UCLA Humanities hosts UC-wide meeting on global languages

Participants in UC global languages meeting

Sean Brenner/UCLA Humanities

Alexandra Minna Stern, dean of the UCLA Division of Humanities (third from left) with Daina Ramey Berry, UC Santa Barbara; Noah Guynn, UC Davis, Michael Iarocci, UC Berkeley; Kiril Tomoff, UC Riverside; Cristina Della Coletta, UC San Diego; Jasmine Alinder, UC Santa Cruz; and Virginia Adán-Lifante, UC Merced.

Sean Brenner | May 21, 2024

How can the University of California promote interest in the nearly 100 languages taught across the UC system? How the campuses strengths online platforms for global languages? And how the campuses work together to expand access to courses on less commonly taught languages?

Humanities leaders from across the UC system — including deans, associate deans and faculty members from eight campuses — met at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center recently to discuss those questions at a convening hosted by Alexandra Minna Stern, dean of the UCLA Division of Humanities.

Presenters included leaders of UCLA’s and UC Berkeley’s global languages task forces, the director of content and management at UC online, and experts in technology platforms for virtual and consortium instruction. The goals were to identify opportunities for collaboration, identify areas for improvement across the UC system and, most broadly, view global languages as a shared resource across the campuses.

“Concerted efforts to work together across the campuses can help move this effort forward and benefit students, especially those who would like to study less commonly taught languages, including heritage languages and ancient languages,” Stern said.

The gathering also laid the foundation for next steps: launching an intercampus pilot program for a new set of online language courses, developing strategies to encourage interest in language learning and devising approaches to prepare UC graduates to be engaged and linguistically capable global citizens.

The meeting was facilitated by Lisa Felipe, director of the UCLA Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms program, or EPIC, and by Barbara Van Nostrand, the Humanities Division’s executive director of academic programs and student affairs.