Director: Claire Moisan
The ALSO program provides students the opportunity to learn a less commonly taught or critical language. Past languages have included Czech, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, and Swahili --each must reach an enrollment of six students in order to be offered.
Students enrolled in ALSO language classes are completely responsible for their own learning and must attend three one-hour tutoring sessions per week, during which tutors use a variety of language-learning strategies designed to encourage oral proficiency.
Tutors keep track of attendance and preparation and also administer periodic oral and written formative assessments designed to prepare students for the two major assessments of the year –the mid-term oral exam and the final oral exam– both of which are conducted by outside evaluators. (Seniors in their second semester of a language will have the option to also take the ACTFL OPi). These two exams form the bulk of the class grade; attendance at tutoring session, careful preparation for class, and various smaller assessments will also be used in determining the grade.
The Application Process
In order to enroll in an ALSO course, students must first fill out an application (found on the sidebar). Applicants should have at leaset a 2.75 GPA, experience in language learning –either 4 years in high school or one at the college level— and/or multilingualism. They must also describe how learning this language will enhance their four-year plan and provide two faculty references (forms for references can be found on the sidebar as well --please provide a link to the form to the faculty member). Upon acceptance to the program, the student will attend a mandatory orientation session to learn about the self-instructional/peer mentoring model and to schedule three weekly practice sessions at times that are convenient for both the ALSO tutor and the other students in the class. The practice sessions will start in the second full week of the semester.
In order to tutor a language, native and near native students need to fill out an application and provide references (also found on the sidebar). Selected tutors will receive intensive training in foreign language teaching methods before the semester starts, where they learn to construct a syllabus and plan lessons. They will then participate in weekly group meetings with other ALSO tutors to discuss classroom management, formative and summative assessments, and cultural programming.
Language Tables or Coffee Hours
Language tables, which are a combined initiative of the ALSO program and the SGA, offer students an opportunity to speak the language (or discuss the culture(s) associated with the language in English) outside of classtime in an informal setting –in the Dining Hall at the lunch or dinner hour, after classes or on the weekends. Native speaking student "hosts" are recruited to find participants and facilitate discussion. Students interested in serving as hosts should email the director.