Faculty Fund to Enhance Language Skills for Scholarship

Author: Denise Ayo

For many faculty in the College of Arts and Letters, being able to speak and write in another language may be critical for advancing knowledge in their field. This fund is designed for those who are already somewhat proficient in a language and want to enhance skills based on goals related to research, scholarship, or creative works. In order to qualify, the applicant must be able to demonstrate current writing proficiency based on the following ACTLF Language Testing International Scale (cf. http://languagetesting.com/scale.htm):

  • European Languages: Novice (High)
  • Less frequently taught languages: Novice (Middle)

If there are questions concerning current proficiency, ISLA can arrange an assessment of the applicant’s current level of proficiency. Also, language programs proposed by the applicant should be reputable for the purpose of enhancing language skills for scholarship and artistic or creative works. Applicants are encouraged to contact Brian O'Conchubhair, Interim Director of the Center for Study of Languages and Cultures, for a list of approved language schools. Most of these schools have 6-8 week intensive summer courses.

ISLA will fund only 1 or 2 applications per year from regular faculty and the upper limit on funding per application is $5,500. The deadline for this fund is the first Monday in February for enrollment the following summer. For Summer 2014, the deadline is February 3, 2014.

The proposal should conform to ISLA formatting guidelines and include a brief CV and a proposal of no more than two pages that contains:

  • Faculty name, department, and rank
  • No more than two pages that describe
  • Current research/scholarship/creative works;
  • Rationale for language enhancement based on scholarship or artistic goals;
  • Evidence of proficiency or need for testing current language proficiency described above.
  • Description of a language institute, courses, or learning experiences with associated itemized costs and admission criteria.

In addition, please arrange for the following to be sent to ISLA:

  • A letter from the Department Chair supporting the language proficiency training to enhance the scholarship or artistic work of the applicant