ABSTRACT: On college campuses throughout the United States, classes for decades have been offered to help Spanish speakers learn Portuguese, augmented recently by similar courses in Italian, French, and Catalan. Though there exist numerous commonalities between these innovative course offerings, the pivotal role of Spanish stands out. This essay therefore introduces the concept of a pivot language: a widely spoken second language leveraged through explicit instruction to facilitate the learning of a related third language (L3). It is suggested that in an increasingly multilingual country, this trend of taking into account students’ prior linguistic knowledge points to where language teaching is headed.
CLICK HEREto read the entire article with a response from Clorinda Donato (California State University, Long Beach).
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