Community Engagement

Kenyan Flta Laureen Owaga Helps A 4th Grade Class Learn A Song In Swahili
Kenyan FLTA Laureen Owaga helps a 4th-grade class learn a song in Swahili

The CSLC offers one of the College of Arts and Letters’ signature community engagement programs. Each year, the CSLC hosts Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) from around the world who provide linguistic and cultural instruction in local schools. The Fulbright Program and the Department of State recognize the program as an innovative model for other language programs across the U.S.

Current Initiatives

In 2014, the CSLC began a joint language and cultural immersion program with Perley Elementary Fine Arts Academy in South Bend, Indiana. Although Perley has since closed, the program continues to take place at Nuner Fine Arts Academy and Clay International Academy.

FLTAs teach classes throughout the semester during which the students and FLTAs have the chance to share language knowledge, learn about music and traditional dances, play educational games, and discuss history and cultural differences.

In the inaugural year, individuals from China, Brazil, and Italy worked with students in second, third, and fourth grade, offering the students an opportunity to have contact with Chinese, Brazilian and Italian languages and cultures. At the same time, the program gave the FLTAs the chance to learn more about the American public education system.

Nuner Fine Arts Academy

Each semester, the FLTAs provide individualized language and culture instruction to classes at Nuner Fine Arts Academy in South Bend, Indiana. In an effort to expand the reach of this program and engage parents, the FLTAs coordinate and host a Language and Culture Fair at the school. Students also give a cultural end-of-year performance with the assistance of the FLTAs. 

Clay International Academy

In Fall 2018, the CSLC expanded its community engagement programming to another South Bend school, Clay International Academy. Through this partnership, FLTAs have been able to introduce their language and culture to even more local students.