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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Redesigning an Introductory Language Curriculum: A Backward Design Approach

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In response to calls for curricular change in foreign language programs and institutional requirements to evaluate programmatic effectiveness, this article presents a backward design approach to the redesign of an introductory French curriculum grounded in the framing concept of cultural literacy. In addition, data from student evaluations, written exams, and instructor feedback illustrate how program evaluation efforts have contributed to curricular fine-tuning, enhanced assessment practices, and informed instructors’ teaching and professional development experiences. The article concludes with a discussion of implications and future directions for curriculum design at all levels of undergraduate foreign language programs.

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