The Art of Teaching Spanish: Second Language Acquisition from Research to Praxis

By Rafael Salaberry; Barbara A. Lafford | Go to book overview
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PREFACE

This book serves as a companion volume to Spanish Second Language Acquisition: State of the Science, coedited by Barbara Lafford and Rafael Salaberry and published in 2003 by Georgetown University Press. That work consisted of a critical review of the research done on the products and processes of Spanish second language acquisition (SLA). It was primarily intended as [a reference tool for second language acquisition researchers, graduate students in SLAT (second language acquisition and teaching) or linguistics programs, and practitioners and pedagogues who teach diverse second and foreign languages and want to keep up with current research trends in the field of SLA (with particular attention given to Spanish).]

This volume explores the extent to which the art of teaching L2 Spanish has been informed by the scientific (theoretical and empirical) research on SLA (and other relevant fields) referred to in the first volume. It also investigates the types of challenges that follow from initiatives to transfer findings from research to teaching and how to overcome practical problems associated with the implementation of new approaches to teaching.

This collection of contributions from respected SLA researchers and applied linguists is first and foremost a resource for foreign language practitioners and pedagogues wanting to benefit from the expertise of colleagues who have experience with the types of linguistic issues and applications treated by the authors—for example, FLAC (foreign language across the curriculum programs), various pedagogical approaches, the effect of study abroad versus classroom contexts on the learning process, testing issues, online learning, the incorporation of linguistic variation into the classroom, courses for heritage language learners, and the teaching of translation.

The increasing demographic visibility of Spanish speakers in the United States and the impact their presence has had on public policy have created a great demand for Spanish classes throughout our educational system, from primary-level bilingual programs to university-level and continuing education courses. In turn, this situation has generated a demand for courses for future teachers of Spanish at both the undergraduate and graduate levels on the application of Spanish SLA (and related) research to the classroom. This book, which brings together more different theoretically grounded perspectives on teaching Spanish than any other single published volume, could easily serve as a basic text in those courses.

-viii-

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