IFLE Newsletter - June 2022

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Volume 8 | Issue 2 | June 2022

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New episode of Go Global ED Podcast

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In this episode, Ph.D. student Karen Awura-Adjoa Ronke Coker shares her experience as a two-time recipient of a Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for the Wolof language through the University of Florida’s Center for African Studies.


The Go Global ED Podcast features conversations with staff in the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office and Fulbright-Hays and Title VI grant and fellowship recipients to highlight their experiences, discuss issues in international and foreign language education, share advice on the application process, and offer their reflections about the long-term value and impact of IFLE programs.

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July 15 application deadline for Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program

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The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad (FRA) Fellowship Program provides opportunities for faculty to engage in full-time research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Faculty may request funding to support overseas research for a period of three to 12 months. Projects may focus on Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and/or the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories).


IFLE expects to make 10-15 new awards totaling approximately $650,000. Faculty must submit applications through the U.S. Department of Education’s G5 system on or before July 15, 2022


Please refer to the official Federal Register notice for further details. If you have questions about the program or application process, please send them by email to FRA@ed.gov.

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Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship alumnus helps develop Haitian Creole course for Duolingo

Nyya Toussaint

Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship alumnus Nyya Flores Toussaint collaborated with Florida International University (FIU) faculty member Nicolas André to develop the Haitian Creole language course recently launched through Duolingo. Toussaint graduated cum laude from FIU in 2017 with a bachelor's in International Relations and certificates in Haitian Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He studied Haitian Creole with the support of a FLAS fellowship through FIU’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC).


What impact did the FLAS award have on your academic path and obtaining your degree? 

As an out-of-state student challenged by the cost of college tuition, I made the hard decision to become a part-time student my sophomore year and serve as a full-time AmeriCorps Volunteer at Branches Florida. While my experiences working in Homestead, Florida, (a major agricultural area south of Miami) made college more affordable and helped me better understand the plight of migrant farmworkers, my time away from my studies meant I was no longer on a four-year track towards graduation. My FLAS fellowship granted me a full ride for my senior year at FIU and enabled me to learn my heritage language in an academic setting. Because of FLAS, I was not only able to become a linguistic scholar of Haitian Creole but also graduate on time and in a much more financially feasible manner.  I am so grateful to LACC, FIU, and the U.S. Department of Education for the support.


What do you do now and how does it relate to your studies at FIU and your FLAS fellowships?

I am a scholar of linguistics, international affairs, and the sociology of religion. Under the mentorship of FIU’s Professor Nicolas André, I continue to leverage his interest in using educational technology to formulate pedagogy for students of Haitian Creole via Duolingo. My Duolingo course teaches over 2,500 Haitian Creole words through over 23,000 translation exercises. Prior to the partnership with FIU, Duolingo offered no content in Haitian Creole, and the FIU/Duolingo project is the only free online Haitian Creole course that follows the standards of the Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole Academy).  Thanks to FLAS bringing Professor André and me together, people all over the world can benefit from high-quality, free, online Haitian Creole language learning. 


Additionally, and related to my scholarship in international affairs and the sociology of religion, I host public programs on Caribbean culture and spirituality, which I am happy to report have garnered thousands of playbacks. I continue to present my academic research on linguistics, international affairs, and Black spirituality and social movements nationally and internationally. I am also serving as the co-editor of life-long academic advisor Dr. Samuel Cruz’s publication on Global Latinx Pentecostalism as well as a forthcoming book on African Spirituality in the Americas. I am a junior board member of the Congress of Santa Barbara (KOSANBA), as well as a member of both the Haitian Studies Association and the Political Theology Network. Finally, through my consultancy agency, NEFT_Edits, I offer freelance Haitian Creole translation services to top art museums, design community engagement programs for philanthropists and tech companies like Lyft, and develop curriculum development projects for nonprofits.


None of this would have been possible without my experience of being supported by LACC at FIU to formulate creative and personal lifepaths. LACC granted me transformative experiences through degrees, minors, certificates, study abroad in Buenos Aires, and, of course, the FLAS award. All shaped me into the civically engaged junior Caribbean scholar I am today.


How would you describe the experience of working with Professor André during your FLAS fellowship and, specifically, working on the development of the Haitian Creole language course for Duolingo? 

Professor André’s pedagogy decolonizes structures of power between the student and teacher to formulate what I refer to as being a classroom konbit. In the spirit of the Haitian co-op concept known as a konbit, André and I used the opportunity for me to learn Creole and deepen my cultural understanding of Haiti through Duolingo content development, sound pedagogical practices, and technology-aided instructional exchange simultaneously. It was such a creative approach to learning, contributing, and preserving all at the same time. I progressed to an advanced level by being my professor’s colleague and studying alongside one another. Just as the people of Haiti have gathered themselves and their resources to repair a neighbor’s roof, make a community pot of legim (stewed vegetables), or hold a vèy (wake), Professor André believed that I had something to offer to Creole learning and I am eternally grateful. 


What advice would you give to students trying to learn a new language and those seeking opportunities for direct application of language learning?

Despite a lack of resources or access to regular formal education for many, people of Haiti have long used their language to connect with each other across communities and regions — an idea captured in the proverb kreyòl pale, kreyòl konprann (“Creole spoken, Creole understood”). For generations, Haitian people have bravely spoken Creole and intentionally sought to understand one another and preserve their language. Haitian Creole reminds us that languages are not primarily formed nor survive by formal means, but rather by the people who speak them. My advice to foreign language learners is to bravely speak their new language. We live in a society that is obsessed with being correct, yet language learning is all about being loud and wrong! Although we may receive feedback about our mistakes, we must keep at it, embrace the feedback, and allow that feedback to be our “feedforward towards honoring the truth of the language.


European Union National Resource Center at Illinois hosts symposium on nuclear energy

Nuclear Reactor

Recent developments in nuclear fusion technology have led to heightened interest in the future of nuclear energy and its implications for the environment, energy security, and public policy. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has further underscored the importance of cheap renewable energy for the European Union, which is heavily dependent on Russia for its coal, natural gas, and oil supplies. 


To address these issues, this past Earth Day (April 22), the EU Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), a Title VI National Resource Center, organized a symposium on the future of technology, energy, and security in Europe. The symposium, “Visions for Technology, Energy, and Security in Europe, featured prominent scholars and policy makers from France, Germany, and the U.S. speaking on three panels:

  • “Nuclear Energy, Economy, and Democracy: The European Policy Debates” with Cécile Maisonneuve (French Institute of International Relations) and Miranda Schreurs, Ph.D. (Technical University of Munich);
  • “The American Perspective on the Future of Nuclear Energy: Science-Based Policies with J’Tia Hart, Ph.D. (National & Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Idaho National Laboratory) and Jon Carmack, Ph.D. (Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy)
  • “A Scientifically Informed Debate on Nuclear Energy for the General Public with Caleb Brooks, Ph.D. (Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering, UIUC), Cliff Singer, Ph.D. (Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, UIUC), and Paul Debevec, Ph.D. (Physics, UIUC)

The symposium was part of the EUC's 12th Illinois EU Studies Conference. UIUC is preparing to be an early site for microreactor technology as an advanced research and test reactor. The campus deployment focuses on the research, education, and training necessary to see advanced reactor technology become widely deployable, marketable, economical, and ultimately a safe and reliable option for a clean energy future.

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North Seattle College team reaches case competition finals with support of Center for International Business Education

North Seattle Team Competes in NASBITE Case Competition

For the second straight year, a North Seattle College team of international business students was a finalist in the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) international case competition. North Seattle College’s participation in the competition was funded through the Center for International Business and Research (CIBER) at the University of Washington as part of the CIBER’s ongoing support for North Seattle’s International Business Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) program. The North Seattle team is the only community college program that competed among the six finalists.


NASBITE is the only professional and trade association of international business in the country that gives a professional designation in international business. The case competition is an annual event that brings together undergraduate business and/or marketing students to solve a real-world international marketing challenge posed by a top U.S. based exporter.  


The North Seattle students, Anthony Garcia, John Elizondo and Boris Slyusar, provided this statement about the program and the event: “North Seattle College and the International Business program have provided great opportunities for students to learn applied business theories in a multicultural learning environment. This gives us a much better understanding of how everything works in the world of business. In addition, competitions like NASBITE put us in real-world work situations where we can assess business opportunities and provide solutions, which prepares us for challenges we may encounter in the global business environment!”


North Seattle’s BAS program prepares students for careers in a wide range of business and international business fields. It is a multidisciplinary curriculum, combining business, accounting, marketing, operations, and project management courses. Graduates move into careers in logistics, operations, purchasing, import/export, marketing, human resources, banking, and finance, among many other professions. BAS degrees focus on providing hands-on experiences and incorporating job-related skills into the classroom.


“Being the only community college team on the list of finalist institutions is a major credit to our students and the team of educators and administrators in the Bachelor of Applied Science degree program at North Seattle College,” said Chemene Crawford, Ph.D., president, North Seattle College. “We are enormously proud of the students representing the college at the finals. They’ve really earned this recognition.”

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National Resource Center alumna designs high school South Asia course

Rachel Heilman in the Classroom

With the support of University of Washington’s (UW) South Asia Center (SAC) and guidance from UW associate professor of international studies Sunila Kale, Washington state social studies teacher Rachel Heilman has developed a new high school course, India and South Asia: From Area Studies to Ethnic Studies. The course will be offered at Issaquah High School in 2022-23, and SAC has made the course materials publicly available as a resource for other teachers.


In a blog post for UW, Heilman reflects on her experience working with SAC to design the course and her career path. She also speaks to the importance of incorporating area studies and interdisciplinarity in the high school social studies curriculum, as well as the relevance of the South Asia region.


The SAC is the recipient of a FY 2018-2021 Title VI National Resource Centers grant.

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In-person culmination of yearlong teacher fellowship on Russia and Eurasia

Teachers tour library during the Engaging Eurasia Teacher Fellowship’s culminating session

Teachers from as far away as Arizona and Puerto Rico gathered at Harvard University on May 20 for the culmination of the Engaging Eurasia Teacher Fellowship. The daylong workshop brought together fellows who have spent the academic year learning about the culture of Russia and Eurasia. Over the past nine months, fellows have met monthly online to discuss Russian and Eurasian culture, with an emphasis on literature, art, and music throughout the imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet eras.


The on-campus workshop emphasized the decolonization of Slavic studies. Łukasz Wodzyński (University of Wisconsin–Madison) discussed the cultural impact of Poland’s Solidarity movement, using examples from contemporary film and literature. Olga Breininger (Harvard University, Ph.D. ’19) led a conversation about contemporary women’s narratives of the North Caucasus. A resident of Moscow, Breininger also discussed the current atmosphere in Russia. “Her individual account of life experiences during the conflict with Ukraine provided the personal side of the events that we read about in the newspaper,” said Paul Hoelscher, a teacher from St. Louis, Missouri.


In addition to these lectures, the fellows received a tour of Harvard’s Fung Library and of the Davis Center’s collection of dissident art from the Soviet period. Perhaps most importantly, fellows learned from one other, exchanging experiences and ideas about teaching. “My biggest takeaway from the workshop was the synthesis and cumulative thinking I was able to do with all the information we’ve been learning throughout the course of this fellowship,” said Kathryn Black, a teacher from Hull, Massachusetts. “The workshop provided me the time and space to discuss Russian and Eurasian culture with my fellows and helped me coalesce the major ideas I will be passing along to my students via new curriculum content.”


The Engaging Eurasia Teacher Fellowship is a collaboration between the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University and several other centers, including the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at the Ohio State University, the Center for Russia and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The program, funded by a Title VI National Resource Centers grant, began in 2020 and has continued running throughout the pandemic. It is open to high school and community college teachers from across the United States.

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African Studies National Resource Centers create online resource platform

ASA Outreach Website

The African Studies Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs) formed the African Studies Association (ASA) Outreach Council to help enrich K-16 classrooms with African Studies through outreach initiatives like an annual teacher workshop and the dissemination of teacher resources.


The new ASA outreach website is home to teaching resources, professional development opportunities, and events offered by members of the ASA Outreach Council and other African Studies Centers across the country. The Harvard Center for African Studies manages and updates this website regularly with support from the other nine NRCs for African Studies. All K-16 educators are encouraged to visit the site (linked in the “Read More” button below) and offer any suggestions for desired resources, teaching materials, or other related content.

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Language Resource Center debuts new Japanese courseware

NihonGO Now!

NihonGO NOW! is a beginning-level courseware package that takes a “performed cultureapproach to learning Japanese, balancing the need for an intellectual understanding of cultural and structural elements with ample opportunities to experience and explore the language within its cultural context.


Mari Noda, Ph.D, associate director of the National East Asian Language Resource Center (NEALRC) at the Ohio State University, is the lead author on the NihonGO NOW! textbook series. Award-winning Japanese filmmaker Hiroki Ohsawa directed the web video series, which has won awards from several international film competitions. The series received partial financial support from the NEALRC’s FY 2018-2021 Title VI Language Resource Centers grant.


The materials, published in 2021 by Routledge, provide training equivalent to two to three years of regular instruction at the college level. Each level of the series is comprised of two textbooks and two activity books, along with audio and video files. Together, they provide opportunities for learners to expand repertoire of cultured language use through modeling of templates, hypothesizing, and experimenting their own synthesis and creativity.

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Perennial resources from the IFLE grantee community

  • Teaching the World is a collection of materials produced by the area studies or international studies NRCs partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education. NRCs are mandated to conduct outreach activities for K-14 educators and students through educational training, cultural events, and other programming. NRC resources are available locally and nationally and include virtual classroom visits, training workshops and seminars, multimedia materials, lesson plans, and more.

    The Teaching the World website is currently highlighting information about professional development opportunities for summer 2022 and academic year 2022-23. The site also features a special section with resources just for community college educators!

  • Title VI Language Resource Centers (LRCs) support the nation’s capacity for language teaching and learning. LRCs offer free or low-cost teaching materials, professional development opportunities, assessment and evaluation services, and more. Visit the joint LRC website and download the LRC brochure to find out how LRCs can enhance your classroom instruction and resources.

  • Title VI Centers for International Business Education (CIBEs) meet the workforce and technological needs of the U.S. business community by training professionals with expertise in international business, world languages, U.S. trade, and research on business theories and practices. Fifteen CIBEs are located at universities across the country and serve as regional and national resources to business professionals, stakeholders, students, and teachers at all levels. Visit the joint CIBE website for more information.

  • The IFLE Group on Open Educational Resource Commons is a repository for resources developed with the support of Fulbright-Hays and Title VI grants. 

Google Map of IFLE Grantees

FY 2021 Google Map of IFLE Grantees

Explore our Google map of FY 2021 IFLE grantees to learn about the Title VI domestic projects being implemented on campuses across the United States and the Fulbright-Hays overseas projects being conducted around the world. These projects strengthen international education experiences and foreign language learning for students, participants, and dissertation researchers.


This map provides a user-friendly way for viewers to get a sense of the extensive reach of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays grantee institutions featured, as well as the diversity of our grantee institutions.



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