Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Prague Journal of English Studies

The Journal of Charles University, Faculty of Education

1 Issue per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2336-2685
See all formats and pricing
More options …

A Cross-Departmental Approach to Supporting Students with a Disability Affecting Foreign Language Acquisition

Franziska Lys / Alison May / Jeanne Ravid
Published Online: 2014-09-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/pjes-2014-0019

Abstract

In order to enhance mobility, competitiveness, and opportunities for work, the European Union lists the ability to communicate in a foreign language and to understand another culture as an important objective in their language education policy. Knowledge of a foreign language is also an important objective for many American universities, which require students to study a foreign language as a prerequisite to graduate. Students with documented disabilities affecting the learning of a foreign language or students with poor foreign language learning skills, therefore, pose a significant challenge, since a foreign language requirement may prevent such students from graduating unless universities are willing to make special arrangements such as having students graduate without fulfilling the requirement or letting them take substitution classes. The question of what to do with such students is at the heart of this article. It describes how one mid-sized private university with a two-year language proficiency requirement has approached the problem to ensure that policies are implemented fairly. Rather than pulling students out of the foreign language classroom, the university succeeded in keeping students engaged with foreign language study through advising and mentoring across departments

Keywords: Foreign language proficiency; foreign language learning disability; disability; foreign language waiver; foreign language acquisition; academic advising

References

  • “Advisee handbook: A student guide to the Brown first-year advising process made by the students, for the students.” Brown University. 2012. Web. 27 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Banerjee, Manjushri and Loring Brinckerhoff. Beyond disability documentation: Solutions, strategies and sage advice regarding accommodations. Learning Disabilities Association of America Conference, Chicago. 22-25 February 2012. Web. 25 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Calvin, Lisa M. and Anne N. Rider. “Not your parents’ language class: Curriculum revision to support university language requirements.” Foreign Language Annals. 2004. 37. 11-22. Print.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Carroll, John Bissell and Stanley M. Sapon. Modern Language Aptitude Test, Form A. Bethesda, MD: Second Language Testing, Inc. 1999. Print.Google Scholar

  • Cook, Vivian. “The relationship between first and second language acquisition revisited.” In Ernesto Macaro (Ed.) The Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. Continuum Companions. 2010. 137-57. Print. Google Scholar

  • “Colorado modified foreign language program.” Speech, language, and hearing sciences. Regents of the University of Colorado. 2013. Web. 25 June 2013. Google Scholar

  • “Course substitutions.” Penn State Altoona. 2012. Web. 25 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Donato, Richard and Frank B. Brooks. “Literacy discussions and advanced speaking functions: Researching the (dis)connection.” Foreign Language Annals. 2004. 37(2), 183-199. Print.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ellis, Rod. Learning a Second Language through Interaction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 1999. Print.Google Scholar

  • Ellis, Rod and Gordon Wells. “Enabling factors in adult-child discourse.” First Language. 1980. 1. 46-82. Print. Google Scholar

  • “Foreign language course substitution policy.” Academic Affairs at Penn State Altoona. 1 December 2008. Web. 15 June 2013. Google Scholar

  • “Foreign language requirement accommodation.” Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern University. 28 Sept. 2012. Web. 27 June 2013. Google Scholar

  • “Foreign language substitution package.” College of Letters and Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison. n.d. Web. 22 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Forsbach-Rothman, Terri, Fernando F. Padro, and Jennifer Rice-Mason. “Course substitution practices, policies, and implications for students with disabilities.” NACADA Journal. 2005. 25. 17-25. Print.Google Scholar

  • Fowler, Claire, Hendrik Hartog, John Kolligian, Andrea LaPaugh, Erin McDermott, Jean Schwarzbauer, and Dmitri Tymoczko. Report of the provost’s ad hoc advisory committee on disability services for undergraduates. 21 Feb 2011. Web. 25 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Gajar, Anna H. “Foreign language learning disabilities: The identification of predictive and diagnostic variables.” Journal of Learning Disabilities. 1987. 20. 327-30. Print.Google Scholar

  • Gass, Susan M. Input, Interaction, and the Second Language Learner. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1997. Print.Google Scholar

  • Gass, Susan. M. and Larry Selinker. Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (2nd edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2001. Print.Google Scholar

  • Gass, Susan M and Evangeline M. Varonis. “Input, interaction, and second language production.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 1994. 16. 283-302. Print. “Getting to know the office.” Services for Students with Disabilities at Northwestern University. 2013. Web. 27 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Griffiths, Carol (Ed.). Lessons from Good Language Learners. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008. Print. “High school applicants FAQs.” Northwestern University, Office of Undergraduate Admission. n.d. Web. 27 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Horwitz, Elaine K. “Language anxiety and achievement.” Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 2001. 21. 112-27. Web. 30 December 2013.Google Scholar

  • Horwitz, Elaine K., Michael B. Horwitz and Joann Cope. “Foreign language classroom anxiety.” The Modern Language Journal. 1986. 70(2). 125-32. Web. 30 December 2013.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hu, Chieh-Fang. “Phonological memory, phonological awareness, and foreign language word learning.” Language Learning. 2003. 53. 429-62. Print.Google Scholar

  • Jarrow, Jane and Ruth Fink. Making the grade when responding to course substitution requests. Proceedings from the Thompson Interactive audio conference. 8 February 2005. Web. 25 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Krashen, Stephen. Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon. 1981. Print. Google Scholar

  • ---. The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications, New York: Longman. 1985. Print. Google Scholar

  • “Language requirement substitution.” College of Arts and Sciences at University of Pennsylvania. n.d. Web. 23 June 2013. Google Scholar

  • “Language substitution.” Newnan College of Literature, Science & the Arts Academic Advising Center at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. 2012. Web. 25 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Larsen-Freeman, Diane and Michael H. Long. An Introduction to Second- Language Acquisition Research. New York: Longman. 1991. Print.Google Scholar

  • Liu, Meihua and Wenhong Huang. “An exploration of foreign language anxiety and English motivation.” In Education Research International. 2011. 1-8. Web. 30 December 2013.Google Scholar

  • Mackey, Alison and Jenefer Philp. “Conversational interaction and second language development: Recasts, responses, and red herrings.” The Modern Language Journal. 1998. 82. 338-56. Print.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mangrum, Charles T. and Stephen S. Strichart. Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities. Princeton, NJ: Peterson’s Guides. 1992. Print.Google Scholar

  • Mantero, Miguel. “Bridging the gap: Discourse in text-based foreign language classrooms.” Foreign Language Annals. 2002. 35. 437-56. Print.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Marinis, Theodore. “Psycholinguistic techniques in second language acquisition research.” Second Language Research. 2003. 19(2). 144-61. Print.Google Scholar

  • Myklebust, Helmer R. The Psychology of Deafness (2nd ed.). New York: Grune & Stratton. 1965. Print. “Northwestern Facts.” Web. 25 May 2014.Google Scholar

  • Olivares-Cuhat, Gabriela. “Relative importance of learning variables on L2 performance.” Linguistik online. 2010. 43(3). 99-116. Web. 30 December 2013.Google Scholar

  • Otto, Beverly. Language Development in Early Childhood (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 2006. Print.Google Scholar

  • Pager, Tyler. “Northwestern’s Acceptance rate drops to record-low 12.9 percent.” Daily Northwestern (2014, March 22). Web. 25 May 2014.Google Scholar

  • Pica, Teresa. “Research on negotiation: what does it reveal about secondlanguage learning conditions, processes, and outcomes?” Language Learning. 1994. 44. 493-527. Print.Google Scholar

  • Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning. Official Journal of the European Union L394/10. Web. 15 April 2014. Google Scholar

  • “Reasonable accommodations and services.” Services for Students with Disabilities at Northwestern University. 2013. Web. 27 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Rubin, Joan. 1975. “What the ‘good language learner’ can teach us.” In TESOL Quarterly, 9(1) (March 1975). 41-51. Web. 30 December 2013.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Russell, Louise H. “The transition to college: Practice doesn’t always make perfect.” Perspectives, the newsletter of The International Dyslexia Association 28 (2002). Web. 15 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act, 77 U.S.C., § 794 (1973). “Skills requirements.” Yale College. 2013. Web. 27 June 2013.Google Scholar

  • Scott, Sally S., Susan A. Hildebrandt, Wade A. Edwards. “Second language learning as perceived by students with disabilities.” In Cristina Sanz, Beatriz Lado (Eds.) Individual differences, L2 development, and language program administration: From theory to application. 2013. 171-91. Print.Google Scholar

  • Sparks, Richard L. “Is there a ‘disability’ for learning a foreign language?” Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2006. 39. 544-57. Print. Google Scholar

  • ---. “Evidence-based accommodation decision making at the postsecondary level: Review of the evidence for foreign language learning.” Learning Disabilities Research & Practice 23(2008). 180-83. Print.Google Scholar

  • Sparks, Richard L. and Leonore Ganschow. “Searching for the cognitive locus of foreign language learning difficulties: Linking first and second language learning.” The Modern Language Journal. 1993. 77. 289-302. Print.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Sparks, Richard L., James Javorsky and Lois Philips. “College students classified with ADHD and the foreign language requirement.” Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2004. 37. 169-78. Print.Google Scholar

  • Sparks, Richard L., Lois Philips, Leonore Ganschow, and James Javorsky. “Students classified as LD and the college foreign language requirement: A quantitiative analysis.” Journal of Learning Disabilities. 1999. 32. 566-80. Print.Google Scholar

  • Sparks, Richard L., Lois Philips, and James Javorsky. “Students classified as LD who received course substitutions for the college foreign language requirement.” Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2002. 35. 482-99, 538. Print. Google Scholar

  • ---. “Students classified as LD who petitioned for or fulfilled the foreign language requirement-Are they different? A replication study.” Journal of Learning Disabilities. 2003. 36. 348-62. Print.Google Scholar

  • Trustees of Dartmouth College. “Prospective students.” Student accessibility services. 2013. Web. 27 June 2013. White Paper on Education and Training - Teaching and Learning - Towards the Learning Society. COM (95) 590 final, 29 November 1995. [EU Commission - COM Document]. Web. 15 April 2014.Google Scholar

  • Ziegler, Johannes. C. and Usha Goswami. “Reading acquisition, developmental dyslexia, and skilled reading across languages: A psycholinguistic grain size theory.” Psychological Bulletin, American Psychological Association. 2005. 131(1). 3-26. Print. Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2014-09-25

Published in Print: 2014-09-01


Citation Information: Prague Journal of English Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 85–111, ISSN (Online) 2336-2685, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/pjes-2014-0019.

Export Citation

© Faculty of Education, Charles University. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
[2]
Richard L. Sparks
Foreign Language Annals, 2016, Volume 49, Number 2, Page 252

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in