Dr. Scott McGinnis
Dr. Scott McGinnis (Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1990) is the senior Academic Advisor for the Washington Office of the Defense Language Institute (DLI). He also holds the academic rank of tenured full professor at DLI. Between 1999 and 2003, he served as the first Executive Director of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages at the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) in College Park, Maryland. In over three decades in the language teaching profession, he has held positions at institutions including the University of Pennsylvania and Middlebury College, and has a decade of experience as supervisor of the Chinese language programs at the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland. Dr. McGinnis has authored or edited five books and over 50 book chapters, journal articles and reviews on language pedagogy and linguistics for the less commonly taught languages (LCTL) in general, and Chinese and Japanese in particular.
Enabling Final Learning Outcomes in LCTLs: Challenges and Solutions
ABSTRACT: The present plenary session will address the issue of organizing LCTL curricula around enabling final learning outcomes. In that approach syllabi are reverse-designed starting with enabling (can-do statements) based on the ILR or ACTFL scale, then proceeding to formative and summative assessment, and ending with the design of class activities. The main purpose of this session is to make the audience familiar with the challenges and solutions in transforming more traditional language programs into those with tangible and measurable enabling final learning outcomes. The first presentation is a report from the government language-learning services, which have been systematically involved in these efforts for many years now. The second presentation discusses a large-scale initiative involving numerous LCTLs at universities across the country. The final presentation is devoted to an ongoing effort to transform language teaching at one of the largest language programs in the country (with over 8,000 students). The presentations will be followed by general discussion moderated by the presenters, where all participants will get an opportunity to ask questions that are of relevance for their particular setting.
Can-dos and oughta-dos: Designing and predicting final learning outcomes for LCTLs within United States Government (USG) settings
The proposed presentation will address two aspects of setting and assessing final learning outcomes within the context of the United States Government (USG) in general, and within programs administered through the Washington Office of the Defense Language Institute (DLI-W) in particular. The former will provide an overview of “can-do”- based self-assessments for speaking, reading and listening proficiency developed by members of the USG language professional community under the auspices of the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) in the late 1990s and early 21st century. The latter will present the results of an over decade-long analysis of the DLI-W training matrix used to predict the number of weeks it may take to reach an ILR level based on the category of language. In Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), DLI-W provided support for instruction in 64 difference languages, 61 of which can be classified as LCTLs.
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