouth College
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      Elizabeth Chamberlain (Ph.D. Columbia University) is Research Assistant Professor and the Spanish Language Coordinator at Dartmouth College.


Because the mission of language departments in large research universities was traditionally the training of graduate students in literary analysis, less attention was devoted to the teaching of lower level language courses. Recently, however, revitalizing language programs has become a major concern for many departments. This study discusses a case of such revitalization at a major metropolitan university. The paper presents results of a pilot study aimed at assessing students' needs and redefining the goals and objectives of a traditional French language program.