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Showing posts from March, 2016

How to Turn Declining Enrollments Around: The Example of Communication

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by Ann Abbott


It's well known that enrollments in higher ed programs in the humanities are decreasing. A lot. It has hit languages hard. Spanish, too. It seems we're all scrambling with no clear strategy that we can have complete confidence in. First of all, we don't really know from the students themselves why they are choosing to stay away from our programs. How can we fix a problem we don't understand?

Still, the Head of my department and I went in search of some potential solutions. We knew that the Department of Communication at our university had successfully reversed a very big dip in enrollments some years ago. We talked to them about how they did it.

Remember, there are no magic bullets. We probably need a combination of strategies, and we might even have to change some things about the very nature of our programs. (Ugh, it's so hard for people to change.) But here are the strategies that we walked away with.
Consider your name They changed the name of thei…

How I Have Been Reaching My Acadmic Writing Goals Lately

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by Ann Abbott

When I made my March writing list, I tried to be realistic. I knew that March included spring break plus travel to Phoenix for the LSP Symposium. Still, I completed every item on that list by March 22.

While I'm happy about that, it's not because of anything special that I have done. There's no secret. I just simply sat down and wrote for about 60 minutes almost every day.

It wasn't every single day.

And it wasn't always a full 60 minutes.

But I just kept advancing. Slow and steady.

Here are a few things that help me stick to that.

Passion. I am passionate about the things I write about. I to want to share ideas and experiences with the world, and writing is the best way.
Are you writing what you're truly passionate about? I sometimes see people who think they "should" research and write something that doesn't match with their true passion and area of interest.

Mental strength. I try to remind myself to write from a place of power. In o…

An Online Community of Practice for LSP

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by Ann Abbott
At the recent Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) Symposium, I participated on a panel titled "Where's the Community in Languages for Specific Purposes?" Deb Reisinger (Duke) presented about the possibilities for French, Community Service Learning and LSP. Lourdes Sánchez-Lópezchallenged us to try to understand why there are not Spanish community service learning courses in all or almost all Spanish programs? Diana Ruggiero (U of Memphis) shared insights from her program, and I was most captivated by the reading she gave of one of her student's photo journals. Barbara Lafford (Arizona State U) suggested a clear path to creating and institutionalizing our LSP community of practice. And I talked about our online community of practice.
Normally I prepare slides and speak extemporaneously, but for some reason this time I wrote it out. Due to time constraints, I abbreviated my remarks during the presentation. Here they are in full.

Where is the community in L…

What Foreign Language Students Need in College: Less Specific Purposes for LSP

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by Ann Abbott

I'm looking forward to attending the 3rd International Symposium on Languages for Specific Purposes in Phoenix this week. Not only will I be able to see wonderful colleagues and friends (too many to list here), I always come away from this conference (and the CIBER Business Language conferences that have been folded into this one) with new ideas and renewed energy. 

A quick glance at the conference program, and you can see that many languages are represented, many professions and many approaches. Whenever there are speakers from the professional world, I always take away tidbits of information that I can work into my activities, so I'm happy to see that there is a panel on Friday evening. I also want to learn more about Spanish for the health professions because we have a lot of student demand for that, but no course. (I haven't blogged yet about my student's independent study this semester in which she is working at a local hospital and writing up case stu…

Student Reflection

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As you read through Joey's detailed reflection consider this: in addition to the possibility of not sharing the same cultural norms and responsibilities in a school setting, it's possible that these students also have competing responsibilities that sometimes take priority. They might work, have family duties (childcare for siblings, extended family members, etc.), transportation problems, etc. There's a lot to think about when you work with people whose daily experiences are different than yours! --Ann

by Joey Gelman

            Llevo un mes en mi trabajo voluntario con el programa de ESL en la escuela secundaria de Central en Champaign. Para esta entrada, quiero enfocar en el choque cultural que he notado con los estudiantes.  Desde mi primer día con este programa los profesores y administradores me recordaron que estos estudiantes son de muchos trasfondos diversos y tienen normas culturales que voy a necesitar a respetar y entender durante mi tiempo allí. Mientras que no …

Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship: Week 8

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by Ann Abbott


Semana 8: Medios socialesMartes¿Qué importancia tienen los artistas solidarios para las causas que apoyan?  ¿Es Angelina Jolie una artista solidaria?Lee esta página web y analiza las ventajas y desventajas de utilizar las grandes artistas para llamar la atención a una causa.¿Qué causas apoyan estos artistas latinos?Mira el video y haz una lista de los artistas que aparecen y la causas que apoyan¿Qué es una fundación?Echa un vistazo a este documento y luego explica la diferencia entre una fundación y una organización sin fines de lucro.¿Qué tipo de branding hace Ricardo Arjona para su Fundación Adentro? El branding es importante para las empresas sociales. Analiza esta imagen de Ricardo Arjona y el poster de su Fundación para luego describir el efecto del branding. Presta atención especial al logotipo y al lema. ¿Qué elementos del emprendimiento social se ven en estas fundaciones? Con un compañero-a, exploren el por…