FROM CRISIS MANAGEMENT TO INNOVATION: Reimagining the Role of World Languages in the 21st Century

Hope College Conference

OCTOBER 6–7, 2017

Section on the Shared Languages Program:

THE GLCA’S SHARED LANGUAGES PROGRAM: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO EXPAND LANGUAGE OFFERINGS ACROSS INSTITUTIONS – GABRIELE DILLMANN

The purpose of the Crossroads Shared Languages Program is to offer a broader selection of language courses than any one college could offer by itself with its current staffing. On several campuses traditional languages, such as German or French, have been experiencing under-enrollment in upper-level courses, which makes these programs increasingly unsustainable. At the same time, there is increasing demand for lesser-taught languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Korean, etc., that require a well-conceived infrastructure to grow into sustainable programs. In her talk, Gabriele will outline how the Shared Languages Program has a strong potential to successfully address these challenges.

The GLCA is happy to make participation for GLCA colleagues possible through the Mellon Crossroads grant.

 

Gabriele Dillman

 

Gabriele Dillmann is the Julian H. Robertson Jr. Endowed Associate Professor of German at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She also directs the GLCA’s Shared Languages Program, which encompasses 13 private liberal arts colleges across the Midwest.

 

Special invite for GLCA participants:

The Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) will make funds available for faculty and administrators from GLCA schools to participate in this conference. GLCA will cover:

  • Mileage at the GLCA rate (we encourage you to carpool!)
  • Cost of conference hotel for Thursday and Friday nights
  • Registration fee (which includes all conference meals)

Participants must register for the conference and book a room at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center or the Double Tree Holland.

At the conclusion of the conference, a form will be emailed to conference attendees to be reimbursed for mileage, hotel and conference registration. GLCA will not reimburse conference fees or hotel costs for cancellations made after the deadlines specified by the hotel and conference organizers (see “Cancellations and Refunds” below for dates).

 

Teaching with Technology Survey Results

Teaching with Technology Survey

Most Faculty Say Technology Has Made Their Jobs Easier

Our 2017 Teaching with Technology Survey found that faculty have a positive outlook about technology’s impact on their work, teaching effectiveness, student learning and more.

In a survey of faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States, 73 percent of respondents said technology has made their jobs “easier” or “much easier.” And nary a one considered their job “much harder” thanks to tech.

Those findings came out of Campus Technology‘s second annual Teaching with Technology Survey, in which we asked faculty to dish on their use of technology, likes and dislikes, views of the future and more. Their responses revealed a lot about the business of teaching and learning with technology today — and how it has changed over the last year.

While 73 percent of faculty were positive about the impact of technology on their jobs, that count represented a slip of four percentage points from last year, when 77 percent believed the same. The number of faculty who think technology has made their jobs harder is holding steady (17 percent this year compared to 16 percent in 2016), and a growing faction feels that tech has not had an impact either way (10 percent this year compared to 6 percent in 2016).

Whether technology is making life hard or easy for faculty, the majority of respondents (85 percent) feel the effort is worthwhile, agreeing that “Technology has positively affected my ability to teach.” That number is slightly lower than last year, when 88 percent felt the same.

The results were similar when it came to technology’s impact on student learning. Eighty-one percent of respondents saw a positive effect, compared to 84 percent last year. And 13 percent feel tech hasn’t affected student learning one way or the other. “Technology is only as successful as the teacher who uses it,” noted one respondent from a public university in California.

Overall, faculty in our survey hold an upbeat view of technology’s value in higher education: Eighty percent think tech has had an “extremely positive” or “mostly positive” impact on education, similar to last year’s count of 81 percent who felt the same.

A handful of respondents were less sanguine, feeling that technology has had a “mostly negative” impact, and 19 percent saw both positive and negative effects. As one faculty member from a two-year institution in Texas asserted, “Technology is rampant, but the actual impact on learning is unknown. Random studies have been conducted, but no one really knows.”

“In some cases, technology is already overshadowing the learning process and making it more difficult,” opined a respondent from Illinois. “More technology is not always the answer and more technology cannot replace good instruction.”

“As with any facet of teaching and learning, there needs to be enough time for faculty to learn to properly use, adapt and implement for technology to be beneficial,” pointed out a respondent from a Florida university.

“Technology used badly can be horrible,” agreed a faculty member in Georgia. “Technology used to enhance student access to the world and their ability to collaborate and create can be awesome! It all depends on how you use it (like everything else).”

The full results of the Teaching with Technology Survey appear in the July digital issueof Campus Technology. Highlights from the survey will also be posted on this site over the coming months. You can check back for ongoing coverage in our Research section.

Who Responded

Our survey polled 232 faculty members across the country about their use of technology in the classroom, their likes and dislikes, their predictions for the future and more. The majority of respondents (68 percent) come from public institutions, with 28 percent from private nonprofits and 4 percent working at for-profit schools. Seventy-two percent work at four-year colleges or universities; 26 percent are at community colleges (the remaining 2 percent designated their institutional level as “other”).

Respondents represent institutions of a range of sizes, with about one-third (32 percent) working in colleges or universities with 2,500 to 9,999 students. Just under half (45 percent) of respondents are from institutions with 10,000 students or more.

Our respondents are veterans of higher education: The largest group (47 percent) has more than 20 years of experience, with 81 percent logging at least 11 years in the field.

The top three most common school and college types among our respondents are education (22 percent), business/business administration (17 percent) and liberal arts (12 percent). But overall, respondents work in a wide range of disciplines, from engineering and medicine to humanities and fine arts. The top 10 states with the most survey respondents are New York, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

PAMLA 2017 Session now closed

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

SLP Workshop Addresses Innovative Pedagogy in a Digital Age

IMG_1923Colleagues from 7 GLCA institutions met for a weeklong GLCA Crossroads Shared Languages Program (SLP) workshop at Denison University.

Arabic colleagues Hanada Al-Masri (Denison), Kelly Tuttle (Earlham) and Basem Al-Rabba (Oberlin), German colleagues Lee Forester (Hope), Elizabeth Hamilton (Oberlin), S. Marina Jones (Oberlin) and Gabriele Dillmann (Denison), Japanese colleague Noriko Sugimori (Kalamazoo), Spanish colleagues Teresa Herrera (Allegheny) and Marta Sierra (Kenyon), our GLCA colleague Simon Gray (Program Officer), and our colleague Cheryl Johnson, Instructional Technologist at Denison, collaborated to discuss sustainable solutions for the challenges the languages are facing and how the SLP is positioned to address those.

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Gabriele, GLCA Consortial Languages Director, organized and led this workshop, assisted by Denison’s Arabic professor Hanada Al-Masri, with the idea that community building and collective brainstorming are primary for the success of our inter-institutional collaboration. Invaluable new ideas and inspired thoughts intensified the discussions and produced results that will no doubt strengthen the Shared Languages Program and garner wider appeal in the near future as it addresses contemporary issues in pedagogies and the status quo of language programs under pressure.

 

 

Some of the highlights of the SLP are: 

Great benefits for students who

  • have special needs, learning disabilities, or require accommodations beyond what a traditional classroom environment can offer
  • want to continue with their studies beyond the first or second year language courses offered at their home campus (e.g. Arabic, Russian, Japanese)
  • want or need to learn a language not offered in their home institution such as Hebrew or Russian (in the near future)
  • need to double up to complete their major or minor but experience a lack of courses to choose from at their home campus
  • have run out of options of courses to take on their home campus, especially for their major
  • need to take a directed studies because of under-enrollment in an upper level course
  • have a time conflict with the course offering at their own college and default to their major often leading to dropping their language studies altogether
  • need to take a directed studies because of lack of course course offerings, which often becomes a chronic situation
  • 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 outside of their very small language program
  • eventually with the success of the SLP may minor or major in a language that currently offers no minor or major (best example: Arabic)
  • learn more than the language itself, e.g. communicate effectiveness, dialog etiquette, digital etiquette, intercultural communication, participation as a member of a learning community

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)
  • are limited or at a loss on how they can accommodate students with certain disabilities to help them learn

The following important discussion points in terms of our rapidly changing teaching and learning environment in the age of digital pedagogies encompass the following affordances and challenges for the SLP and beyond:

  • broader flexibility for student learning addressing differences in proficiencies and pace in a digitally enhanced classroom
  • addressing learning disabilities such as limited sight, hearing, or mobility limitations with technologies in the digital teaching and learning environment
  • rethinking grades and grading in digital learning communities
  • enhanced schedule neutrality, e.g. negotiating variances in semester and quarter system campuses from one institution to the next; allowing for religious holidays
  • greater credit hour flexibility, e.g. half course vs. full course for students who wish to continue practicing their language skills but cannot take a full course due to other academic commitments
  • offering beginning level language instruction for lesser taught languages (Arabic)
  • student learning communities across institutional boundaries
  • rethinking task and testing design; e.g. proficiency-based assessment strategies
  • rethinking “academic dishonesty” in a digital environment and turning the negative into a positive by integrating “cheating” strategies as learning opportunities with new pedagogies
  • keeping students connected to their home campuses
  • enhancing the role of the home campus mentor
  • optimizing teaching and learning strategies for an ever-changing student body and culture in our technology-driven world
  • building bridges between the generational culture of teachers and the generational culture of students
  • preparing our students professionally for the digitally progressed learning and teaching environment of the next younger student generation whose teacher they will be
  • increased interoperability, e.g. standardization, undercutting silo effects; e.g.: standardizing learning Arabic via the Integrated Approach; teaching German with a balanced approach of structure/grammar, natural acquisition, and culture)
  • SLP as a useful partner for other on-campus programs (e.g., international studies) that require language and cultural knowledge of regions outside of the US
  • post-grant compensation and reward structures and models; e.g. course release time for research by sharing students; time vs. pay

One radical idea that came up, I wish to highlight separately:

In the (near) future could we conceive of GLCA institutionalized language schools, that is, one GLCA school may specialize in/will be the locus of a certain language such as e.g. Russian or Hebrew with students taking these courses remotely from any of the other GLCA schools? 

The workshop also featured an overview of digital tools for language pedagogy as well as several sessions of hands-on training to learn how to effectively use these applications and expand existing facilities with digital technologies. These tools and their application in language teaching and learning will be discussed in a separate article and posted to the SLP website.

 

For more information or to express your interest in the Shared Languages Program please contact Gabriele Dillmann [dillmann@denison.edu] or use the message box below.

 

Shared Languages Program Workshop Invitation

Pieter_Bruegel_the_Elder_-_The_Tower_of_Babel_(Vienna)_-_Google_Art_ProjectAll language colleagues currently teaching in one of our GLCA institutions who have an interest in or are curious about the Crossroads Shared Languages Program, its purpose, pedagogy, and technology are invited to join our SLP workshop offered at Denison University from May 22 to 26, 2017.

Colleagues from all levels of employment are welcome to attend.

If you cannot attend for the entire workshop, part-time stipends are available. The stipend for the entire workshop is $500 or $125 per day. All travel, meals, and accommodation costs are covered by the grant for our pilot program.

Please see here for detailed information on the schedule, accommodations, and REGISTRATION.

Please contact Gabriele Dillmann at dillmann@GLCA.org for questions and/or to express your interest.

 

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! 

Course Sharing Symposium at Columbia

Course Sharing for Sustainable Programs Symposium

Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15, 2017 at Columbia University in New York City

Everybody is welcome to attend for free! Please  RSVP here.

Course Sharing for Sustainable Programs Webpage

Course Sharing for Sustainable Programs is a two-day symposium that brings together administrators and language professionals from across the country to discuss emerging models of course sharing and curricular collaboration. These models offer expanded learning opportunities to students, as well new paths to institutional viability and sustainability for a wide range of programs. Although the symposium focuses primarily on the teaching of languages, it also showcases a number of projects that promote multi-institutional collaborative partnerships in other disciplines. In every case, due consideration will be accorded to the full range of administrative, pedagogical, and technological factors that shape each particular collaborative environment, as there are specific benefits and challenges that must be considered in order to select an appropriate model for a given context (from the CS webpage).

The symposium website also provides links to the various institutions in course sharing partnerships and their initiatives. For example, you will learn about the Columbia, Yale, Cornell partnership and how together they can offer many lesser-taught languages with new technologies that one institution alone could not provide.

As director of the Great Lakes Colleges Association Crossroads Shared Languages Program for GLCA’s 13 consortial institutions, I will be presenting on our four-year long pilot project that aims to address the issue of upper-level under-enrolled language courses as well as broadening the course offerings for lesser-taught languages. We currently have courses in Arabic and German in collaboration with Allegheny, Hope, Earlham, and Denison. This fall, we will offer another palette of engaging courses.

This symposium is supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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.

Higher Education Initiatives for Refugees in Germany

Higher Education Initiatives for Refugees in Germany

refugees-daad-e1487176328354DAAD has been developing various programs in collaboration with universities and partner organisations to promote the integration of refugees at German universities. The overarching goal is to strengthen the potential of academically qualified refugees and provide them with access to higher education in Germany. More than half of the refugees arriving in Germany are younger than 25 – in other words, an age when education is most needed. With funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), DAAD has developed a set of targeted measures to enable universities to offer those who wish to study and possess sufficient academic qualification access to higher education.

Approximately 100 million euros in funding will be available in the coming years, 27 million euros of which is earmarked for projects in 2016. With funding from the BMBF, DAAD has developed an extensive package of long-term measures. This website gives an overview of the measures implemented according to these three pillars.

In addition to the overarching measures developed by the German government, DAAD, and the universities, many individuals on campus – from students to professors – are volunteering their time to assist refugees in navigating higher education in Germany.

NPR/WEMU recently portrayed a German professor as an example of how members of academe in Germany are taking the initiative and doing what they can to help. Listen to the report or read the article summarizing the interview here.

From: DAAD New York Newsletter, Feb 21st, 2017

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)