This workshop offers practical strategies for the development of programs in less-commonly taught Asian languages. Our goal is to elicit an exchange of ideas and experiences across LCT Asian languages (Vietnamese, Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, Hindi-Urdu, Tamil, Punjabi, among others) and to provide suggestions for overcoming some typical challenges encountered by LCTL programs.
In recent years LCTL programs have faced new pressures from both administrators and students, including a lack of support for “low enrollment” courses, a decline in foreign language requirements, and a student body which is increasingly oriented toward demanding pre-professional programs and left with little time or incentive for language study. Given such challenges, LCTL instructors and program directors must work proactively to recruit and retain students, justify the need for language study, build ties across the university, and nurture a community to sustain LCTL programs. The format of the workshop will include presentations, small-group activities, a brainstorming session, and an open discussion.
The presenters include Peter Knapczyk (Wake Forest), who will present his survey of the motivations of language students. This survey highlights the personal and professional goals of students, and suggests how LCTL programs might modify recruitment and curriculum to address these needs.
Gyanam Mahajan (UCLA) will discuss the success of UCLA in building a thriving Asian LCTL program. She will address balancing academic and administrative goals, along with the World Readiness Standards for languages.
Elliott McCarter (Vanderbilt) will provide strategies for creating a sense of community and continuity among students across levels of a program that reinforce student recruitment and retention. Such activities can simultaneously satisfy pedagogic needs and serve as program marketing.
Rajiv Ranjan (Michigan State) will examine the approaches of textbooks to address student needs, goals, and communicative competence. He will offer suggestions to overcome deficiencies of textbooks through immersion and creating a community between learners and speakers.
Juliana Wijaya (UCLA) will highlight the efforts of the Consortium on the Teaching of SEA Languages (COTSEAL) to provide professional training and create materials to share across languages. She will also present measures to professionalize SEAL teaching.