Call for Proposals PAMLA 2017

Session has closed – no more proposals are being accepted.

I would like to invite colleagues engaged in Shared Language Courses initiatives to submit a proposal for a session on the topic of course sharing in the languages that I am organizing for the 2017 Pacific and Asian Modern Languages Association Conference.

115th Annual Conference – Honolulu, Hawaii

Friday, November 10 – Sunday, November 12, 2017

New Paths to Old Problems: Innovative Cures for Atrophying Language Programs

Presiding Officer: 

Gabriele Dillmann, Denison University/GLCA

Language departments across the country struggle to keep their programs afloat during times of critical budget cuts that increasingly force our institutions’ administrations to reconsider the sustainability of programs with chronically under-enrolled upper levels and courses in less commonly taught languages. This session aims to bring together practitioners who have been reflecting upon and instituting alternative paths to preserve and/or expand our language offerings in innovative, viable ways.

Information on how to submit: http://pamla.org/2017/topic-areas

Please note that you need to be a PAMLA member by no later than July 15. They offer a combined membership and registration option, which is really quite reasonable.

Proposal Submission Deadline: MAY 21st, 2017. Proposal Submission Form.

Inquiries: dillmann@denison.edu or dillmann@glca.edu

Shared Language Courses Fall 2017

With student course enrollments for Fall 2017 on the way, we would like to invite our GLCA colleagues and students in Arabic and German to consider an expansion of course selection options via the GLCA Crossroads Shared Languages Program.

Shared Language Program courses (SLP) courses are especially attractive to students who 

  • want to continue with their studies of Arabic beyond first or second year courses offered at their home campus
  • need to double up to complete their German major or minor
  • have run out of options of courses to take for their major
  • need to take a directed studies because of under-enrollment in a German upper level course
  • have a time conflict with the course offering at their own college
  • have run out of options of courses to take at their home institution
  • need to take a directed studies because of lack of course course offerings
  • have a particular subject interest that no one program could accommodate 
  • would like to benefit from a global course connections course component
  • are interested in exploring new pedagogies with digital technologies in a virtually interactive environment 
  • are not able to go study abroad but would like to meet new people with similar interests 
  • eventually with the success of the SLP may minor or major in Arabic
  • and more..

This program also has great benefits for faculty who 

  • are one-man or one-woman programs and miss having a like-minded colleague for the exchange of ideas and concerns
  • are concerned about under-enrolled classes and fear of cancellation
  • with the advantages the SLP affords may be able to expand their Arabic program to a minor or major even with one home institution factually member
  • wish to expand their facility with digital pedagogies
  • seek professional development that no one campus can offer
  • want to join the discussion on ways to address the future of our discipline
  • wish to teach a course outside of their language program but “cannot get away”
  • have numerous directed studies students due to some of the reasons mentioned above (usually without any compensation)
  • and much more

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 3.42.25 PMThis semester, we are able to offer two SLP courses in Arabic and two in German. Our Arab colleagues from Denison University and Earlham College, Dr. Hanada Al-Masri, respectively Dr. Kelly Tuttle  are offering a language course on the intermediate level and an Arabic writing course.

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For German, Dr. Lee Forester  is offering a course in German Linguistics and I  will teach a course on Germany’s Young Generation. All pertinent information can be found here. 

The course enrollment process is simple with the respective registrars having contributed significantly to design a smooth experience for both students and faculty. All the information you and your interested students will need, can be found on this website page, please scroll all the way down. 

First pilot semester student feedback results are very encouraging. (Full results are available, please ask.) All students found all aspects of the courses very “doable”, “engaging”, many also “exciting”. They all enjoy meeting other students with similar interests and especially appreciate the added diversity of both students and instructors. They are learning important inter-cultural lessons and can better apply technological skills in the academic environment and beyond. 

There are no specific technology requirements. All students will need is a computer with a built-in camera (or plug in a webcam), a quiet, well-lit place to sit, and a stable internet connection. The SLP instructors will provide your students with a course orientation that addresses all technology aspects. 

Colleagues who serve as on-campus advisors for students participating in a SLP course will receive a stipend. Likewise, if you chose to offer a SLP course yourself, there will be compensation from the GLCA SLP Mellon grant. 

Please also look out for an announcement for a SLP workshop for anybody who is interested on any level of engagement that will take place at Denison University from May 21 (evening dinner) to May 25th (midday). 

And finally, the most important feature of this program is that we are offering our students a wider range of possibilities to stay engaged in the language and culture they chose to study. 

Please let me know how our SLP team can assist you with any further questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you. 

The GLCA expresses its appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Lee Forester (Hope), Dr. Hanada Al-Masri (Denison), Dr. Kelly Tuttle (Earlham), and (almost Dr.) Basem Al-Rabaa (Oberlin) for their pioneering work and open-minded spirit! 

Teaching and Integrating International Students

WASHINGTON – What would international students in American classrooms most want their professors to do differently?

A survey of 662 international students at 23 colleges and universities commissioned by ELS Educational Services found that many international students want their professors to:

  • Provide more feedback (35 percent identified this as a desired improvement from among a given list of choices).
  • Seek to understand international students’ perspectives (33 percent).
  • Make classroom materials available after class (32 percent).
  • Provide examples of completed assignments (32 percent).
  • Provide non-U.S. examples in course contents (28 percent).

One caveat for the above numbers is that nearly 12 percent of students in the sample were native English speakers, so their presence in the sample could have skewed some of the overall figures in various ways. For example, 22 percent of all respondents said they’d like their professor to speak more slowly or clearly, while 32 percent of Chinese respondents did.

The sample was nearly evenly split between undergraduates (52 percent) and graduate students (48 percent). The most common classroom challenges identified by the students who were surveyed were: too many writing assignments (65 percent said this was a challenge), too much reading (cited as a challenge by 63 percent of respondents), writing in English (56 percent), participating in class presentations (56 percent), the perceived preferential treatment of native speakers (56 percent), participating in class discussions (56 percent) and professors’ lack of understanding of their culture (50 percent).

More than a third of students — 35 percent — said they felt uncomfortable questioning the opinions of their professors, 30 percent said they felt uncomfortable questioning the opinion of their peers, and 29 percent said they felt uncomfortable speaking in class discussions (the latter proportion was higher among Chinese students, 38 percent of whom said they felt uncomfortable). Nearly a quarter of respondents — 24 percent — said they felt uncomfortable interacting with American students.

Mark W. Harris, the president emeritus of ELS, presented on the findings of the survey during a session Tuesday at the Association of International Education Administrators  annual conference focused on how faculty can “bridge divides” and integrate international students in the classroom. The number of international students in the U.S. has nearly doubled in the past 10 years and now exceeds 1 million, representing about 5 percent of the total student population, according to data from the Institute of International Education.

Recruiting international students was the number one priority for university internationalization identified by institutions who responded to the American Council on Education’s 2016 survey on mapping campuswide internationalization, which the association conducts every five years. In presenting a preview of some of the 2016 data – a full report on the survey is scheduled to be released this spring — Robin Matross Helms, the director of ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement, said that one key finding is that there’s been a “backtracking” in terms of support for internationalization-focused faculty development opportunities from the 2011 to 2016 surveys. The percentage of responding colleges and universities that reported offering these kinds of opportunities was lower in 2016 than in 2011.

About a quarter of institutions report offering workshops for faculty on teaching and integrating international students — “my response was, wow, only a quarter?” Helms said.

“If we’re not providing faculty with that professional development support, that’s definitely a worrisome trend,” Helms said.

Darla K. Deardorff, AIEA’s executive director and an adjunct research scholar at Duke University’s education program, described the different forms faculty development can take – retreats, discussion working groups, invited speakers, faculty panel presentations – with common topics being things like: “classroom challenges for international students,” “moving beyond stereotypes and assumptions,” “integrating non-Western perspectives into what is taught,” “communicating with international students,” “creating a supportive classroom environment,” “learning styles in different cultures,” “understanding classroom behavior,” and “interculturally competent teaching.”

Deardorff also shared recommendations to faculty international students have made in various focus groups she’s conducted with them. Recommendations include:

  • to focus on the professor-student relationship
  • to understand what students are used to (and not to assume)
  • to be very clear on expectations and to provide examples
  • to pay attention to underperforming students
  • to be intentional about connecting domestic and international students in the classroom
  • to not single out international students (by asking, say, “you’re from Australia, what do Australians think of this?”)
  • to connect students with various campus resources available, such as the writing center
  • to use examples from students’ home countries.

“A lot of this we know, but it’s nice to hear it reaffirmed by the students,” Deardorff said.

Denison Language and Culture House

Denison Students: would you like to live in an exciting, culturally-diverse environment, get to practice your language skills and make new friends from many different cultures? Then the Preston Language and Culture House is right for you!

Hurry though, spots are limited and the application deadline is coming up quickly: March 1st!

Like our Denison University – Modern Languages Facebook page and you can see all of our Language and Culture Program events, which you Denisonians are welcome to join! https://www.facebook.com/denisonmodernlang/

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Language House Brochure 2017 (pdf)

AUBG’s Dr. Stantcheva’s Visit at Denison

Working with German professor Dr. Diana Stantcheva from the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) as a collaborative team within GLCA’s Global Course Connections Program over the past four years has been a most productive and enjoyable journey. Both Denison and AUBG students have been collaborating on a great variety of projects for 7 continuous semesters. These courses have ranged from intermediate to advanced level , from language to content-focused, and from simple technologies to complex digitally innovative courses.

Students on both sides have gotten to know each other and both professors over the years, and it’s not been seldom that students who had worked together on a digitally supported project found each other to be partners again three semesters later. Via Google Hangouts and later Zoom video-conferencing students on both sides have met regularly over time to discuss American and East-European culture, US and German politics, the refugee situation in Europe, German media, Homosexuality in German film, gender and family, and linguistic phenomena, and much more – all in German!

img_0195This fall, on November 7th, Dr. Stantcheva came to Dr. Dillmann’s “Media in Germany” course to discuss the US presidential election from a European perspective with the class. In turn, students in the course explained and discussed the American voting system with Dr. Stantcheva who was extremely impressed both by how politically informed our students were and how well they were able to describe the complex election system and state their own opinions on the two competing candidates in very clear German.

Dr. Stantcheva’s husband Vladi, an accomplished artist based in Sofia and Berlin, joined us for a campus tour where he talked with several students in German. He was particularly interested in students working at the election information table in Slayter Hall and likewise impressed by how politically savvy and engaged our students are. The stereotype that young Americans are indifferent to the politics in their own country was certainly not confirmed on our campus.

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Definitely a highlight of Diana’s and Vladi’s visit – according to both Diana and Vladi – was visiting the Mulberry MixLab with its director, Christian Faur, showing them the lab space with its manifold artistic production programs and demonstrating to them how the various 3-D printers set up in Mulberry and the Bryant Arts Center function. Diana was especially delighted about the special gift she received from Christian: her name laser-cut into a piece of wood.

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We concluded the evening with a meal at Day Y Noche, where two of our Denison students had the pleasure to be captured spontaneously in a portrait drawing by the artist at the dinner table. They said that they would always treasure this unexpected gift.

Thank you, Diana and Vladi, for your visit and sharing your thoughts and experiences with our students!

Shared Languages Program Launch

In the Spring 2017 semester, Earlham, Denison, and Oberlin will offer their first Shared Languages Program courses. This program is an initiative funded by a Mellon grant, Global Crossroads, with which the Great Lakes Colleges Association is supporting campus internationalization and globalization efforts throughout its 13 domestic consortial college member institutions.

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In Arabic, Dr. Kelly Tuttle will teach Arabic 341: Alienation in Modern Arabic Literature (in Arabic) at Earlham College while Dr. Hanada Al-Masri will be offering Arabic 300: Media Arabic (in Arabic) at Denison University. Dr. Basem Al-Raba’a will be encouraging Oberlin students, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to continue their Arabic language studies, to participate as guest students in these upper level Arabic courses. Allegheny’s Arabic professor, Dr. Reem Hilal, as well as DePauw’s Arabic professor, Ghassan Nasr, are looking into identifying students for whom these course offerings would be a great opportunity to continue their Arabic studies.

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germanposterIn German, Dr. Gabriele Dillmann will offer German 305: Migration to and from Germany and the EU since 1945 (with a special focus on the current refugee crisis) at Denison University in collaboration with Hope College’s German professor Dr. Lee Forester who will encourage Hope German students to engage not only with Denison students in this course but also with AUBG students as part of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance Global Course Connections program. As a globally connected course, Dr. Dillmann’s students have meaningful opportunities to engage with students from diverse cultural backgrounds at the American University in Bulgaria. Albion’s German professor Dr. Perry Myers has expressed interest in participating in the program in the near future.

The Shared Languages program has been in the making since January 2016 and has since then been directed by Gabriele Dillmann for the GLCA Crossroads Initiative. Interested faculty have met during two summer workshops for Arabic, respectively German to discuss language pedagogy, course content, digital pedagogy, and course logistics. A follow-up working group meeting will take place in December at Denison U to discuss course assessment strategies and faculty will offer a show and tell of their pre-pilot work in their current Arabic and German courses. Logistical and technological details have since been worked out with the help of our participating schools’ four highly engaged registrars and apt IT personnel, and an informative Student Q&A has been created.

Many thanks to Simon Gray (Program Officer at GLCA) and all my Arabic and German colleagues, registrars, and IT personnel who are making this exciting new program happen!!

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Suicide

This page is dedicated to the memory of Wendell Jackson, “a young, bright student, a remarkable Denisonian with a wonderful energy about him,” and who “had an amazing ability to bring people together. He walked across this campus creating friendships with a huge spectrum of people. He saw differences as an opportunity to be challenged and to learn” (President Weinberg).

He left us too soon.  But it’s never too late to learn about suicidal thinking and save lives.

Juliane Werding “Am Tag als Conny Kramer starb” 

Thoughts on Suicide

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Suicide is a complex malaise. Sociologists have shown that suicide rates vary with factors like war and unemployment; psychoanalysts argue that it is rage toward a loved one that is directed inward; psychiatrists see it as a biochemical imbalance. No one approach holds the answer: It’s all that and much more …”

Edwin Shneidman, Psychache

“Each way to suicide is its own: intensely private, unknowable, and terrible. Suicide will have seemed to its perpetrator the last and best of bad possibilities, and any attempt by the living to chart this final terrain of life can be only a sketch, maddeningly incomplete.”

Kay Redfield Jamison, Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide       

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Novelist William Styron in Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness recounts his struggle with suicidal depression capturing vividly the heavy, inescapable pain that can lead to suicide: “What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously and in ways that are totally remote from normal experience, the gray drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain. But it is not an immediately identifiable pain, like that of a broken limb. It may be more accurate to say that despair, owing to some evil trick played upon the sick brain by the inhabiting psyche, comes to resemble the diabolical discomfort of being imprisoned in a fiercely overheated room. And because no breeze stirs this cauldron, because there is no escape from this smothering confinement, it is entirely natural that the victim begins to think ceaselessly of oblivion.”

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Further recommended reading41965YQ0J5L._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_

Comprehending Suicide by Edwin Shneidman

November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide by George Howe Holt 

New York Times Article on Suicide

Collection of Psychoanalytic Sites 

The Suicidal Mind by Edwin Shneidman and The 10 Commonalities in Suicide

The Bell Jar and Poems by Sylvia Plathimages-5

The Sorrows of Young Werther by J.W. v. Goethe

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Crisis Hotline Director Alan Ross Explains How To Help Someone With Suicidal Thoughts

Learning about suicide and suicide prevention

National Suicide Prevention Week – September 7 – 13, 2015

Suicide and Depression Student Guidebook

Affordable Colleges Online Resource Center

http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/ohio-suicide-hotlines.html

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

National 24/7 suicide hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

Columbus, Ohio Suicide hotline: (614) 221-5445

Military Veterans Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 1)

Suicide Hotline in Spanish: 1-800-273-TALK (Press 2)

LGBT Youth Suicide Hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

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Image Copyright by Christian Faur

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY is September 10, 2015!!

International Association for Suicide Prevention 

Check out Tweets Hashtag  and !

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