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As our institutions are under increasing pressure to control costs, they must carefully consider the need to offer the breadth of educational opportunities which are at the heart of the liberal-arts experience.  With lower enrollments and less demand, the less-commonly taught languages often face the most scrutiny.  And yet the availability of instruction in these languages is critical for students who wish to study (and perhaps work) in countries in which these are the primary languages.  In many cases, students are required to study the native language before they are permitted to travel on a study abroad program.
This project seeks to create faculty learning groups in at least two languages to conduct a pilot to test how we can pool resources in the less-commonly taught languages for more efficient and effective delivery of language instruction.  There are three possible approaches we might explore.  The first is to use blended learning pedagogy through which students can take language courses that are taught by faculty on other New York Six campuses.  This approach would complement our exploration of blended learning that is currently funded by the Teagle Foundation.  It would also be well supported by the information technology infrastructure that we are developing through the Connected Consortium Partnership.  Two other approaches involve self-instructional programs that rely on the support of traditional instructors or language mentors (Fulbright scholars or international students) to provide private or small group instruction supplemented by intensive independent study and assessment by external examiners.