Date: October 5, 2023
Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Location: Online

A webinar presented by Darcy Lear, Ph.D, University of Chicago


October 5th, 2023, at 10 am Arizona time


Toward the end of the webinar, Dr. Lear shared a letter of recommendation request form that

a) gives students practice with the challenging task of crafting cover letter paragraphs (they have to connect their experiences with us to whatever it is they are applying for–they have to connect those dots for us and for employers because employers at least cannot be bothered to do it for you)


b) decreases the burden of writing letters of recommendation for us because we can cut-and-paste what students write and edit/build from there.


The idea of maximizing learners’ career readiness in language programs brings to mind entire courses, certificates, or minors in business, medical, legal or other profession-specific areas. However, already-existing first- and second-year language courses are full of content that could quickly and easily be tied to career readiness. In this webinar, we will explore examples of skills that every employee in every workplace needs to be a successful professional and we will workshop examples that build on content that is part of every introductory and intermediate language curriculum. Having polished phone skills is one example of something that all our students will need in the workplace, whether they become doctors, lawyers, business people, or follow any other career path. At the most introductory level, practice with the alphabet and the digits 0-9 together with a few simple strategies are all language students need to take the most simple phone messages. As students’ general language skills improve, so can their workplace skills so that by the intermediate level, taking phone messages becomes an excellent application of analysis and synthesis skills. Similar activities related to networking in career contexts, crafting professional emails, and using digital tools can also be easily integrated into language programs. The language classroom can provide a low-stakes environment to get over the learning curve before students find themselves in the high-stakes settings of career fairs, job interviews, and professional environments. At the end of each course, students can write a resume line that concisely describes their language skills that apply to the workplace, which in turn can get them started thinking about cover letter paragraphs and answers job interview questions. This interactive webinar will provide opportunities to design classroom activities, ask questions, and develop materials that work for each participant.


Darcy Lear has a PhD in foreign and second language education from the Ohio State University. She has worked as the basic language program director at the University of Illinois, the coordinator of the minor program in Spanish for the Professions at the University of North Carolina, and the coordinator of the Languages for Specific Purposes program at the University of Chicago Language Center. Darcy regularly researches, publishes, and presents on languages for specific purposes. Her publications include the introductory Spanish textbook Conéctate (with Grant Goodall) from McGraw Hill Education and Integrating Career Preparation into Language Courses from Georgetown University Press.



Looking for more resources?


See Dr. Lear’s book:


Integrating Career Preparation into Language Courses


Integrating Career Preparation into Language Courses provides foreign and second language teachers with easy and practical additions they can make to their existing curricula to help their students develop real-world professional skills and prepare to use the target language successfully in the workplace. The book is organized into six chapters, each addressing a different professional skill and opening with an explanation of how content typically included in a foreign language curriculum can be tied to this skill. Each chapter closes with class activities or lesson plans that include suggested materials and assessments that teachers can easily add to their language courses. Lear’s book is an accessible and practical guide designed to be adaptable for any language, offering exciting new possibilities to help teachers and students of foreign languages bring their language skills into the workplace.


“Lear’s integration of professional workplace skills with foreign language methodology resolves the conflict we have all experienced for years, that of falling short in our attempts to teach foreign language for professional purposes. Her recommended structure of gatekeeping, networking, correspondence, presentation and digital literacy provide language instructors with a practical way to adjust foreign language learning to the needs of adult language learners. Additionally, the beauty of this approach is its flexible adaption by level and by professional area. Integrating Career Preparation into Language Courses will serve as a resource for all foreign language professionals who desire to make an impact in their teaching.”


Purchase it here!


Participants attending live can request a certificate of attendance for 1.5 hours of Continuing Education during the event. They can request a digital badge after the webinar, once they are contacted by CERCLL after the event.

Participants who require closed captions or an ASL interpreter during CERCLL’s events should make this request at least a week in advance by emailing CERCLL at