Vanderbilt U Hosts Conference on Distance Learning for Less Common Languages
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN is hosting a workshop on distance learning for rarely
taught languages. The event takes place on March 17 and 18 and is
sponsored by the Centers for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt, the University of Utah and the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs.
The Workshop on Sustainable Partnerships for Latin American LCTLs through Distance Learning is intended "to promote the creation of sustainable academic year
programs in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) of Latin America
through course sharing using distance-learning technology," according
to information on the site.
Workshop topics include:
- Successful models for sharing courses through distance learning technology;
- Available distance learning technology and challenges;
- Questions and concerns about the quality of distance learning pedagogy;
hurdles and potential paths to establish institutional partnerships for
course sharing through distance learning; and
- Pragmatic concerns related to successful course sharing.
and the University of Utah both offer distance education courses in
less commonly taught languages of Latin America. Vanderbilt offers a
distance education course in K'iche' Mayan, an indigenous language of
Guatemala. The University of Utah offers distance learning courses in
Nahuatl, an indigenous language of Central Mexico, and Kichwa, which is
spoken in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. In September 2015, Vanderbilt
partnered with Duke University and the University of Virginia to allow students at those schools to study K'iche' Mayan, and in turn
Vanderbilt students can take distance education courses in Tibetan and
"Given the precarious nature of funding for
instruction in indigenous and other LCTLs, there has been great
interest among area-studies centers in developing partnerships that
allow sharing of instructors and students across universities," said
Avery Dickins de Girón, executive director of Vanderbilt's Center for
Latin American Studies, in a news story on Vanderbilt's site. "Distance
learning technology offers us a viable means to do this, but there are
still many challenges to establishing collaborations, as well as
practical questions regarding technology and pedagogy. This workshop is
designed to address some of these issues, and to give participants an
opportunity to identify potential partners for language exchanges."
Further information about the conference can be found on Vanderbilt's site.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.