Language Partnership

Vanderbilt — Duke — UVA Partnership for Less Commonly Taught Languages

partnershipVanderbilt University has joined a partnership created by Duke University and the University of Virginia that works to promote the teaching and preservation of endangered languages through courses in languages not commonly taught in the Western academic curriculum. Through this innovative, digital learning initiative, classes are taught to students on all three campuses using high quality video conferencing and telepresence classrooms. These are regular, face-to-face classes (not "online" courses), in which students in one classroom interact with students in classrooms at the partner schools, during the same class period. Courses are offered at the elementary and intermediate levels.

Beginning in Fall 2015, Vanderbilt is offering K'iche' Maya, Duke is offering Haitian Creole, and the University of Virginia is offering Tibetan. The first and third semester of each language will be offered every fall, and the second and fourth semester courses will be offered every spring. (Only the first course in the K'iche' sequence will be offered through this partnership in Fall 2015, and the second in Spring 2016. In Fall 2016, Vanderbilt will offer two courses each fall and spring.) In these classes, students learn to speak the language, and study it in its cultural as well as historical contexts. Classes are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. All class times are listed in Central Time.

For students in the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt, successful completion of a second-semester or higher course in any of the three languages (those numbered 1102 or higher) will satisfy the foreign language requirement for AXLE.  Each course numbered 1102 or higher will also count as one International Cultures course.

For further information, please contact André Christie-Mizell, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education: andre.christie-mizell@vanderbilt.edu.

K'iche' Maya

K'icheK'iche' Maya is one of the most common indigenous languages in Latin America and is spoken by about 1 million Maya in the western Highlands of Guatemala - the heartland of Maya culture. As the language of the sacred text, the Popol Wuj, K'iche' is also a language of great historical importance. Because of the precarious status of minority languages in Latin America, classes in K'iche' will also appeal to students interested in issues of language maintenance in a globalized world, language planning, multilingualism, language diversity, and linguistic human rights.

Fall 2016 Courses

KICH 1101/5101 (Elementary K'iche' I) Calhoun 335, TR 3:00 — 4:15 pm

Vanderbilt catalog description: Kaqchikel, K'iche', or Q'eqchi'. Basic speaking, reading, and writing skills. Offered on a graded basis only. Serves as repeat credit for students who have earned credit for ANTH 2612. [3] (No AXLE credit)
Note: For the language partnership, this course is taught in K'iche'.

Additional description: Introduction to essential elements of K'iche' Maya language and aspects of Maya culture. K'iche' Maya, a language spoken by about a million people in the western Highlands of Guatemala, is one of the major indigenous languages in the Americas. Emphasis on active language production to develop basic conversational skills for everyday interactions. Course taught at Vanderbilt; Duke and UVa students participate through video conference and/or telepresence classroom. No prerequisite.

KICH 2201/5201 (Intermediate K'iche' I) Calhoun 335, TR 1:00 — 2:15 pm

Vanderbilt catalog description: Vocabulary, listening, and speaking skills. Modern and colonial texts. Cultural context of linguistic practices in K'iche' communities. No credit for students who have earned credit for Anthropology 278. Offered on a graded basis only. Prerequisite: 1102. [3] (INT)

Additional description: Course taught at Vanderbilt; Duke and UVa students participate through video conference and/or telepresence classroom. Prerequisite: 1102.

 

Haitian Creole

Haitian CreoleHaitian Creole, often called simply Creole or Kreyōl, is a language based largely on 18th Century French, some African languages, as well as languages such as Arawak, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and Taino. Creole is the second official language of Haiti and is spoken by 10-12 million people throughout the Caribbean and beyond, including in the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Ivory Coast, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, parts of the United States, and Venezuela.

Fall 2016 Courses

CREO 1101/5101 (Elementary Creole I) Calhoun 335, MWF 2:05 — 3:05 pm

Vanderbilt catalog description: Haitian Creole or Kreyòl language. Vocabulary and idioms. Haitian culture. Understanding, speaking, reading, and writing in contexts of health care, Haitian women's rights, and unpaid child servants (restavèk). Offered on a graded basis only. [3] (No AXLE credit)

Additional description: An introduction to the essential elements of Haitian Creole or Kreyòl language and aspects of Haitian culture. The first of the two-semester sequence of elementary Haitian Creole or Kreyòl, the course provides practice in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing the language, culturally contextualized through units on health care, Haitian women's rights issues, and unpaid child servants (restavèk). Students will acquire enough vocabulary and idioms to be able to interact with Haitians. Taught in Haitian Creole. Course taught at Duke; Vanderbilt and UVa students participate through video conference and/or telepresence classroom. No prerequisite.

CREO 2201/5201 (Intermediate Creole I) Calhoun 335, MWF 12:40 — 1:30 pm

Vanderbilt catalog description: Understanding, speaking, reading, and writing in cultural context; issues of rural life in Haiti, religion, Frenchified Creole vs popular Creole. Texts, poems, novel excerpts. Focus on contemporary events and debates in Haitian culture. Offered on a graded basis only. Prerequisite: 1102. [3] (INT)

Additional description: First semester of intermediate Haitian Creole or Kreyòl. This course moves beyond "survival skills" in Creole to more complex social interactions and expressions of analysis and opinion. Intermediate skills in understanding, speaking, writing, reading will be contextualized within a broad range of issues such as rural life in Haiti, religion, Frenchified Creole vs popular Creole, through texts, poems, and excerpts taken from novels in Haitian Creole. Students will learn to carefully follow contemporary events and debates in Haitian culture using internet resources in Creole. Course taught at Duke; Vanderbilt and UVa students participate through video conference and/or telepresence classroom. Prerequisite: Creole 102 (CREO 1102 at Vanderbilt), or equivalent. Taught in Haitian Creole.

 

Tibetan

TibetanTibetan is the official language of the Tibet Autonomous Region and is spoken in a vast region in the heart of Asia including China, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, India, Russia, and Mongolia. In addition, Tibet is home to Tibetan Buddhism, which is itself the source of one of the world's richest contemplative traditions. Learning Tibetan gives students the ability to explore this uniquely rich and diverse culture in today's Asia, as well as learn about Buddhist philosophy, contemplation, and other forms of knowledge.

Fall 2016 Courses

TBTN 1101/5101 (Elementary Tibetan I) Calhoun 335, MWF 9:00 — 10:20 am

Vanderbilt catalog description: Grammar and syntax of spoken and written Tibetan. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing from Tibetan short stories, proverbs, and other sources. Tibetan culture. Offered on a graded basis only. [4] (No AXLE credit)

Additional description: An introduction to the grammar and syntax of spoken and written Tibetan for beginners with the intention of developing proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Examples are drawn from Tibetan short stories and proverbs, among other sources. Students gain knowledge of Tibetan culture to improve communication skills using a dynamic, interactive format. Course taught at UVa; Duke and Vanderbilt students participate through video conference and/or telepresence classroom. No prerequisite.

TBTN 2201/5201 (Intermediate Tibetan I) Calhoun 335, MWF 11:00 am — 12:20 pm

Vanderbilt catalog description: Grammar and syntax of spoken and written Tibetan. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing through the integrated use of spoken and literary forms. Enhanced knowledge of Tibetan culture. Offered on a graded basis only. [4] (INT)

Additional description: Intermediate skill-building in the grammar and syntax of spoken and written Tibetan, along with development of skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing through the integrated use of spoken and literary forms. Students will also enhance their knowledge of Tibetan culture in order to improve their communication skills. Course taught at UVa; Duke and Vanderbilt students participate through video conference and/or telepresence classroom. Prerequisite: TBTN 1020 Elementary Tibetan II (TBTN 1102 at Vanderbilt)