The Standards as Integrative Learning

Gruber-Miller, John
Abstract of Article: 

The revised Standards for Classical Language Learning prompts language teachers to move from a narrow approach that focuses on language alone to a more expansive approach to language learning that highlights the liberal arts and integrative learning. This essay describes how the Standards encourage an integrative approach to language learning, one that emphasizes making connections across diverse disciplines, applying linguistic and cultural knowledge to authentic tasks, recognizing multiple perspectives, and understanding texts and cultural issues contextually. The Standards foster students’ abilities to develop a more deliberative and reflective approach to learning that liberates them from a unidimensional perspective. The essay explores each of the five goal areas of the Standards in light of this integrative and reflective approach: 1) communication is an integrative process that involves three modes of communication; 2) understanding culture relies on making connections; 3) using texts and authentic materials provides opportunities for exploring other disciplines; 4) making comparisons develops critical thinking and intercultural literacy; and 5) communities motivate learners to share their ideas with broader audiences. The essay ends with a sample learning scenario about travel in the ancient world that illustrates an integrative approach to language learning.