New language program comes to DU

DU will be offering students a chance to study languages not previously available, such as Korean and Swahili, through a program called Directed Independent Language Study (DILS), which will start during the 2012 winter quarter.

The Center for World Languages and Cultures (CWLC) is accepting student requests on what languages to provide, but will ultimately decide the languages to offer after considering student interest and university resources.

 DILS is available for undergraduate and graduate students but will not count as credit towards a degree. Students will get a letter outlining their language achievements after successfully completing the course.

The four-month course will cost $200. Grants will be available.

“We received a grant from the Office of International Education,” said Kathy Mahnke, director of the CWLC. “Through this grant we were able to offer significantly reduced tuition to students who are interested.”

The program aims to help students become comfortable using a language they wouldn’t have access to normally, according to the CWCL website. This will increase students’ ability to react to new languages in different career fields or study abroad locations.

“We need to be international to survive in our world,” said Mahnke. “We need to know more about the languages and cultures of others to function as business people, teachers and social workers,”

The course is largely independent study that incorporates weekly meetings with a language partner who is a native speaker of the desired language. Students will also have access to a language coach and instructional materials. Assessments will be given regularly to monitor progress.

The program is recommended for “students who do not require credit for the languages they wish to study, who do not have time to register for traditional face-to-face language courses or who wish to study languages not offered at DU,” according to the CWLC website.

“Studying languages is a big commitment,” said Mahnke. “You should study a language you really want to study.”

However, students are also allowed to take a more casual version of the course.

“Students who are studying languages for other reasons may move at their own pace,” said Mahnke. “We tailor suit it to their needs.”

 Mahnke said her ultimate goal is to develop the program to where it is one of the model DILS programs in the country.

“For any student who walks in here with any language, I’d like to say, ‘Okay, we can do that for you,’” Mahnke said.

 DILS orientation will begin on Jan. 26, 2012. The program will start the week of Jan. 30 and continue through the week of May 14. The application, available on the website, is due by Dec.16, 2011.

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About Author: Gigi Peccolo

Gigi Peccolo is a sophomore currently majoring in Journalism and minoring in Spanish. Before DU, she went to Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado, where she served as co-editor of her high school paper during her senior year. She also participated in and received her diploma from the International Baccalaureate Program.

Gigi has been part of the Clarion since the beginning of her freshman year and, in addition to being assistant news editor, she also loves to write about entertainment. Since the field of journalism is changing, she isn’t exactly sure what she wants to do for her career but knows it will involve a lot of writing. In her free time, which comes along very rarely, Gigi likes to read and draw. She’s looking forward to working with the Clarion this year and hopes to continue writing for it during the rest of her college career.

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