LINGUIST List 7.259

Sat Feb 17 1996

FYI: SUNY Language-Use Initiative

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>


  1. ("H Stephen Straight (Binghamton University , SUNY)"), Interactive Videoconference Launches SUNY Language-Use Initiative

Message 1: Interactive Videoconference Launches SUNY Language-Use Initiative

Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 23:56:09 EST
From: ("H Stephen Straight (Binghamton University , SUNY)") < ("H Stephen Straight (Binghamton University , SUNY)")"> ("H Stephen Straight (Binghamton University , SUNY)")>
Subject: Interactive Videoconference Launches SUNY Language-Use Initiative
Dateline: Binghamton, New York, Friday 16 February 1996

Representatives of seven SUNY campuses will employ the latest in
telephone-based video technology whey they begin work today on a
federally-funded project designed to foster the use of languages other
than English throughout the college curriculum.

Roy Saplin of SUNY's Office of Educational Technology (OET), which is
sponsoring the four-hour event, describes it as SUNY's "first ever,
multi-point, interactive conference directly related to curricular
issues." The conference will employ an electronic "bridge" to link
six sites -- from Buffalo to Syosset, Long Island -- by telephone
lines that will allow all participants to hear and see each other
during the Friday afternoon meeting.

This videoconference constitutes the kick-off event in a two-year
$180,000 project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for
the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The project,
called LxC Select, is one of just thirteen FIPSE-funded dissemination
projects nationwide and will support the mounting of pilot projects in
Languages Across the Curriculum at six SUNY campuses.

Based on Binghamton University's successful LxC program, which since
Fall 1991 has provided over a thousand students with language-use
options in dozens of courses throughout the Binghamton curriculum, LxC
Select will enable faculty at three of SUNY's four-year colleges and
three of its doctoral campuses to initiate campus-appropriate
language-use programs.

H. Stephen Straight, director of Binghamton's LxC program and project
director for LxC Select -- and long-time Binghamton faculty member in
anthropology and linguistics -- says that "this kick-off conference is
designed to provide a solid basis for the success of the
campus-by-campus FIPSE-supported pilot projects. But we hope that it
will also establish the beginnings of an ongoing distance-learning
collaboration among SUNY campuses for the pooling of student demand
and faculty expertise for the meaningful use of languages other than
English in courses throughout SUNY."

LxC Select is the latest in a series of efforts nationwide designed to
enhance the use of languages other than English during the college
years. "Even at colleges that require language study for graduation,
college graduates often possess less functional language skill than
they did when they were admitted," says Straight. "College students
currently lack widespread opportunities for the acquisition of
knowledge and insight from non-English sources during college, and --
because they don't keep up their language skills -- they are unable to
pursue employment and other opportunities requiring functional
language skill and task-specific cultural and content knowledge. LxC
Select aims to provide new venues for the content-specific use of
language skills during college."

Speaking of this first-ever telephone-based videconference, Christine
Haile, associate vice chancellor for technological services and head
of SUNY's OET, said that at first she "was not sure exactly how we
would pull it off technically but I knew OET needed to get in this
business. I am especially pleased our first test of this technology
involves faculty collaborations -- having partnerships with faculty is
critical for OET's own knowledge base."

SUNY campuses involved in the LxC Select project, other than
Binghamton, include the three other university centers -- at Albany,
Buffalo, and Stony Brook -- and the four-year colleges at Cortland,
Oswego, and Potsdam. Videoconference participants will include teams
of faculty and staff from all seven campuses plus representatives of
FIPSE and OET -- a total of over fifty people in all. Team leaders
for LxC Select include Lil Brannon at Albany, Mark Ashwill at Buffalo,
Robert M. Ponterio at Cortland, Virginia M. Fichera at Oswego, John
W. Cross at Postdam, and Christina Bethin and Mikle Ledgerwood at
Stony Brook.

For further information contact:

 H Stephen Straight, Dir, Lgs Across the Curric, Binghamton U (SUNY)
 Nat'l For Lg Ctr, Jan-Jun 96 VOX: 202-667-8100 - FAX: 202-667-6907
 S-Mail: 1619 Mass Ave NW (at Scott Circle), Washington, DC 20036
 <> ["sstraigh", not "sstraight"]
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