Individual faculty members in SLAT maintain a high level of outreach activities, ranging from positions of local importance (e.g., service on educational committees), to consulting with national and international agencies or departments/ministries of education.
Collaborative efforts for outreach by the SLAT Program have included educational activities with the Tucson Unified School District, response to business needs, and potential collaboration in research and program activities with the U.S. government language training agencies. SLAT faculty and students regularly work at the community level on a variety of projects; and at the national level, several SLAT faculty members have served as researchers, consultants, and/or visiting scholars in relation to federal language training programs. At the international level, SLAT faculty have consulted with colleagues in a variety of different countries concerning the design of teacher preparation programs in English as a Second/Foreign Language.
In 2006, SLAT and UA were awarded funding of $1.28M for four years by the U.S. Department of Education to found a National Foreign Language Resource Center (one of 15 in the U.S.). Our Center is called the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL). CERCLL’s projects blend culture, language and (multiple) literacies. In line with the Department of Education guidelines, CERCLL focuses on the less commonly taught languages, although it does have one project about an ethnographic basis for assessment tools for speakers of Spanish as a Heritage Language. SLAT faculty members, sometimes with the help of SLAT students, have been involved in various projects that conduct and disseminate research on new and improved approaches to teaching foreign languages; develop and disseminate new teaching materials reflecting the results of research in effective teaching strategies (e.g., global simulation in the language classroom; multi modal text annotation for reading development); operate academic year and summer intensive workshops to provide professional development for K-16 language teachers (e.g., technology and language learning, learning to read in East Asian languages); develop and disseminate materials designed to serve as resources for K-16 foreign language teachers (e.g., a modern Persian textbook at the intermediate level). CERCLL has also established an international conference in Developing and Assessing Intercultural Competence. The first three were organized in January 2008, 2010 and 2012, and another is planned for January, 2014. CERCLL’s Title VI grant was renewed in 2011 for another four year cycle.