The Shared Languages Program encourages collaboration and cooperation among GLCA language faculty. The program is part of the Mellon-funded Global Crossroads Initiative to advance internationalization of the programs of learning that define undergraduates’ experience of the liberal arts at the schools of the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Language faculty and programs are supported through two opportunities.
Shared Language Courses – Selected language courses are shared across GLCA campuses allowing a student on one GLCA campus to take a language course from another GLCA campus for credit. Course sharing addresses two challenges faced by language programs at small liberal arts institutions: under-enrolled courses and limited course offerings. Shared Language courses are taught synchronously through technology. Courses in Arabic, German, and Japanese have been offered. An evaluation of these course offerings was done by Charlie Blaich and Kathy Wise from the Center of Inquiry at Wabash College. They found that Shared Language Courses offered a high-quality learning and teaching environment comparable to that of face-to-face classes. Faculty members who wish to offer a Shared Language course are supported through a course development grant.
Language Faculty Convenings – GLCA language faculty meet, by language, to discuss language programs at small liberal arts colleges and to build communities across GLCA institutions through collaborative efforts such as syllabi sharing, co-development of course modules, guest lectures, sharing assignments and pedagogy tips. An initial meeting of language faculty was held in August 2019 at Oberlin College, resulting in a collection of insights and recommendations. GLCA language faculty interested in bringing together colleagues should contact Simon Gray (firstname.lastname@example.org).