At the dawning of the 21st century, foreign language education in the United States is experiencing a period marked by exciting possibilities. Theorists and practitioners embrace a move from a perceived position of teaching only the elite to a nationally initiated cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural orientation embodied in the latest standards. Given the presence of n-English languages in all parts of the United States, a growing number of scholars are beginning to examine the sociological context in which this educational endeavor is carried out, ting that the figure of professional practice is inextricably linked to issues of cultural and academic context. Theory-informed practice in the coming years, therefore, will include the challenge of examining a broad range of topics related to curricular and instructional principles and procedures. The text is intended to provide a collection of perspectives related to issues of pluralism and reform as they will influence theory-informed practice of foreign language education in the coming century. Drawing from a variety of contributors from both inside and outside of foreign/second language education, this text brings the voices of scholars together focused on issues of contemporary consequence. The chapters center around a focusing theme in the form of the following question: How does the changing social and academic context of language education in the United States impact the future of our discipline?
TERRY A. OSBORN is Assistant Professor of Educational Linguistics and Second Language Education, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut.