To download a copy of the Showcase Session booklet containing outlines of the completed evaluation projects, click here.

Foreign language (FL) programs in U.S. colleges are expected to meet educational and societal needs for the development of learners capable of using languages other than English for a range of professional, academic, cultural, humanistic, and other valued purposes. A key component in the effectiveness of any educational program is the inclusion of systematic evaluative processes, which enable educators to understand, improve, demonstrate, and ensure the quality of their services and their learners’ outcomes. However, FL programs may not be prepared to incorporate evaluation processes into their practices, despite increasing requirements to do so. Furthermore, available evaluation guidance, examples, tools, and strategies that are articulated to the actual needs of FL educators are scant.

This NFLRC Summer Institute is designed to help college foreign language administrators and teachers engage in useful, practical, and effective program evaluations to meet a variety of purposes. As a starting point, it takes seriously the values, goals, and constraints that characterize college language programs. In light of these realities, it will provide language educators with a user-oriented approach to developing evaluations that maximize benefits for language learners and teachers, while minimizing potential negative consequences. It will also provide participants with tools and strategies for making program evaluation a systematic and consistently useful component of their FL departments. Practical topics will include:

The Institute will be run by Dr. John M. Norris (UH Dept. of Second Language Studies), an expert in language program evaluation and assessment and director of the federally funded project “Identifying and responding to evaluation needs in college foreign language programs." Additional personnel will include experienced evaluation mentors, who will work one-on-one with participants in the development of individualized program evaluation projects. Activities over the 9-day institute will also include lectures and demonstrations, in-depth analyses of practical evaluation examples, invited guest speakers (language evaluation experts), social events, and extensive hands-on development and discussion of evaluation plans, procedures, and instruments for immediate use in the participants’ specific program settings.

COLLABORATION WITH THE ADFL: This Summer Institute will directly precede the 2007 Summer Seminar West meeting of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages, to be hosted June 6-10 at the University of Hawai‘i. On Friday June 8, the ADFL will feature a special session on FL program evaluation, including an open house of the projects developed during the NFLRC Summer Institute.

PARTICIPANT INFORMATION: This summer institute is intended for foreign language administrators and teachers who are directly responsible for program evaluations in their foreign language departments. It assumes no prior grounding in program evaluation theory or practice, but it requires a willingness to help increase evaluation capacity in college FL education. In order to maximize the impact of this event across U.S. colleges, participants will be purposefully selected to represent diverse FL program types, based on size, languages taught, geography, and institutional status. Some financial support is available to all participants in the NFLRC Summer Institute, on a competitive and space-limited basis. Summer Institute participants are highly encouraged to participate in the ADFL Summer Seminar West, where they will have opportunities to share their program evaluation work.

home | online application | workshop facilitators | the details (funding, fees, lodging, etc.) | transportation | Hawai‘i info | contact us