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Rethinking the Language Center in the Age of Globalization - A Symposium sponsored by the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning and the Yale Center for Language Study 

When: November 9 and 10, 2012

Where: Yale University

Approximately twelve years ago, the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning convened a small symposium at Yale University to discuss the then emerging role of language centers at institutions of higher education (cf. Garrett, 2001).  Since then, there have been significant developments with a major impact on foreign language education in the United States: the post 9/11 emphasis on the so-called critical languages, the 2007 MLA report “Foreign Languages and Higher Education: New Structures for a Changed World,” and the strong movement toward institutional globalization.  Centers must adapt to meet the current goals of foreign language education, which, as noted in the MLA Report, are shifting toward an emphasis on translingual and transcultural competence. Moreover, the brick and mortar presence of the language center as a sophisticated technology space has lost some of its relevance, as technology has moved toward online applications that allow students and faculty to access resources from anywhere, whether that be at home, in the office, or abroad. However, other needs have become more urgent: professional development and support of language faculty – especially those in so-called bifurcated departments - has become central to and even a critical part of the mission of language centers. The language center has also become a space for innovation and experimentation in language teaching, where new approaches can be piloted and new technologies can be tested.

The symposium will be held at the Whitney Humanities Center and will start on Friday night (November 9) with an opening talk by Claire Kramsch (UC Berkeley) entitled "The educational promise of the language center" followed by a reception. On Saturday (November 10), there will be three panels, devoted in turn to Mission, Structure, and Governance, each with three invited speakers.  We hope to bring together colleagues from a range of institutions across the United States.

You can register for the conference here.

Please click here for a copy of the conference program.

Parking and accommodation information can be found here.

We invite you to participate in this discussion.