The Shared Languages Program site can be viewed here: https://glca-slp.org/
Invitation to participate in the Listening and Envisioning Meeting for all Language Colleagues across the GLCA.
When: Sunday, August 11, 2019 – Arrival and Evening Reception to Wednesday, August 14 – Noon
Who: Language faculty and Language Chairs from across the GLCA are invited to participate.
What costs are covered by the GLCA:
- Travel Expenses – mileage and tolls
- Hotel Room – GLCA will reserve a hotel room once you register
- Meals during the meeting
- Stipend: $150/full day; $75/half day
Registration: Please complete the registration form by June 18. Registrations will be accepted up to August 1, based on availability of rooms.
Should space at the meeting become an issue, preference will be given to participants who indicate they will attend the entire meeting.
Purpose of our meeting:
To share thoughts and experiences regarding language programs at small liberal arts colleges and to collectively envision a future for world languages at schools like ours in times of rapid change.
Provide an opportunity for language faculty to meet to:
- Share thoughts on curricula and pedagogy;
- Discuss the state of language enrollment today and over the next five to ten years;
- Review challenges faced by small departments and programs, especially by single-faculty language programs;
- Explore the notion of building communities of language educators across GLCA institutions;
- Discuss how technology changes how students learn and how technology changes our profession;
- Consider how course enrollment issues can be addressed by expanding pedagogy through digital technologies;
- Envision what would be possible by creating a shared multi-year set of courses in each language;
- Imagine what would be possible through the GLCA Shared Languages Program.
For questions or comments please contact Gabriele Dillmann. I look forward to hearing from you.
Looking forward to seeing you at OSGW 2018!
Additional information here.
Fellow Ohioan German Colleagues:
New Paths to Old Problems: Innovative Cures for Atrophying Language Programs
- Pacific Asian and Modern Language Association
- 115th Annual Conference – Honolulu, Hawaii
- Friday, November 10 – Sunday, November 12, 2017
- Session 6: Saturday 10 – 11:30 am
- Session Chair: Gabriele Dillmann, Denison University and GLCA
- “Energizing Language Programs Through Inter-Institutional Collaboration,” Neal Abraham, Five Colleges Incorporated
- “Challenges and Opportunities of the Big Ten LCTL Partnership,” Emily Heidrich, Koen Van Gorp, and Luca Giupponi, Michigan State University
- “‘To the Rescue!’: The Great Lakes Colleges Association Shared Languages Program,” Gabriele Dillmann, Denison University and Great Lakes Colleges Association
We have successfully re-energized or expanded language programs through shared curricula, shared co-curricular programs, shared staffing, and a variety of options for shared courses.
Russian and Hebrew language programs were facing declining enrollments on neighboring campuses. We successfully re-energized these programs through sharing: curricula, co-curricular programs, and staffing, and a variety of options for shared courses. We have also used these principles to build stronger programs in Arabic and Korean, for which the flexibility of shared curricular structures, shared courses and shared staffing persuaded the Deans of collaborating institutions to invest in program expansions.
Beginning in 2007, we have applied collaborative principles to develop shared language programs. First the campuses developed a program in four-skilled Modern Standard Arabic. Initially staffed by two shared faculty members teaching at three campuses, the program with an integrated set of curricular offerings has grown to 5.5 shared faculty members serving all five campuses. Shared curricular offerings optimize students’ preparation to shift from course at one campus to courses at another. Shared faculty members allow scheduling of their teaching locations to meet student enrollment demands with minimal travel inconvenience. Shared co-curricular programs build larger cohorts of student learners, energizing them to continue their language students and to explore study-abroad opportunities.
We have used these operating principles to successfully rebuild offerings in Russian for three of the campuses and offerings in Hebrew for two of the campuses. While declining enrollments may have threatened continuation of these programs, the deans in each case were persuaded to try collaboration before concluding that enrollments would never justify sustained investment.
Similarly, Korean Language programs serving three campuses were stymied by low enrollment in upper-level courses and long waiting lists for elementary courses. The deans were persuaded to invest in expanded staffing on the commitments of the language lecturers to sharing curricular offerings and co-curricular programming, sharing staffing (with each faculty member teaching on at least two campuses each year with flexible scheduling), and exploring a variety of course-sharing technologies and schedule strategies. In addition to conventional video-conference connections of classrooms on different campuses, we have explored having a conversation partner/TA in the classroom where the faculty member is not present, having the students meet together sometimes during the semester, and having the faculty member alternate campuses during the semester.
Results of these shared endeavors have helped the campuses to meet their goals of persuading more students to study languages and to persuade more students to study languages at greater depths.
The LCTL Partnership focuses on the collaborative development of models of LCTL instruction across multiple universities to improve the language proficiency of advanced learners of LCTLs. In this session we will discuss the practical, institutional, and pedagogical challenges of such a partnership as well as its opportunities for strategic cooperation.
The Big Ten LCTL Partnership is a three-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that seeks to expand the scope and refine the focus of the longstanding and successful Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) CourseShare initiative within the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Seeing a decline in enrollment at higher levels of proficiency is typical of all LCTL programs, making it virtually impossible for any one institution to offer advanced training in most languages, the LCTL Partnership focuses on establishing strategic cooperation across a variety of LCTLs by leveraging leading-edge research and advances in proficiency-oriented instruction and assessment so that more third and fourth year students, across more institutions, achieve at least intermediate high proficiency in more LCTLs.
The project focuses on the collaborative development of hybrid models of LCTL instruction. Course development and delivery are shared across multiple universities. Specific materials will be developed in three languages: Focusing on Swahili in Year 1, Swahili and Hindi in Year 2, and Hindi and a third language (TBD) in Year 3. This takes place through a ‘working groups’ model in which representatives from multiple Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions collaborate to develop curricula supported by innovative pedagogies. The working groups are comprised of experts in instructional technology and curriculum/assessment and include a language specific coordinator along with two additional language specific experts for each of the three languages from different participating institutions.
The LCTL Partnership aims to pool the relevant expertise and experiences across universities and other stakeholders or communities of language users (e.g., heritage speakers) to create an intentional community of practice that will enrich language programs. Furthermore, the project sets anambitious researchagenda. As part of our program evaluation we are carefully recording and evaluating all steps and missteps along the way. This program evaluation will inform us about the success of implementing proficiency-based course materials to improve students’ overall proficiency and will inform teachers and students of the effectiveness of their language program.
Because sustainability is essential to the success of this project, we see the outcome as the creation and implementation of transferable models for coordinated LCTL instruction (i.e., a language-independent Manual) that can serve as the basis for development of other languages in subsequent years. This Manual will consist inter alia of curricular templates, checklists of steps that need to be taken, personal stories from the working groups that outline their steps along the way, and webinar templates.
In this session we will discuss the progress of the Partnership that started in September 2016. We will reflect on the practical, institutional, and pedagogical challenges that we encountered in shaping the Partnership and on the ways we have advanced our project underscoring the intended strategic cooperation between the Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions.
3rd Presentation: Gabriele Dillmann, Denison University and Great Lakes Colleges Association
This presentation provides an overview of the GLCA Shared Languages Program and how such a program has the potential to remedy the dire situation of upper-level under-enrolled language courses and expand the language offerings that no one institution could afford. The program’s logistics, its corresponding pedagogy, and student learning assessment will also be discussed.
Language departments across the country struggle to keep their programs afloat during current times where budget cuts often force our college administration to hold low student enrollment against the sustainability of lesser enrolled courses and eventually entire programs. Even for a language such as Spanish with very high elementary and intermediate level enrollment numbers, programs struggle to adequately meet the student minimum in their upper-level courses. This is certainly true for the other traditional languages such as German and French. At the same time, many institutions make a real effort to expand their language offerings to so-called lesser taught languages. These vary from institution to institution, but in the case of for example Arabic or Portuguese, the problem colleges struggle with is to take the language offerings in these offerings beyond the 6th semester – if even that far. This creates a catch-22 scenario with students not seeing any purpose of starting with a language that they cannot pursue beyond the basic level during their undergraduate studies and expansion of a program hinging on student enrollment.
Contemporary digital technologies allow us to search for new types of solutions to this seemingly cyclically returning problem. Over the past three or four years, several institutions have come together to pilot courses that are cross-institutional and collaborative, so-called “shared” courses, where students from these individual colleges can benefit from the course offerings of the partner institutions. The Great Lakes Colleges Consortium Shared Languages Program received a major Mellon grant to institute the course sharing initiative for a pilot period of 4 years. It allows students from thirteen different colleges to take courses at a partner institution for full credit as they join bricks and mortar courses virtually. The Shared Languages Program may not secure faculty positions as such, but it does attempt to preserve the languages taught and add further languages that each college alone could not afford.
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 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)
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
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.
About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
Friday, November 10 – Sunday, November 12, 2017
New Paths to Old Problems: Innovative Cures for Atrophying Language Programs
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Colleagues 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.
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org] or use the message box below.
All 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.