The Global Geek: Language Training for IT Students' Study Abroad in Austria and Germany

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Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, ISSN: 0042-062X, Vol: 44, Issue: 2, Page: 140-145

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Cliver, Gwyneth E.; Khazanchi, Deepak
Modern Language Association; MLA; foreign languages; higher education; study abroad; IT students; Computer Sciences; European Languages and Societies; German Language and Literature; International and Comparative Education
article description
The Modern Language Association’s (MLA) urgent appeal for the restructuring of the undergraduate language curriculum, “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World,” emphasizes a need for language departments to enrich their upper-division course offerings beyond the traditional literary studies model in order to attract and retain broader interest in language learning among students with diverse academic interests and needs. Citing the National Science Foundation’s 2003 Survey of College Graduates, it stresses that only 6.1% of undergraduates whose primary major is a foreign language later achieve doctorate degrees and concludes that departments should provide upper-division language courses with interdisciplinary content within a culture-studies framework and forge relationships with programs across disciplinary bounds (MLA 5-6). In addition, the report calls for an increased promotion of study abroad experiences that include a language component and refers to classroom instruction and exposure through study abroad as “interdependent necessities” (8). Finally, the MLA appeal underscores the demand for broader and deeper language competencies within American society.