Adeola Agoke and Katrina Daly Thompson have published a new book chapter titled “A Multilanguage Seminar for the Twenty-First Century: Rethinking Self-Instruction for the Least Commonly Taught Languages” in Language Program Vitality in the United States: From Surviving to Thriving in Higher Education, edited by Emily Uebel, Felix A. Kronenberg, and Scott Sterling.
No university can offer every world language, and few departments can offer every language spoken in the regions on which they focus. How can we train those students who need a language we cannot offer, whether because of limited funding, lack of enrollment, or the unavailability of a qualified instructor? In this chapter, we describe a set of courses offered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison designed to address these issues. In Theories and Methods of Learning a Less Commonly Taught Language (LCTL) and the Multilanguage Seminar, students learn how to teach themselves a LCTL and get university credit for doing so. We describe the structure of these courses and how they differ from other self-instructional language programs, provide enrollment data, give examples of student learning plans and assessment plans as well as student feedback on the courses, offer advice to those who might want to create such a program, and close with a discussion of potential concerns.