Curriculum Workshop, September 18, 2015

Selecting and Sequencing Texts for a Content- and Language-integrated Curriculum

German Department Curriculum Workshop

September 18, 2015

12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, ICC 462

In the past decade, a literacy framework for foreign language (FL) instruction has been proposed as an answer to the call for curricular reform in FL education and as a way to help learners move beyond the goals of communicative and proficiency-oriented learning (Paesani et al, 2016). The Georgetown University German Department (GUGD) undergraduate curriculum is one of the few programs that conceptualized and implemented such an approach. Grounded in the exploration of content, cultural practices, and multicultural perspectives, the literacy-oriented GUGD´s curriculum is organized around texts that function as curricular-building blocks for fostering language and content learning.

What defining criteria would one use when selecting and categorizing the texts?

And how can these texts be sequenced on a continuum from simpler to more complex in order to foster literacy development as expansion of one’s ability to make meaning in a FL?              

Drawing on Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004) and genre theory (Coffin, 2006; Martin, 2009), this workshop lays out key theoretical principles for text categorization and sequencing. Going beyond the consideration of complexity of language forms, the suggested framework approaches progression in texts from three interrelated perspectives: the situational and cultural context of textual production, the discourse-semantic realization of contextual goals, and the lexicogrammatical construal of these contextually-bound meanings. Workshop participants will improve their understanding of the curricular principles that underlie the program as they apply them to the analysis of three increasingly complex texts. The texts represent the theme of hardship in Germany immediately after WWII and are similar in content and form to the ones used at the third curricular level (Advanced). At the end of the workshop, participants will: 

  • understand what discourse-semantic and linguistic factors to take into consideration when selecting and sequencing texts, as they participate in joint departmental projects or work on the construction of their own course;
  • know what lexicogrammatical patterns comprise three different types of texts of different levels of complexity and how that can help sequence them;
  • start to develop ideas on how text analysis can help create pedagogical activities and tasks around texts to promote both language and content learning.

For a printable workshop description, please click here