UVA, Duke, and Vanderbilt Collaborative Language Acquisition Network

The University of Virginia is invested in numerous globalizing initiatives. For teachers and scholars in our language, culture, and literature departments, these initiatives garner energy on timely, but not novel, ambitions.  They enhance and expand these departments' educational goal of providing students with the tools that allow them to become proficient citizens of multi-cultural and multi-lingual settings.

The University of Virginia is a leader in all major world languages.  CLAN adds diversity and nuance to these varied proficiencies.  To be deeply global, an institution needs to offer a kaleidoscope of linguistic options, options that do not flatten the world into a few major linguistic clusters, but reflect the diversity at the core of all global initiatives.  Even in times unencumbered by budgetary constraints, one institution alone would be hard pressed to provide skills and resources to cover even a fraction of the world’s "Less Commonly Taught Languages" (LCTL).The LCTL new joint initiative by Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and UVA has begun to address this global challenge in a timely way. 

Duke, Vanderbilt, and UVA are ideal partners for this initiative.  All are deeply invested in innovative technologies in language acquisition, and share the same immersive real-time and high-definition TelePresence system (CISCO), which will allow seamless dissemination of language instruction across the three campuses. The large TelePresence room in Clemons Library at UVA has three screens, which offer the opportunity to monitor up to three other locations simultaneously, making it appear as if participants are in the same room. These common goals and shared technologies reflect linguistic strengths that are quite different at each institution, making course exchange especially fruitful.  In the Fall of 2015, Tsetan Nepali will offer Elementary and Intermediate Tibetan at UVA, Jacques Pierre will teach Elementary and Intermediate Creole at Duke, and Mareike Sattler will offer Elementary and Intermediate K'iche' at Vanderbilt.