HomeBig 10 Initiatives for Less Commonly Taught Languages

Big 10 Initiatives for Less Commonly Taught Languages

Two Big 10 universities, Michigan State University and the University of Chicago, have received substantial funding from the Andrew W.Mellon Foundation in support of new initiatives that will support collaboration in the teaching and learning of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) at Big 10 universities.

The initiatives are:

  • Less Commonly Taught Languages Big 10 Partnership, Michigan State University. A cross-university to collaboratively develop an online model of LCTL instruction reflecting best practices in proficiency-oriented instruction; conduct research in LCTL proficiency assessment, goal setting, and curricular and technological innovation; and to provide professional development for LCTL instructors. The project is funding development of new curricula in three pilot languages, phasing in new languages over the course of the 3-year grant:
    • Year 1: Swahili, with UW-Madison participating as a core partner: Katrina Daly Thompson, African Cultural Studies
    • Year 2: Hindi: with UW-Madison participating as an affiliate partner: Sarah Beckham, Asian Languages and Cultures
    • Year 3: Hebrew 
  • Mellon Less Commonly Taught Languages Collaborative Partners, University of Chicago. Professional development and long-term support for pairs of LCTL instructors at two Big 10 universities to develop shared curriculum and to share courses. Erlin Barnard (Indonesian), Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, was selected to participate as one of three initial pairs of LCTL Collaborative Partners. The project is also supporting the participation of LCTL instructors from Big 10 universities in 4-day ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Assessment Workshops, required for ACTFL OPI Tester Certification, and other pedagogy workshops.

These projects build on years of collaboration among Big 10 universities, including Course Share, supported by the Big 10 Academic Alliance (formerly the Committee on Interinstitutional Collaboration, CIC), to facilitate the sharing of courses in LCTLs across Big 10 universities.

The Language Institute is providing support for UW-Madison faculty and instructional staff who are interested in these opportunities. Contact Dianna Murphy to learn more!