The University of Hawai‘i has once again been selected to serve as one of a small number of national Language Resource Centers (LRC) established to improve the teaching of foreign languages throughout the US, particularly less commonly taught languages. The university will receive an estimated total of $700,000 to cover operations of the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) from 2014 to 2018. This brings the total amount awarded to the NFLRC to date close to $9 million, not counting money brought in through other grants linked to NFLRC projects. Robert Bley-Vroman, now UHM Interim Chancellor, submitted the first successful proposal that created the NFLRC in 1990. Julio C Rodríguez (Center for Language & Technology) is the Director of the NFLRC, and Song Jiang (East Asian Languages and Literatures) is the Associate Director.
The US Department of Education's language resource center program began in 1990 with the funding of three centers, including the one at UH Mānoa. With each funding cycle, the number of centers has increased, and there are now 16 in all (see list below). The UH Mānoa NFLRC remains the only LRC in the nation to have been funded in every cycle since the program’s inception.
NFLRC projects are founded upon expertise in language pedagogy, applied linguistics, and instructional technology and include faculty and students from most of the departments in the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature. The NFLRC also has ties with other centers on campus with federal or other grant funding, such as the East Asia National Resource Center and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.
The major projects for 2014-2018 include:
- Project-based Language Learning (PBLL)
The NFLRC will explore the application of Project-Based Learning to the context of language education, taking language learning beyond the walls of the classroom to connect with real-world people and problems through work on comprehensive, useful projects. Grant funding will enable the development of curriculum and materials and an electronic repository of model projects to guide practice and professional development.
- Design-based Research (DBR)
All NFLRC curriculum design and materials development initiatives will be planned, implemented, and revised according to the principles of DBR, which stresses cycles of systematic reevaluation and revision throughout the design process.
- Intensive Summer Institutes* focusing on various intersections between PBLL and world language education, such as language for specific purposes (2015), content-based instruction (2015), intercultural exchanges (2016), language assessment (2017) and professional development (2018).
- Professional Development for Online Foreign Language Teachers*, a collaborative effort with the North Carolina Virtual High School. Teachers of foreign languages in online settings will reflect on their own professional practice and receive training in established best practices.
- Online Professional Development Module on Project-based Language Learning* (PBLL).
Any language teacher interested in exploring PBLL will be able to complete a facilitated or self-paced short course (10 hrs) created and administered by the NFLRC.
The NFLRC will publicize the products of its scholarship and disseminate the training tools it develops through conferences, publications, openly available Web-based resources and tools and the common LRC portal.
* All NFLRC professional development activities are associated with corresponding achievement credentials granted by the NFLRC.
AELRC (Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center), Georgetown University (GU) & The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
CALPER (Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
CARLA (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition), University of Minnesota (U of M)
CASLS (Center for Applied Second Language Studies), University of Oregon (UO)
CERCLL (Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy, University of Arizona (UA)
CeLCAR (Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region), Indiana University (IU)
CILC (Center for Integrated Language Communities), The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
CLEAR (Center for Language Education and Research), Michigan State University (MSU)
COERLL (Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning), University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)
CULTR (Center for Urban Languages and Research), Georgia State University (GSU)
NALRC (National African Language Resource Center), Indiana University (IU)
NEALRC (National East Asian Language Resource Center), Ohio State University (OSU)
NFLRC (National Foreign Language Resource Center), University of Hawaii (UH)
NHLRC (National Heritage Language Resource Center), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) & UC Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching
NRCAL (National Resource Center for Asian Languages), California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)
SEELRC (Slavic and East European Language Research Center), Duke University (Duke)
About the NFLRC
Language Resource Centers
More than $63.3 Million Awarded to Colleges and Universities to Strengthen Global Competitiveness through International Studies and World Language Training
UH Mānoa programs win seven Title VI International Education grants