chapter  3
26 Pages

Scaffolding Advanced Literacy in the Foreign Language Classroom: Implementing a Genre-Driven Content-Based Approach

ByMarianna V. Ryshina-Pankova

The field of foreign language (FL) education is confronted with many challenges today: FL departments are being closed on university campuses, FL programs are disappearing from schools, and consequently FL professionals face an unfavorable job market. In the face of these challenges various calls for curricular reform and reconceptualization of the goals of study beyond linguistic learning and oral proficiency and in terms of achieving multicultural competence and multiple literacies have emerged (e.g., MLA 2007 report). At the same time, the very construct of literacy has undergone a dramatic change. Rather than being defined as the ability to read and write, literacy is now understood in much broader terms and refers to active participation in social practices typical of various cultural settings, including those of the academy and the profession (e.g., Gee, 1998). In the context of FL instruction, literacy has come to mean exploration of these practices and multicultural perspectives on them through engagement with authentic FL texts that represent these academic and professional discourses (e.g., Byrnes & Maxim, 2004; Kern, 2000; Swaffar & Arens, 2005).