What might a UO Language Council do?
– Gather stakeholders to respond to challenges/opportunities
– Position UO to take transformative, inspirational action
The UO Language Council will advance these goals:
- Promote awareness among administration, faculty, staff and students of the tremendous personal and career value of learning multiple languages and, in so doing, gaining cross-cultural insight and experience.
- Raise the profile of UO’s existing programs of excellence in language learning and teaching — from degree granting departments, to less commonly taught languages in the Yamada Language Center, to our Title VI Language Resource Center (CASLS, casls.uoregon.edu), to our study abroad services for UO and for a 25 campus partner network (Global Education Oregon, the fusion of AHA and UO Study Abroad), to the international research and outreach centers that foster and depend on languagelearning (many clustered in the Global Studies Institute, gsi.uoregon.edu).
- Position UO to do something radical, transformative and inspirational: reverse the national trend of declining language enrollments. Do this not by scolding students to eat their broccoli or fulfill a more robust BA requirement. But rather, do this by changing the culture around language learning, so that students see the obvious and deeply compelling link between language learning/cultural de-centering and 21st century career success and personal fulfillment.
- Do this, in part, by building a regular “languages and global careers” program, in which we bring back to campus our alumni whose career success and personal happiness have been linked to languageskills (e.g., UO Foundation Trustees Jim Shephard, Iain More, Tim Foo, Tony Wong, etc).
- Conduct market research among UO students to understand the appeal of, and the obstacles to, making language learning a central component of undergraduate education.
- Develop innovative means to ease the path for students to enter language learning and acquire command of second and additional languages (e.g., tuition rebates on tuition paid for language credits when students completes third year level; more intensive courses taught over three instead of five days a week, or in summer; more language for professions; enhanced teacher education programs to increase Oregon pipeline of language learners from high school; increased use of digitally-enhanced, place-based language learning tools, along the lines of coming programs in the Global Scholars Hall).
- Work with UO Language Council, and other stakeholders, to develop other ideas to radically transform the campus culture around language learning.