Russian Language Journal


Heidi Byrnes


contexts, approaches, principles, curriculum, foreign language


A curriculum is an attempt, wrote Stenhouse three decades ago (1975, 4), to communicate the essential principles and features of an educational proposal in such a form that it is open to critical scrutiny and capable of effective translation into practice.

If one applies that notion of curriculum to the foreign language field in general, and to second- or foreign-language learning in U.S. colleges and universities in particular, one is immediately confronted with a dilemma: how can we speak of a foreign-language curriculum at the college level when a principled approach that is open to scrutiny and that builds on the key feature of the educational proposal in question, namely the long-term nature of second-language learning in an intellectually appropriate environment, does not exist, conceptually or in practice?