The IU Summer Language Workshop Alumni Newsletter | Spring 2014

SWSEEL News

Director's Notes

Ariann Stern-Gottschalk

Ariann Stern-Gottschalk

It is my great pleasure to present the first issue of the Summer Language Workshop’s very aptly named alumni newsletter, The Polyglot. As you can see from our website and even our name, changes are afoot in the Workshop. Allow me to assure you that with these changes we continue to offer nationally recognized excellence in intensive summer language training and the quality of the faculty remains high to ensure this.

The Workshop is now entering its third year as an independent unit in the College of Arts and Sciences and the new School of Global and International Studies, from which we receive excellent support. I am delighted to report this includes the means necessary to build a talented staff. This very able team includes Olga Bueva (Ukrainian alumna, 2011), full-time assistant director who has spearheaded this newsletter and other alumni initiatives, Mitchell Farmer, outreach coordinator and Maria Steenberger, program administrator.

Enthusiasm is high as we prepare for our 64th summer with that new slate of languages, continued funding for ROTC students through the Project GO program from the Department of Defense’s Defense Language and National Security Education Office, advances in faculty support and state-of-the-art teaching methods. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and as you read in our alumni updates, the Workshop’s language training has inspired some incredible career paths, research opportunities, travel and other scholarship.

The Workshop team and I are committed to maintaining our core programming, for which we have clearly articulated course goals and a curriculum mapped to the national standards. We are also developing new language training models like the successful short-term intensive Slovak language and culture course we created for the Indiana National Guard and online language maintenance support, like our portals for Arabic and Russian proficiency sustainment and improvement. Thanks to fine partnerships with departments and centers at IU, we look forward to building for the future despite the uncertainty of federal funding for language and culture training.

Donations to the Workshop foundation account also allow us to continue offering first-rate summer intensive language courses and grow in new directions, especially as the fate of major national grant programs that have supported us for long are in peril. Please consider making a gift to the Indiana University Summer Language Workshop Enrichment Fund. This fund supports both graduate and undergraduate language training and also helps us develop new programs and partnerships.

We very much look forward to hearing from more of you, sharing your news and reconnecting. We’d be delighted to welcome you back in the summer to share your experiences with Workshop students, hear your ideas for new programming, and see you at national conferences and alumni reunions. I urge you to be involved. In the meantime, please enjoy this issue of The Polyglot!

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Recent Events

December 2013:
The Workshop's outreach coordinator, Mitchell Farmer, reached out to students at IU and other universities in Indiana, hosting information sessions on IU Project GO for Army, Air Force, and Navy ROTC students at the IU Global Village Living Learning Center, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, as well as University of Notre Dame and Purdue.

November 2013:
SWSEEL co-hosted the Indiana University Alumni Reception at the ASEEES Convention. Sponsored by REEI, this annual event allows alumni, faculty and students to stay involved with Indiana University and reminisce. The reception featured greetings from REEI director Padraic Kenney and SWSEEL director Ari Stern-Gottschalk, recognized IU’s accomplishments in the field and honored the achievements of distinguished members of the IU Russian and East European scholarly community. Following the short program, alumni and guests shared wine, desert and memories of their time at Indiana University. This friendly gathering provided the perfect space for generations of scholars to meet, discuss their research and reflect on the highlights of the convention.

Ari Stern-Gottschalk was a discussant on the panel “Outcomes-Based Instruction for ROTC: Eurasian Languages in the Project GO Critical Language Training Program” at the 2013 ASEEES Conference. During the panel discussion Dr. Stern-Gottschalk highlighted SWSEEL’s participation in Project GO since the grant program’s inception in 2007 as one of first four programs funded and one of two that is still extant. 

October 2013:
Ari Stern-Gottschalk and Mitchell Farmer were among those to welcome Lieutenant Colonel Tim Hoch as the new Professor of Military Science at Indiana University. LTC Hoch took command of IU’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) from Lieutenant Colonel Michael Ogden, whose rotation as commander ended in September.

Mitchell Farmer met with the IU Air Force ROTC to discuss IU Project GO during the weekly leadership lab. With strong support from Lieutenant Colonel Jason Turner, Professor of Aerospace Science, Mitchell was able to speak with 100% of the Air Force cadets. Several IU Project GO alumni attended the event, answering questions about their experience at the Workshop.

June 2013:
Ari Stern-Gottschalk represented IU at the ACM-CIC Enhancing the Midwest Knowledge Ecosystem Meeting on Languages in Chicago and was invited to give a talk “Innovations in LCTL Instruction.”

Ari Stern-Gottschalk and Mitchell Farmer represented IU at the national meetings of Project GO and Language Training Center programs in College Station, TX. In addition to giving a presentation on the IU Language Training Center and overall capability for supporting language training for active duty military officers, they attended a two-day ACTFL OPI Familiarization Workshop. SWSEEL also sponsored Arabic instructor Basem Al-Raba’a’s attendance at an Arabic ACTFL OPI Assessment workshop that was scheduled with this meeting.

April 2013:
Ari Stern Gottschalk organized and chaired the “Language Teaching as a Non-Native Speaker” Midwest Slavic roundtable at OSU. The roundtable featured talks by SWSEEL instructors Brian Oches, David McVey, Coady Brownstein, and Tyler Madsen  and was attended by other SWSEEL instructors and alumni.

January 2013:
SWSEEL co-hosted an alumni reception with the IU Slavic Department at the annual AATSEEL meeting in Boston.

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