EDUCATING FOR ADVANCED FOREIGN LANGUAGE CAPACITIES: CONSTRUCTS, CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION, ASSESSMENT.Heidi Byrnes, Heather D. Weger-Guntharp, and Katherine Sprang (Eds.). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2007. Pp. x + 208. $44.95 paper.
The contents of this volume are drawn from papers presented at the 2005 Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT), the theme of which was educating for advanced language proficiency. In her introduction, Byrnes notes that despite the obvious need for advanced foreign language capacities and the clear limitations of current instructional practices, the advanced learner is often overlooked in SLA theory and research and continues to receive inadequate pedagogical attention. To help rectify this situation, the conference conveners brought together leading cognitive linguistic, systemic-functional, and sociocultural researchers in order to “specify the construct of advancedness in theory and research and for laying out broad parameters for curriculum, instruction, and assessment in support of the acquisition of advanced levels of L2 ability” (p. 3). Each of the 12 chapters is provocative, and the volume, overall, is of excellent quality. Researchers and educators alike will find this work profoundly useful.