LaGuardia Community College Receives UISFL Grant for 2020-2022

September 23rd, 2020

LaGuardia Community College has been awarded a United States Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program grant. 

The $170,915 grant will fund the Internationalization at Home: Redesigning Foreign Language Instruction and Forging Overseas Institutional Partnerships at LaGuardia Community College program, which intends to revamp the college’s modern language and international studies curricula while building international partnerships on both classroom and institutional levels. 

Founded in Long Island City of Queens in 1971, LaGuardia Community College serves highly diverse, low-income immigrant communities, with students representing 153 different countries of origin and over 100 distinct home/heritage languages. To better serve its students and the shifting demographics of its student body, the Internationalization at Home grant will provide professional development for faculty of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs). Professional development will include (modified) Oral Proficiency Interview certification, and training in how to recruit heritage students in LCTLs such as Arabic, Mandarin, Korean, Bengali, Nepali, Russian, Tibetan, Urdu/Hindi, Uzbek, and Haitian Creole, in collaboration with local organizations. Other grant-sponsored activities will include establishing an overseas institutional partnership with an analogous International Studies Program, introducing Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) to targeted courses, and designing and implementing co-curricular and experiential international programming. 

 A team of four LaGuardia faculty will execute the project: principal investigator Arthur Lau, Professor and Chair of Education and Language Acquisition; Tomonori Nagano, Associate Professor of Japanese and Coordinator of the Modern Languages and Literatures Program; Maria Savva, Associate Professor and Program Director of International Studies; and Olga Aksakalova, Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of the LaGuardia COIL global learning initiative.