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Language Resource Center
Newsletter Fall- 2012
Toward the Promotion of the Internationalization in Foreign Language Departments on campus

One of the missions of the LRC is to promote internationalization on the Gettysburg College campus.

Gettysburg College itself has also been promoting internationalization on campus. The notion of internationalization is closely connected to the interdisciplinary nature of students’ academic life.

Over the course of the past few years, there have been significant achievements in terms of internationalization and providing more opportunities for double/triple focuses on students’ academic achievement.

In April 2010, Chinese and Italian majors were established and approved. In April 2012, a Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) minor was established and approved. I believe these majors and minor have provided a wider opportunity for students to undertake interdisciplinary studies in their field of interests and students have been taking advantage of this opportunity.

A senior student Dean Harris '13 sees the program as an effective way to expand students’ horizons. "The Chinese study was a great milestone for Gettysburg College and opened new and exciting opportunities for myself and other interested students. I was one of the very first people to declare myself as a Chinese Studies major at Gettysburg College and since then I could not be happier with the program. The major most definitely provides a highly interdisciplinary setting for the student. One does not only major in Chinese studies but also chooses a specific discipline they would like to fulfill. I chose politics as my focus and have studied multiple aspects of Chinese politics and culture both at Gettysburg and abroad in Beijing, China. After Gettysburg I plan to attend law school to eventually receive my LLM in international law and use my skills in Chinese to help companies negotiate contracts with Chinese corporations and set up enterprises throughout China."

Kate Landis '14 sees the interdisciplinary aspect of the program as her main interest. "I decided to join the Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) program because I became hooked on studying the Arabic language and wanted to learn more about the societies it represents. It is this interdisciplinary aspect of the program that I think makes it so relevant today and such a great addition to the academics here at Gettysburg. Any region is so much more than political headlines in a newspaper—it has its own histories, religions, languages and cultures. One of the best things about the MEIS program is that it is becoming this great network of students that are not only interested in learning about MEIS, but are also eager to share their enthusiasm campus-wide."

Not only have several of the foreign language departments established these majors and minor, but they has reconstructed the department curriculum as well. Martin Kley, Assistant Professor in the German Studies Department, describes the reconstruction as follows:

“The transition from a German to a German Studies Department in 2011 meant a shift away from a more traditional philological focus on language and literature to a more interdisciplinary model engaged with culture more broadly conceived. One of the main ideas behind this new orientation was to open up the Department's approach to a variety of approaches needed for the study of culture, and, in turn, to make the study of German and German culture more relevant to other disciplines as well. Thus, faculty in German Studies now regularly offer courses that are cross-listed with programs such as Film Studies, Globalization Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, while German majors and minors are invited to choose from a larger host of classes across campus in order to explore the links between German Studies and other fields of interest.”

This has impacted students’ experiences in studying the German language and culture.

Ann Sasala ’15 says “Although I never studied German at Gettysburg before the changes in major/minor structure, I definitely love the way in which my flexibility has gone up. Having such a diverse range of classes definitely increases my knowledge of the language while also allowing me to explore my other personal interests. I do not feel the need to declare a Film Studies or WGS major, but I do enjoy those classes. Now I can take them in German! How wunderbar is that?”

Not only the majors and department curriculum, but also campus-wide committees have been making an effort to bring globalization and internationalization to campus.

The Culture Language Across Curriculum (CLAC) committee was formed in late spring 2011 in order to promote language and culture and increase translingual and transcultural competence on campus as well as within the greater Gettysburg community. The committee conducted a major CLAC workshop in August 2012. The follow-up report for the workshop indicated that the faculty believes that programs such as CLAC can serve to promote “interdisciplinarity, lifelong understanding of the interconnectedness between language and culture, and prepare students to study, work, and live abroad”.

Furthermore, the Internationalization Coordinating Committee (ICC) was announced in an August 2012 faculty meeting. This committee is led by Provost Chris Zappe and develops institutional-level global learning goals and outcomes for Gettysburg students.

The LRC will continue to support Gettysburg College’s students, committees, and departments through assisting in students’ language and cultural studies and it will do its best to contribute to the promotion of internationalization and interdiciplinarity of students’ life in the Gettysburg community.

 

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