Foreign Languages Program Earns Mellon Foundation Grant To Extend Initiative To Sciences and Mathematics
Springfield, Ohio — On the heels of receiving a sizeable federal grant to implement one of the most distinctive and innovative language-across-the-curriculum programs in the nation, Wittenberg has now been awarded $30,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to extend its new federally funded program into the sciences and mathematics.
"With this funding, Wittenberg will now have the chance to truly internationalize the entire curriculum," said Tim Bennett, associate professor of languages and department chair. "This project gets at the heart of what we are trying to do as an institution to prepare our students for the challenges they will face in this increasingly complex world."
Last year, Wittenberg received a two-year grant in the amount of $179,000 from the U.S. Department of Education, as part of its Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program, to initiate a comprehensive restructuring of foreign language learning that will expand and embed the meaningful use of language in courses across the curriculum.
The first changes began last fall. Instead of traditional conversation and composition courses, students now choose from a set of courses that integrate language with learning in other disciplines, such as French Film and Culture or Russian Contemporary Issues. The result is that students are not just learning language skills; they are using language as a lens to see and understand other cultures better. The Mellon grant will now help prepare science students to be more competitive in a global economy.
"The problems we face in the world, from the environment to health and medicine, can only benefit from a global perspective," said Eric Stahlberg, Wittenberg's director of computational science. "This project will help our students become much stronger global communicators by helping them communicate on a personal level with increased appreciation for other languages and cultures."
One of the most distinctive and innovative programs in the country, Wittenberg's Department of Foreign Languages and Literature has helped produce 10 Fulbright Award recipients since 1996 and consistently attracts students with a keen interdisciplinary focus. With majors in French, German and Spanish, and special programs in Chinese, Japanese and Russian, the department plays an integral role in the university's internationally recognized program in East Asian Studies, as well as its Russian and Central Eurasian Program. The department is also home to the Foreign Languages Learning Center, which is a CRLA Certified Level II, Advanced Tutoring and Resource Facility.
Written By: Karen Gerboth