Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (Mar 2016)

Teaching Linguistics to Supplement the Implementation of the Five Cs

  • Hongyuan Dong

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 18
pp. 1 – 24


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I argue that linguistics courses in a language program in an institution of higher education can supplement the implementation of the ACTFL five Cs, because of the unique status of linguistics as a bridge course between language classes and other content courses. Especially for less commonly taught languages, the greater linguistic distance and cultural distance make it more difficult to achieve the goals of the five Cs. Linguistics courses can help students perform better in the relevant goal areas using the target language. Although the five Cs are to be assessed and achieved in the target language, linguistics courses nonetheless contain a good amount of data and a component of language learning. Such courses deal with conceptual understanding and critical thinking more effectively, as supported by course evaluation data and topics covered in such linguistics courses.