Module 4:
The Language Program Director as Scholar

Module Author: Chantelle Warner, University of Arizona

Overview: How Does Scholarship Relate to the Work of an LPD?

As we discussed in Module 1, language program directors (LPDs) represent a variety of language-related disciplines and occupy a range of institutional positions. Some LPDs will be actively involved in research in second language studies that is closely linked to their work in the language program, for example in the fields of applied linguistics, language and culture pedagogy, and language teacher education. In other cases, LPDs are scholars researching in adjacent areas in linguistics, the humanities, or cultural studies. For some LPDs, research is a core component of their workload; for others, teaching and administration are their primary responsibilities. Whether or not they are actively publishing or presenting in this field, the research of language program direction is important for all LPDs’ work, as well as for others with whom they collaborate (including most importantly graduate student instructors). Scholarly inquiry in the broad sense of the development of new forms of knowledge through study and reflection in a particular area of expertise is necessarily a component of developing a successful language program. In institutional workload descriptions, the position of LPD is typically represented as administrative labor, but it is also scholarship, and as such requires a deep and evolving knowledge of the interdisciplinary field of second language teaching and learning.

This module will invite you to reflect on the role of the LPD as scholar and relatedly on the language program as a site of applied research practice. You will also be encouraged to return to some of the key concepts from previous modules, as you consider how they might relate to scholarly inquiry.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe some of the most important ways in which scholarship relates to LPD work
  • Identify and describe the most common forms of research and scholarly inquiry within which LPDs engage
  • Identify strategies for balancing LPD work and research
  • Identify primary platforms for publishing research related to language program direction and reflect on how they intersect with your work
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