In 2011/12, CAORC is celebrating 30 years of sponsoring foreign language study:
Since 2006, CAORC has received annual grants from the U.S. Department of State / Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to implement overseas institutes to teach critical languages to thousands of U.S. undergraduates and graduate students through ECA’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program for Intensive Summer Institutes. Since the beginning of the CLS Program, CAORC has administered the outreach, recruitment, and selection activities for all of the language institutes and is currently implementing the Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, and Urdu institutes. At different times throughout the CLS Program, CAORC has also implemented the Azerbaijani, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, and Russian institutes.
The CLS Program holds a significant place in our country’s efforts to encourage U.S. students to study and master critical foreign languages to benefit American education, national security, economic prosperity, and the creation and support of an informed public. The CLS Program offers intensive and tailored language instruction to students who have diverse academic and professional career goals and has helped thousands of American students and scholars build language fluency and cultural competence. The CLS institutes have significantly expanded U.S. capacity for teaching critical languages in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, and other countries where the target languages are spoken.
Since the beginning of the CLS Program, CAORC has brought together a range of highly capable member centers and university partners to create an intensive language immersion program that emphasizes language acquisition, while providing effective and creative cultural immersion opportunities. Since 2006, CAORC’s partner organizations have included:
- American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS)
- American Institute for Yemeni Studies (AIYS)
- American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) in cooperation with Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB)
- American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)
- American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS)
- American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR)
- American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)
- Associated Colleges of the South (ACS)
- SIT Graduate Institute
- Stony Brook University
- University of Pennsylvania
In addition to these Department of State/ECA Critical Language Summer Institutes, several CAORC member centers teach critical and less-commonly-taught foreign languages to hundreds of U.S. students each year through their own regular language programs. These programs are vital for support of language learning at American colleges and universities.
American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)
AIIS operates intensive, immersion-based language programs in India for the summer, semester, and academic year in a wide range of modern and classical South Asian languages, including those that are rarely taught in the United States. For more than four decades, AIIS language programs in India have been crucial to most U.S.-based scholars of South Asian area studies in the humanities and social science disciplines, as well as area experts employed in government, NGOs, and the private sector. More than 3,500 students have completed programs through the Institute.
AIIS conducts its language programs in environments where the languages are commonly spoken, so that formal instruction is supplemented by the experience of using the language in daily life. Students normally stay with host families arranged by the AIIS to enrich their knowledge of the target language and experience the local culture. AIIS maintains well-equipped language-training centers and regularly offers language programs in Bangla/Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pali, Mughal Persian, Prakrit, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Whenever there is a demand, AIIS also offers language programs in Kannada, Kashmiri, Oriya, and Tibetan.
American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS)
As part of its mission to support the development of Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies and to disseminate knowledge about this little-known but important region, ACMS partners with the University of Maine at Augusta and the University of Alaska Fairbanks to offer an “Introduction to Mongolian Language and Culture” course. Taught totally online, with highly interactive weekly assignments, this course facilitates student interaction with fluent Mongolian speakers using a variety of web-based tools, so that students gain practical competence speaking, reading, writing, and listening in Mongolian at the beginner level.
American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS)
AIPS offers language learning resources in Pashto and Urdu. The Pashto materials include a textbook, with lessons that include all the dialogues in Pashto, translations, transliteration, activities (oral and written) explained through pictures, exercises (drills and practices), grammar explanation, vocabulary lists/glossary, and cultural notes. The Urdu materials offer a course in original handwritten materials with common Urdu phrases and real-world situations re-written in different handwritings. The Urdu materials also include computer-composed versions and translations of the material. To facilitate language learning, AIPS also offers transcripts and glossaries for a variety of classic Pakistani films.
American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS)
AISLS provides funds to support U.S.-based scholars who wish to acquire or improve their language skills in Sinhala, Tamil, Pali, or Arabic while in Sri Lanka. The AISLS Colombo center supplies grantees with advice about language programs and tutors in Sri Lanka.
American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT)
ARIT offers fellowships for intensive advanced Turkish language study in Istanbul. Co-sponsored by theAmerican Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages and Princeton University, these fellowships offer the equivalent of one full academic year of study in Turkish at the college level through a summer program in intensive advanced Turkish language and culture at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul.
Center for Khmer Studies (CKS)
The CKS Khmer Language and Culture Study Program offers faculty, post-graduate researchers, and undergraduates from U.S. universities an opportunity to participate in an intensive eight-week study abroad program in Cambodia. This ongoing program is administered in collaboration with the Khmer Language Program of the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.