Step onto any campus in North America, and you’ll find college students with a marked vigor for culture and language learning with a breadth of experience, diverse backgrounds, and a thirst to learn. So, where do these future leaders turn for high-quality language and culture learning resources? The answer to this important question is slightly troubling. Understanding other cultures and languages has been a low priority in America for decades. There are over 7,000 languages in the world, yet we consistently face limited resources and language instruction in higher education around the country. Research has shown that upon graduation, less than 5% of American undergraduates are truly prepared for cross-cultural interactions with non-European cultures. How can we properly educate future leaders, support global cooperation, and improve cultural sensitivities under these circumstances?
Don’t panic. While the discrepancy between a student’s passion for world language and culture and the available resources to support it is concerning, there are solutions. Here at Mango, we're connected to some of the most influential language experts on American campuses, and they've got good news. In most cases, the resources for transformative language and culture learning are all there – it’s just a matter of bringing them together in a coordinated, focused effort. It’s a lot like having all of the pieces to a puzzle, and you’re just waiting for the right inspiration to bring it together to form the bigger picture.
Here’s your inspiration. We’ve gathered together some of the movers and shakers from American college campuses to discuss how they’ve energized students, faculty, and librarians to come together for language and culture learning. These experts hail from a variety of demographics and expertise – we’ll hear the student perspective, the faculty perspective, and we’ll hear from an esteemed academic librarian. Our panel will share success stories that are bound to motivate you to kick your campus into language and culture learning gear. After all, the goal is that all students should have access to the global marketability that a solid background in language and culture provides. Plus, students will enjoy greater travel experiences, greater career mobility, and greater social experiences (it’s true!) when they embrace diverse and unique language and culture learning opportunities.
We invite you to join us on November 20, 2014 for an engaging and educational webinar on campuswide collaboration between students, faculty, and librarians. In partnership with ACRL, learn to unite your campus’s collective resources for greater global marketability and greater success stories for your students. Let us introduce you to the awesome panel that will show you how to make magic happen on your campus.
Our Esteemed Panelists Are:
Elsa Amanatidou joined the Brown Classics Department in 2001 after many years of working as a language expert, teacher, and trainer in Greece and the UK. From 1995 until 2001, she held the post of Head of Modern Greek Studies and Deputy Head at the Hellenic College of London; an independent, co-ed, bilingual school. Since 1989, she has held the posts of Examiner and Principal Examiner for GCSE in the U.K., A Level and O Level public examinations in Modern Greek. She is currently serving as expert consultant for Pearsons, UK, and is a member of CIEA (Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors).
She has taught Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced courses in Modern Greek, including courses in Special Topics in Modern Greek, as well as seminars on MFL pedagogy and a graduate seminars of SLA. Her professional interests include testing and evaluation, the application of literature and music in the teaching of foreign languages, the use of drama activities in FL learning, and the intersection between language teaching and learning and emerging technologies. Since 2008, and concurrent to her appointment in Classics, she has been serving as Director to the Center for Language Studies at Brown University.
Katie Saviano is a sophomore at Tufts University, studying International Relations and Arabic. She is a graduate of the United World Colleges and credits her love of language to her two years spent at a bilingual high school in Costa Rica. A recipient of a NSLI-Y Scholarship through the US State Department, Katie’s time spent studying Arabic in Morocco firmly convinced her of the power of language to advance cultural understanding. The campus director of Tufts Student Language Exchange, she is committed to providing language learning opportunities for Tufts students. At Tufts, Katie is also involved in the Tufts Refugee Assistance Program, a group focused on sustainable development in Latin America, and Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC), through which she conducted research on Civil Society and Youth Activism in Tunisia. This summer, she interned with Seeds of Peace, an international NGO focused on Conflict Resolution.
Amelia Friedman is the Executive Director of the Student Language Exchange, an organization she founded during her sophomore year of college. She is an active advocate of language learning, writing about global power structures in higher education for Forbes, the Huffington Post, USA Today, and her personal blog. She is currently conducting an in-depth exploration of language valuation in college curricula to be published in 2015. Additionally, Amelia has spoken about language education at numerous academic conferences, TEDx, the U.S. Capitol, and more. Amelia is a self-proclaimed language nerd, having spent time studying seven different languages.
Martha Parker is the current Librarian in Residence for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she first worked in cataloging, and then in special collections for the past two years, creating digital collections. Parker received an MLIS in 2011 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she also received the prestigious UNCG’s Academic and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) Scholarship, a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the UNCG-LIS department.
Parker also holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Queens University of Charlotte, and Elementary School Certification from Normal Miguel F. Martinez in Mexico. A former educator and an experienced business executive, Parker has led several local and national committees since the beginning of her graduate school studies.
Parker was the Charlotte representative for the UNCG’s MLIS program from 2009-2011, an ALA-IRRT (International Relations Roundtable) member, and a REFORMA member. Since 2012, she has led the REFORMA Organizational Development and New Chapters committee, and served at the ACRL’s Diversity Committee, a committee that she now chairs. She has been a driving force in promoting the 2012 ACRL’s Diversity Standards for Academic Libraries primarily to presentations at conferences, a creation of a diversity video, a diversity libguide at the University of Arkansas and finally, leading the creation of the ACRL’s Diversity Standards for Academic Libraries Toolkit.
They sound pretty great, right? Sign up for our seminar with ACRL now and get a VIP pass to the newest innovations in language and culture unity on American college campuses. You won't want to miss this. We'll see you there!