Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities: Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment

Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities: Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment

Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities: Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment

Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities: Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment


The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the most powerful partisan figure in the contemporary U.S. Congress. How this came to be, and how the majority party in the House has made control of the speakership a routine matter, is far from straightforward. Fighting for the Speakership provides a comprehensive history of how Speakers have been elected in the U.S. House since 1789, arguing that the organizational politics of these elections were critical to the construction of mass political parties in America and laid the groundwork for the role they play in setting the agenda of Congress today.

Jeffery Jenkins and Charles Stewart show how the speakership began as a relatively weak office, and how votes for Speaker prior to the Civil War often favored regional interests over party loyalty. While struggle, contention, and deadlock over House organization were common in the antebellum era, such instability vanished with the outbreak of war, as the majority party became an "organizational cartel" capable of controlling with certainty the selection of the Speaker and other key House officers. This organizational cartel has survived Gilded Age partisan strife, Progressive Era challenge, and conservative coalition politics to guide speakership elections through the present day. Fighting for the Speakership reveals how struggles over House organization prior to the Civil War were among the most consequential turning points in American political history.


This volume comprises a small subset of the presentations that made up the 2005 Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT). From among the rich palette of plenary addresses, individual papers, invited symposia, extended colloquia, and workshops, we—the editors of this volume as well as the organizers of the conference—present a set of papers that constitutes one way of addressing the four challenges expressed in the conference theme: “Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities: Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment.”

We are grateful to all of the participants who shared their theoretical insights, research, and educational expertise and experience at the event—to our knowledge one of the first professional conferences expressly devoted to advanced instructed foreign language learning. Because advanced language learning only recently has begun to capture the interest and attention of applied linguists and professionals in language education in the United States, we note with particular pleasure the breadth of positions participants took in addressing the topic and express our thanks for their interest in submitting their scholarship for publication consideration. To us, part of the excitement of the conference was that its theme offered many participants the opportunity to consider their particular research foci in light of a still-unexplored advanced language learning perspective. We thank participants for enabling new linkages as well as asserting existing connections among various subspecialties in theoretical linguistics, second-language acquisition (SLA) research, and educational practice in the interest of advancing the cause of the advanced learner. the possibility that their insights might influence future discussion about advanced learning is all the greater because the conference enabled conversations among attendees from the United States as well as those who hailed from other countries, where discussions about the nature of and development toward advanced language abilities have had a long presence.

Within that professional context, the presentations at gurt 2005 and the papers assembled in this volume are primarily about expanding horizons and laying the groundwork for fruitful ways of imagining advanced language learning—which is both an opportunity and a challenge at a time when the advanced learner has become an increasingly prominent topic, not only in professional discussion but also in larger societal considerations regarding multilingual societies, globalization, and even security. Such a generative role is in line with the best traditions of Round Table conferences for more than half a century!

Finally, it is our pleasure to acknowledge with gratitude the generous support and personal dedication that Georgetown University faculty, graduate students, and . . .

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