Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities

Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment

Heidi Byrnes, Heather D. Weger-Guntharp, and Katherine A. Sprang, Editors

"This welcome volume should be required reading for every language educator at the college level, particularly those involved in curricular decision making at the advanced level."
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Advanced language learning has only recently begun to capture the interest and attention of applied linguists and professionals in language education in the United States. In this breakthrough volume, experts in the field lay the groundwork for approaching the increasingly important role of advanced language learning in the larger context of multilingual societies, globalization, and security.

This volume presents both general and theoretical insights and language-specific considerations in college classrooms spanning a range of languages, from the commonly taught languages of English, French, and German to the less commonly taught Farsi, Korean, Norwegian, and Russian.

Among theoretical frameworks likely to be conducive to imagining and fostering instructed "advancedness" in a second language, this volume highlights a cognitive-semantic approach. The theoretical and data-based findings make clear that advanced learners in particular are characterized by the capacity to make situated choices from across the entire language system, from vocabulary and grammar to discourse features, which suggests the need for a text-oriented, meaning-driven approach to language teaching, learning, and research.

This volume also considers whether and how information structuring in second-language composition reveals first-language preferences of grammaticized concepts. Other topics include curricular and instructional approaches to narrativity, vocabulary expansion, the demands on instructed programs for efficiency and effectiveness in order to assure advanced levels, and learners' ability to function in professional contexts with their diverse oral and written genre requirements. Finally, the volume probes the role and nature of assessment as a measurement tool for both researching and assessing advanced language learning and as an essential component of improving programs.

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables


1. Locating the Advanced Learner in Theory, Research, and Educational Practice: An Introduction
Heidi Byrnes, Georgetown University

Part I: Cognitive Approaches to Advanced Language Learning

2. The Conceptual Basis of Grammatical Structure
Ronald W. Langacker, The University of California, San Diego

3. The Impact of Grammatical Temporal Categories on Ultimate Attainment in L2 Learning
Christiane von Stutterheim and Mary Carroll, University of Heidelberg

4. Reorganizing Principles of Information Structure in Advanced L2s: French and German Learners of English
Mary Caroll and Monique Lambert, University of Heidelberg and University of Paris VIII

5. Language-based Processing in Advanced L2 Production and Translation: An Exploratory Study
Bergljot Behrens, Department of Linguistics and Nordic Studies, University of Oslo

6. Learning and Teaching Grammar through Patterns of Conceptualization: The Case of (Advanced) Korean
Susan Strauss, The Pennsylvania State University and Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER)

Part II: Descriptive and Instructional Considerations in Advanced Learning

7. Narrative Competence in a Second Language
Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University and Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER)

8. Lexical Inferencing in L1 and L2: Implications for Vocabulary Instruction and Learning at Advanced Levels
T. Sima Paribakht and Marjorie Wesche, University of Ottawa

9. From Sports to the EU Economy: Integrating Curricula through Genre-based Content Courses
Susanne Rinner and Astrid Weigert, Georgetown University

10. Hedging and Boosting in Advanced-Level L2 Legal Writing: The Effect of Instruction and Feedback
Rebekha Abbuhl, California State University at Long Beach

Part III: The Role of Assessment in Advanced Learning

11. Assessing Advanced Foreign Language Learning and Learners: From Measurement Constructs to Educational Uses
John M. Norris, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

12. Rethinking Assessment for Advanced Language Proficiency
Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University


"This welcome volume should be required reading for every language educator at the college level, particularly those involved in curricular decision making at the advanced level."—Modern Language Journal

"This is easily one of the most important collections of research on L2 proficiency to appear in a long time. It will not only impact how the field defines proficiency at any level; but because it brings meaning to center stage in a far more systematic way than has been the case to date, it sows the seeds for SLA researchers in the future to rethink what the acquisition of languages beyond the first is all about."—James P. Lantolf, George and Jane Greer Professor in Language Acquisition & Applied Linguistics, The Pennsylvania State University

"The move to include advanced-level L2 learning and teaching in the study of SLA is not so much one of simple addition as it is one that requires a conceptual shift. The chapters in this timely volume reduce the 'risk of [our] creating false certainties' and push us to rethink fundamental constructs in our field in pursuit of educating for advanced foreign language capacities."—Diane Larsen-Freeman, professor of education and of linguistics and director, English Language Institute, University of Michigan


Rebekah Abbuhl Bergljot Behrens Heidi Byrnes Mary Carroll Monique Lambert Ronald W. Langacker John M. Norris T. Sima Paribakht Aneta Pavlenko Susanne Rinner Elana Shohamy Susan Strauss Christiane von Stutterheim Astrid Weigert Marjorie Wesche

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Heidi Byrnes is the George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German at Georgetown University. In 2004 she was awarded the Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Culture by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Heather D. Weger-Guntharp is currently working on her PhD in applied linguistics at Georgetown University, with primary specialization in individual differences and SLA.

Katherine A. Sprang holds a PhD from the German Department at Georgetown University, with primary specialization in second language acquisition.

218 pp., 6 x 9

Oct 2006

218 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-118-2
Oct 2006

218 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-313-1
Oct 2006

Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics series

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