|Advanced language proficiency has garnered renewed attention in recent years as universities work to graduate students with high levels of language use. In addition to developing the skills necessary for students to analyze and critique literary and cultural texts, foreign language programs must also produce advanced- to superior-level users of foreign language in order to meet professional and societal demands for multilingualism. To that end, program assessment metrics often use descriptors such as advanced, near-native, professional, and fluent, to name just a few, but without any shared understanding among directors, department chairs, professors, advisors, or SLA experts, of the meaning of such terms. What does an advanced learner ?look like? in terms of linguistic knowledge and ability to communicate? Are linguistic analyses or native speaker perceptions better indicators of achievement? Does enrollment in an upper-division course constitute an advanced level of linguistic knowledge? Is studying abroad the only way for a student to become an advanced speaker? SLA scholars have argued the need for more detailed descriptions of high-level L2 competencies, as well as an expansive and articulated conceptualization of advancedness, in order to address such questions (e.g. Birdsong 2005; Norris 2006; Piller 2002; Ortega & Byrnes 2008).
This unique symposium aims to address these questions and offer new understandings from the field of Spanish as a Second Language. The growing body of research in Spanish SLA, in particular, has revealed interlanguage development with significant breadth and depth, and has yielded a substantial body of results regarding late-acquired structures. Yet, as Kimberly Geeslin explained in The Handbook of Spanish Second Language Acquisition (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), more work needs to be done in order to understand differences across studies stemming from variable research methods, as well as variability within learner groups, due to various internal and external factors. The goal of this symposium is to address such issues by bringing together researchers from a variety of methodological approaches and establish an agenda for further exploration of advanced Spanish.
Proposals for paper presentations should consist of a title and an abstract not exceeding 350 words. To assist in the anonymous evaluation of abstracts, all identifying information (institutions, presenters) from the body of the abstract should be removed. Abstracts should be submitted through EasyAbstracts (EasyAbs) at the link below:
Papers will be allotted 30 minutes, with 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for Q&A. Authors may submit up to two abstracts but are limited to one submission as first author.
Deadline for abstracts: June 15, 2017
Notification of acceptance: late July - early August 2017