Workshops Funded for Fall 2012

Jack Iverson, Coordinator (FLL-French); Susan Babilon (FLL-German Studies); Janis Breckenridge (Spanish); Donghui He (FLL-Chinese); Sarah Hurlburt (FLL-French); Julia Ireland (Philosophy); Chas McKhann (Anthropology); Lisa Perfetti (Associate Dean of the Faculty); Jason Pribilsky (Anthropology); and Jon Walters (Religion).     Report - Iverson Workshop
Languages Across the Campus

Description: At a time when Whitman College has strengthened and reaffirmed its commitment to the teaching of foreign languages (with recent hires in Chinese and Japanese and an anticipated search in German), and as the College continues to place heavy emphasis on internationalization and global studies, it seems vital to engage in a sustained reflection on the role of language study and the study of language in the broader educational experience of our students as an issue that holds great interest for the institution as a whole (and not only for the departments in which foreign languages are taught). This cross-disciplinary workshop will bring together faculty members who have an interest in the study of language, drawing from a broad range of departments. While the workshop will not aim specifically to develop a curricular proposal, we will nevertheless work with a close eye to the benefits of increasing the study of language on our campus and the modalities that might be used to achieve that goal. To pursue these two targets, we will begin with a reflection on the benefits of language study, focusing specifically on two areas that are currently receiving considerable attention in academic circles—bilingual education and trends toward internationalization. We will subsequently address proposals and initiatives that are transforming the role of foreign languages in academia broadly and that might be integrated in our work at Whitman College. Among these, the important 2007 report from the Modern Languages Association, "New Structures for a Changed World" has generated a number of thoughtful responses. Also, "Languages Across the Curriculum" initiatives continue to make headway on a number campuses nation-wide, with several remarkably success programs in place. Finally, we will think more narrowly about how the study of language on our campus might be enhanced by focusing on several specific areas, including off-campus study, the admissions process, technology, and support for languages that are not commonly taught on our campus.