Toward Responsive Beginning Language Curricula


  • Larbi Oukada

    1. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 2

      Larbi Oukada (PhD, Louisiana State University) is Professor of French at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Abstract:This article proposes, on the basis of a host of curricular factors, a stratification of foreign language programs in U.S. institutions of higher learning into two graded and curricularly distinctive phases. An initial phase, the general education phase, would be comprised predominantly of nonmajors who enroll in beginning language courses with the premeditated purpose of satisfying a language requirement or investing on their own a modest amount of credit hours to explore or study a second language. A subsequent phase, the professional phase, would begin with courses intended for prospective majors and minors who are customarily predisposed to commit enough time to reach the necessary proficiency level required for their professional goal.

This curricular distinction serves to underscore the particular situation and the particular mission of the general education phase and to propose a particular curricular model, the Indiana Model. This model provides, within the current and autonomous structure of the American educational system, a mechanism for selecting, prioritizing, and structuring the most responsive objectives for general-education foreign language teaching.