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The Significance of Language Study in Library and Information Science: A Comparison of Two Programs in the United States and Honduras

CHARLOTTE FORD, DEBBIE FAIRES, SANDRA HIRSH and NÍTIDA CARRANZA

Abstract


This comparative case study evaluated the role of foreign language study within the Library and Information Science (LIS) curriculum of two programs in the United States and Honduras. The purpose of this research was to understand the significance and usefulness of language courses from the perspective of the students enrolled. Students who had completed language courses in LIS programs in both countries were surveyed with regard to their motivation for language study, application of language skills in the workplace, most and least valuable aspects of the courses, and overall usefulness of courses. The results suggest that students in graduate LIS programs are interested in learning foreign languages when the courses are targeted to the students’ specific interests and professional needs. The findings provide a curricular enhancement model that could be adopted at other universities, with key considerations focused on customizing language courses to the LIS context, required and elective course offerings, course delivery formats and student motivation.

Keywords


LIS education, language study, languages for specific purposes, curriculum analysis, curricular enhancement, cross-cultural studies

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