COLLABORATING WITH PEERS AT YALE UNIVERSITY AND UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN ON IAALLT 2017 PROJECT
Eduardo Lage-Otero, Associate Director of Language Studies and Senior Lecturer of Spanish, Humanities Division
Language instruction is a robust programme at Yale-NUS College, covering Chinese, Spanish, and several other languages. The TIG offered me resources to visit Language Studies centres in the United States to learn about their course-sharing initiatives and find ways to enhance the programme at Yale-NUS.
At Yale University, I met with colleagues at the Center for Language Studies (CLS) to strengthen our ongoing collaboration on language
instruction via teleconference. I also visited the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to learn about how they accommodate growing numbers of students taking Spanish, and how they create opportunities for students to practice Spanish outside the classroom. I also attended a symposium on community-based language education hosted by CLS where I learned about creative ways to extend language learning beyond the classroom and weave community resources into the curriculum. I also visited the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning to learn about their initiatives to enhance teaching across the university in face-to-face and online settings.
Following this, I travelled to the Language Centre at the University of Chicago where I learned about their course-sharing initiative within the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Subsequently, I traveled to Madison to visit the University of Wisconsin Collaborative Language Program and met with its programme director, Lauren Rosen, who has been working on telecollaborations for over 20 years, to discuss the structure and evolution of her programme. We collaborated on a panel presentation, “How collaboration builds sustainable programs: Growing and diversifying language offerings on a dime”, for the June International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT). The presentation highlighted several models of enhancing and increasing language study opportunities via collaborations while discussing the implications of this type of effort for the institutions involved. While at Madison, I was also able to participate in a Teaching Symposium at the University of Wisconsin where new teaching and learning theories and practices were discussed.
Overall, this was a fruitful and intense learning experience. I was able to meet with colleagues working in related fields and who have undertaken similar or more ambitious programmes. I continue to reflect on the Yale-NUS College language program and adapt some of what I have seen to our Liberal Arts context here in Singapore.
As a result of this experience, I was able to present my work at an international conference on what we are doing in this area at Yale-NUS. As
we continue to expand the language opportunities available to our students, this type of collaboration and idea-sharing will be crucial to ensure we meet our intended learning outcomes.