IES Abroad Publishes Ground-Breaking Language-Learning System That Integrates Classroom and Environmental Learning

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IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication changes the way that language is taught in study abroad programs.

The MAP challenges students to move outside their comfort zones to practice their language skills, providing skill-appropriate activities that they can engage in and grade themselves on.

IES Abroad, a not-for-profit provider of study abroad programs that has sent more than 80,000 American colleges students abroad since 1950, announces the publication of the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, a ground-breaking work that will significantly change the way that language is taught in study abroad programs.

For the first time, language learning in a study abroad program will integrate what students learn in a language classroom with what students experience outside the classroom, as they immerse themselves in the environment of their programs.

An easy-to-understand language-learning system that links language and place in an innovative way, the MAP guides students to learn and practice language both while they are in the classroom and out in the community and country of their study abroad program. Indeed, the MAP challenges students to move outside their comfort zones to practice their language skills, providing skill-appropriate activities that they can engage in and grade themselves on.

Based on IES Abroad’s 60+-year presence in the study abroad field and written by a task force of 17 language-learning experts from IES Abroad and IES Abroad-affiliated international colleges and universities, the MAP is an easy-to-understand, step-by-step system that combines classroom-based language learning with out-of-classroom study abroad experience, providing assessment tools at every level.

The Map identifies five distinct levels of proficiency that classify a student’s level of language fluency: the Novice Abroad, the Emerging Independent Abroad, the Independent Abroad, the Emerging Competent Abroad, and the Competent Abroad. The MAP then identifies appropriate student goals, instructor strategies, and community activities that guide students’ developing of language fluency.

The IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication is the second innovative MAP that IES Abroad has developed for the study abroad field, the first being the IES Abroad MAP for Study Abroad Programs, which became the educational standard for designing and evaluating study abroad programs. Originally developed in 1999, the IES Abroad MAP for Study Abroad Programs is now in its fifth edition.

In 2012, the IES Abroad MAP for Student Health, Safety, and Crisis Management will be published. With this publication, the three-part IES Abroad MAP series will offer the field of study abroad concrete design and evaluation models to measure the academic and cultural immersion dimensions of any study abroad program.

For a copy of the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, contact Carol Jambor-Smith, cjambors(at)iesabroad(dot)org.

IES Abroad, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, is a global, not-for-profit academic consortium offering study abroad programs to more than 5,500 U.S. college students each year who participate in 100 programs at 35 international locations. IES Abroad offers programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America. http://www.IESAbroad.org

In October of 2010, IES Abroad received the prestigious Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) designation from The Forum on Education Abroad for meeting the highest standards for study abroad programming and evaluation in the nation.

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