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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

11 - Designing Learning Environments to Facilitate Transformative Language and Culture Learning in a US Language Flagship Program

from Part III - Transformative Language Learning and Teaching Applications in University Programs


A transformative approach to language education calls for an expanded understanding of curriculum and program design that leverages potential learning environments both in and outside the classroom - in academic, residential, and social settings - to support language and culture learning. This chapter provides an overview of curricular and co-curricular learning environments designed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Russian Flagship that offer affordances for transformative language and culture learning for its students. Elements of the program's design that facilitate transformative learning include: (1) positioning students as independent language learners striving to meet programmatic and personal goals; (2) providing a continuum of opportunities for language and culture learning in formal instructional environments, individual and small-group tutorials, and residential and social contexts in which students engage in meaningful interactions in Russian with various interlocutors, reflecting the concept of open architecture design for learning; and (3) offering spaces for reflection in supportive, low-stakes environments, potentially leading to transformative change.