Foreign Languages and Sustainability: Addressing the Connections, Communities and Comparisons Standards in Higher Education

Foreign Language Annals, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 365-383, 2010

25 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2012

See all articles by Eleanor ter Horst

Eleanor ter Horst

Clarion University

Joshua M. Pearce

Michigan Technological University; Aalto University

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This article describes an interdisciplinary collaboration, which combined the study of German with instruction in environmental issues (sustainable development). The project, involving both an independent study and a classroom unit, allowed students to make connections between disciplines, establish contact with German-speaking communities outside the university, and make cultural and linguistic comparisons. By expanding the German-language content on the website, Appropedia.org, which is devoted to global sustainable development, students took an active role in learning by creating content that can be read and used by the global community of German speakers. This project provided a model for successful interdisciplinary instruction. The results of this study show that integrating environmental issues with foreign language study provides significant opportunities for students to increase their language proficiency, develop their understanding of concepts related to the environment, and become more involved in a global community through a virtual service-learning project.

Keywords: national standards, content-based instruction, connections standard, communities standard comparisons standard, interdisciplinary approaches, service learning

JEL Classification: I29

Suggested Citation

ter Horst, Eleanor and Pearce, Joshua M., Foreign Languages and Sustainability: Addressing the Connections, Communities and Comparisons Standards in Higher Education (2010). Foreign Language Annals, Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 365-383, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2006734

Eleanor Ter Horst

Clarion University ( email )

840 Wood Street
Clarion, PA 16214
United States

Joshua M. Pearce (Contact Author)

Michigan Technological University ( email )

Houghton, MI 49931
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mse.mtu.edu/~pearce/Index.html

Aalto University ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
Helsinki, 00101
Finland

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