Departments continue ‘global learning’ without federal grant

The Language, Literatures and Cultures Department has “something to celebrate,” Beverly Moser, associate professor of German, said.

In 2010, the Global Studies program and the Language, Literatures and Cultures department received a two-year $164,803 grant from the U.S. Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies that targeted the languages of Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and German.

Now, two years later, the departments are successfully continuing the work of the grant without the federal funding, Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand, director of Global Studies, said.

Global Studies is continuing one piece of the grant by upholding the program Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum, Hellenbrand said.

“This program is cost-neutral and educates students about other cultures’ views in classes across various disciplines, such as in political science or education classes,” Hellenbrand said.

Students can discover news that could be covered in Germany but not America, Moser said.

“We want there to be more courses where you can do research using your target language for a project and understand the perspective from other cultures,” Moser said. “That’s a really important element as we internationalize.”

It is too soon to tell if the grant helped improve students’ academic scores, but there is a much higher enrollment in the Intermediate Chinese class, which has never happened before, Hellenbrand said.

“I find that to be anecdotal evidence of the success of the grant,” Hellenbrand said.

Chinese professor, Wendy Xie, said the department is trying to make languages a four-credit hour course due to the required lab.

Xie said she noticed students were retaining more of what they learned from the last lesson because they were encountering the language four times a week rather than the three.

“Having a global, cultured education is crucial,” Hellenbrand said. “In a country where we drive German cars, drink Ethiopian coffee, we have our Olympic team wearing Ralph Lauren outfits that were made in China. We need what global learning has to offer.”


Story: KASI MITCHELL, Intern News Reporter