In the Spring 2017 semester, Earlham, Denison, and Oberlin will offer their first Shared Languages Program courses. This program is an initiative funded by a Mellon grant, Global Crossroads, with which the Great Lakes Colleges Association is supporting campus internationalization and globalization efforts throughout its 13 domestic consortial college member institutions.
In Arabic, Dr. Kelly Tuttle will teach Arabic 341: Alienation in Modern Arabic Literature (in Arabic) at Earlham College while Dr. Hanada Al-Masri will be offering Arabic 300: Media Arabic (in Arabic) at Denison University. Dr. Basem Al-Raba’a will be encouraging Oberlin students, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to continue their Arabic language studies, to participate as guest students in these upper level Arabic courses. Allegheny’s Arabic professor, Dr. Reem Hilal, as well as DePauw’s Arabic professor, Ghassan Nasr, are looking into identifying students for whom these course offerings would be a great opportunity to continue their Arabic studies.
In German, Dr. Gabriele Dillmann will offer German 305: Migration to and from Germany and the EU since 1945 (with a special focus on the current refugee crisis) at Denison University in collaboration with Hope College’s German professor Dr. Lee Forester who will encourage Hope German students to engage not only with Denison students in this course but also with AUBG students as part of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance Global Course Connections program. As a globally connected course, Dr. Dillmann’s students have meaningful opportunities to engage with students from diverse cultural backgrounds at the American University in Bulgaria. Albion’s German professor Dr. Perry Myers has expressed interest in participating in the program in the near future.
The Shared Languages program has been in the making since January 2016 and has since then been directed by Gabriele Dillmann for the GLCA Crossroads Initiative. Interested faculty have met during two summer workshops for Arabic, respectively German to discuss language pedagogy, course content, digital pedagogy, and course logistics. A follow-up working group meeting will take place in December at Denison U to discuss course assessment strategies and faculty will offer a show and tell of their pre-pilot work in their current Arabic and German courses. Logistical and technological details have since been worked out with the help of our participating schools’ four highly engaged registrars and apt IT personnel, and an informative Student Q&A has been created.
Many thanks to Simon Gray (Program Officer at GLCA) and all my Arabic and German colleagues, registrars, and IT personnel who are making this exciting new program happen!!