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Language Program Direction

CARLA's Language Program Direction project equips new and future postsecondary language program directors (LPDs) with the knowledge and skills necessary to support their daily work. Although these resources are developed with directors of lower-level courses in postsecondary language programs in mind, they are relevant for LPDs working in a range of contexts.

Who are Language Program Directors?

Language Program Directors (LPDs) in postsecondary language departments are responsible for all aspects of lower-level language instruction. Some LPDs supervise the entire lower-level program, others a single course or level within the program. Titles for LPDs include “director,” “supervisor,” and “coordinator.” The range of tasks for which LPDs are responsible include curriculum design, assessment, program evaluation, materials development, teacher supervision and professionalization, scheduling, and troubleshooting. Many LPDs are also active scholars and graduate student mentors. The complexity of the job thus requires a range of knowledge and skills, as reflected in the content of CARLA’s self-study modules.

Self-Study Modules for Language Program Directors

Kate Paesani is working with a team of experts to create a set of online self-study modules for LPDs, each addressing a different topic related to directing lower-level language programs in postsecondary language departments. The introductory LPD module for the project has been posted. The remaining modules will be made available sometime in 2021. Topics covered in the modules will include:
  • Understanding the Roles and Work of Language Program Directors
  • Developing and Sustaining a Coherent Teacher Professional Development Program
  • Program Evaluation and Improvement
  • The Language Program Director as Scholar
  • Open Educational Resources in Language Program Direction
  • Conceptualizing and Creating Programmatic Syllabi
  • Preparing Instructors to Teach Beyond the Language Program

Language Program Direction Bibliography

Research and scholarly articles, chapters, and books are listed in this bibliography. The bibliography is organized around four main subject areas: general resources; curriculum and instruction; teacher professional development; and program administration and evaluation.

American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators (AAUSC)

The AAUSC is a national professional organization that aims to:
  • Promote, improve, and strengthen foreign language and second language instruction in the US;
  • Strengthen development programs for teaching assistants, teaching fellows, associate instructors, or their equivalents;
  • Promote research in second language acquisition and on the preparation and supervision of teaching assistants; and
  • Establish a forum for exchanging ideas, experiences, and materials among those concerned with language program direction.
The AAUSC holds its annual business meeting at the ACTFL Convention. The meeting includes a reception and networking opportunities with other LPDs from across the United States. The AAUSC also publishes an annual volume, Issues in Language Program Direction, where scholars share empirical research, descriptive reports, and position papers on topics germaine to the work of LPDs.

CARLA Bibliography

The CARLA bibliography contains more information on publications and presentations by faculty and staff involved in the Language Program Development project.


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