Date: November 29, 2023
Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Location: Online

A webinar presented by Diana Ruggiero, Ph.D., University of Memphis






November 29th, 2023, at 10 am Arizona time


Click here to see the slides for this presentation. 


The need for specialized communication abilities across various vocations proliferates today. To address this need, it is urgently necessary to switch from conventional language and cultural programs to more specialized, profession-specific courses. This presentation presents the idea of World Languages for Specific Purposes (WLSP), discusses its significance, and suggests ways to easily incorporate WLSP courses, majors, and certifications into current language and culture programs.

More than ever, the globe is connected. Professionals increasingly need fluency in foreign languages suited to their unique professional demands since they can now communicate in their home tongues. Whether Japanese for business, French for culinary arts, or Spanish for healthcare, WLSP focuses on fusing language acquisition with cultural subtleties and domain-specific terms. WLSP improves the relevance of the learning experience for students and boosts their employability after graduation.

Three key areas form our strategy for a curriculum that is LSP-focused:

  • Curriculum Development: An investigation into creating LSP courses that address the industries with the most demand in the current labor market. Educators may design courses that are interesting to students and valuable to them professionally by understanding the intersection of language, culture, and professional requirements.
  • Setting up an LSP Minor: An LSP minor is the ideal balance for individuals looking to complement their degree with specialized language abilities. This section will go into the factors to consider and procedures to build up a minor that may be tailored based on the student’s career objectives.
  • Offering an LSP Certificate: An LSP certificate can prove proficiency in a particular language area for professionals and students. We will examine the advantages of such a certificate and the practical considerations around its inclusion.

In conclusion, WLSP presents a viable way for educational institutions to improve their curriculum by bridging the gap between language learning and professional requirements. Join us as we examine how language instruction will develop in the future to prepare our kids for the globalized world.


Dr. Diana Ruggiero is a Professor of Spanish at the University of Memphis, she specializes in World Languages for Specific Purposes and community service learning. She developed Spanish for healthcare, Spanish for commerce, Spanish for community engagement and Medical Spanish interpreting, online, hybrid  and face to face. She is an engaged scholar recognized by her professional peers worldwide for her contributions to scholarship and teaching in WLSP and Spanish language and culture. Dr. Ruggiero is the recipient of an American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Teacher of the Year Award (College Level), an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in The Teaching of Culture, a Strengthening Communities Capacity Building Grant (University of Memphis), and an Early Career Award (University of Memphis) in recognition of her contributions to research and teaching of WLSP, Service learning and Latinx Culture.

Seeking additional resources?


Check out Dr. Ruggiero’s book:


Teaching World Languages for Specific Purposes


The world today is changing, and college-level language departments are rethinking and revamping their vision and curricular offerings as a result. The field of world languages for specific purposes (WLSP) presents a solution to these challenges, helping students develop language skills and intercultural competencies as they focus on content-based professional areas such as business, law, and medicine. As demand for these courses grows, teachers and administrators seek research-based information on how to develop and teach WLSP curricula. This book bridges theory and practice, inviting scholars, educators, students, and professionals of all areas of world language specialization to create new opportunities for their students.

Teaching World Languages for Specific Purposes provides practical strategies, models, and resources for developing WLSP curricula through a learner-centered approach grounded in empathy and compassion. Author Diana M. Ruggiero begins with an overview of the scholarship and purpose of WLSP, providing a firm foundation for teachers. She then guides teachers through each key step of WLSP pedagogy, from course development to formative assessment of students. Along the way, Ruggiero addresses important topics such as language interpretation, culture, the needs of heritage learners, and the role of community service learning (CSL) in WLSP. Included in the conversation are new considerations for WLSP and CSL in the wake of COVID-19. Resources for further curriculum development, models for assignments and assessments, sample lesson plans and lesson planning materials, and much more are available in the appendixes, making this a rich resource for all world languages educators.


Learner-centered practical strategies, models, and resources for the development of world languages for specific purposes curricula


Purchase it here!


Registration has ended.

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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