This conceptual article examines current approaches to languages for specific purposes (LSP) course design, including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) backward design model and needs assessments, then explains domain analysis and its history before proceeding with a “how-to” for using domain analysis in backward design for LSP. The authors walk through the process of conducting research using the domain analysis framework that leads to the development of real-world proficiency targets that can be systematically assessed. Once summative proficiency tasks and tests are developed, evidence-centered curricular (re)design can take place. Throughout, the authors will provide illustrative examples from two larger research projects on Spanish for social work and legal Spanish.
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