About the Grant

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With the support of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the University of Chicago will bring together pairs of instructors of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) from different home institutions to develop shared course sequences in the target language.  The sequences will be articulated between the two instructors so that students will be able to achieve greater proficiency gains than would be possible for a single instructor teaching on a single campus.  The grant will run from July, 2016 until June, 2021, with new collaborative pairs added each year.

The project builds on course sharing initiatives already established through  CourseShare (the Big Ten Academic Alliance) and a Mellon-funded project carried out by Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning (CLTL) partners Columbia University, Cornell University and Yale University.  We will identify pairs of instructors teaching LCTLs on two different campuses, and bring them together for training in language teaching towards proficiency gains and to develop a multi-year shared curriculum taught on both campuses and open to learners from other campuses.  We will start with two pairs in 2016, and add pairs over the next four years.

The collaborative pairs:

  • will come from Big Ten Academic Alliance and Ivy Plus institutions, or from others if LCTL instructors identify an ideal partner
  • will develop shared curricula, with materials appropriate to the outcomes and goals specific to their language
  • will become trainer-experts as new pairs are added each year, participating and presenting at workshops and symposia

The grant provides:

  • ACTFL Oral Proficiency Assessment training for all pairs, as well as for instructors of LCTLs who may be interested in joining the project
  • workshops on reverse design as well as on development of materials and multimedia, also open to other interested instructors
  • travel and lodging for all participants in all workshops
  • support for the development of assessment and evaluation instruments
  • instructional support funds, to be used at the discretion of each institution

We seek to provide broad access to professional development activities among our colleagues and promote broad dissemination of instructional materials and assessment instruments.

You can watch Cathy Baumann, Director of the University of Chicago Language Center, talk about the rationale, design, and evaluation of the grant below.