Category: Announcements

Introducing We Authors

Dear CUNY Heritage Language Instructors,

We invite you to learn about We Authors (, a website for multilingual students enrolled in heritage language courses across CUNY.

We Authors provides students with a public-facing component to their assignments (under instructor supervision), which allows them to write with a purpose, something known to be instrumental in increasing learner engagement and advancing writing proficiency. Read more

The 8th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language (NSSHL)  

Hosted by ILETC, The Graduate Center, CUNY, on Thursday, May 13, to Saturday, May 15, 2021 

The National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language (NSSHL) is an intellectual forum for the discussion of both the variable linguistic reality of Spanish heritage bilingualism in the United States (and elsewhere), and the diverse pedagogical needs of students of Spanish as a heritage language. Researchers and educators in K–12 and higher education share theoretical and practical approaches to the study of Spanish as a heritage language from perspectives of various disciplines, including heritage language acquisition, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, and cultural studies, among others. This space allows participants to collaborate towards the implementation of pedagogies that enable heritage learners not only to develop their language proficiency but also to reflect on their own identity formation within a context of validation and empowerment.  Read more

U.S. Department of Education Grant to the Graduate Center Will Help CUNY’s Bilingual Students

More than 86,000 CUNY undergraduates — 38 percent of CUNY’s nearly 230,000 undergraduates — speak a native language other than English. Many of them stand to benefit from a recent U.S. Department of Education grant of $169,450 to the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) at The Graduate Center. ILETC is using the funding to launch an initiative to enhance language education for bilingual college students.

The grant-funded project, called Investigating Pedagogies for Advanced Proficiency (IPAP), will initially focus on students who immigrated from Spanish-speaking countries, or whose parents did, and who speak Spanish at home, but were educated in English in the U.S. As a result, the students’ dominant language is English, while Spanish remains their home language. IPAP will analyze and develop effective strategies for teaching college-level Spanish courses to bilingual students so that they become proficient in reading and writing in Spanish as well as speaking it. In its third year, IPAP will focus on learners who are bilingual in Japanese and English. Read more

ILETC Receives U.S. Department of Education Grant!

October 13th, 2020

We are pleased to announce that the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, has been awarded a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s International Research and Studies program.

The $169,450 grant will fund the Investigating Pedagogies for Advanced Proficiency (IPAP) project. With the aim to better serve heritage language learners enrolled in college-level language courses, the IPAP project will deliver new knowledge on: how different pedagogical approaches support proficiency development in heritage language learners; how proficiency in English relates to proficiency in the heritage language; and what language-using patterns look like in advanced Read more

Facilitating Student-to-Student Interaction in the Virtual Language Classroom

October 15th, 2020, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Registration is now open. Limited spots available.

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) is pleased to offer a webinar on facilitating student-to-student interaction in the virtual language classroom. This two-hour webinar is intended for language instructors who began teaching in the online format in Spring 2020, and who now wish to further solidify and systematize their skills. Read more

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.  Read more

ILETC Receives NEH CARES Grant!

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York,  has been awarded an NEH CARES (National Endowment for the Humanities Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) grant , one of four such grants awarded to CUNY and one of only 317 projects out of 2,300 applicants, nationwide .

This grant of more than $42,000 will allow ILETC to fund its position for Assistant Director, Syelle Graves. The funds are critical to ILETC’s mission to promote education in world languages and literatures across CUNY and in the context of New York City’s multilingual communities. The grant will allow ILETC to conduct research; develop materials that are published as open educational resources; and offer professional development activities, including training 50 CUNY faculty in teaching languages online. Read more

Collaborative Curriculum Development: Workshop for Heritage Spanish Courses

Workshop Description

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) invites CUNY Spanish language instructors who teach heritage or mixed L2/heritage courses to participate in a year-long workshop aimed at revising curriculum, discussing pedagogical approaches, and evaluating materials and assessment tools.

We at ILETC consider collaboration to be a key aspect of improving language education. The workshop sessions offer organized spaces for participants to work with and learn from each other. There will be group meetings to discuss progress with colleagues, reading groups and lectures from experts to keep ourselves up-to-date on the changing dynamics of language education, and structured activities to facilitate curriculum development. This professional development activity will be led by ILETC Director, Alberta Gatti, and assisted by a graduate student.

Meetings will take place at the Graduate Center on Fridays, with the first meeting scheduled for Friday, September 21st. The group will meet three times in the Fall and three in the Spring, with the last meeting scheduled for May 2019. Additionally, ACTFL will be invited to offer a day-long workshop for participants. The complete schedule will be available in early September.

There are a limited number of spots available. To apply, please fill out the application form (applications now closed) no later than August 30, 2018. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to

Workshop Facilitator

Alberta Gatti is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where she directs the Center for Integrated Language Communities (CILC, a National Language Resource Center) and the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Competence (ILETC, a research and resource center for language education at CUNY). For the past four years she has been conducting research on the proficiency of heritage speakers, which resulted in two publications and multiple conference presentations. Previously, she conducted work on Early Modern Spanish literature. Alberta Gatti holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Language and Literatures from Boston University and a degree in Classical Studies from the University of Buenos Aires.