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WIU Bringing Two Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Fellows to Campus in Fall 2018

April 5, 2018

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MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the Center for International Studies have worked with the Fulbright Foundation to bring two Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) to Western during the Fall 2018 semester.

The FLTAs will allow the University to offer two new language classes on campus, Elementary Russian and Elementary Arabic, during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters.

The application for the FLTAs was made by Foreign Languages and Literatures Chair Luciano Picanço and Jeff Hancks, executive director of the School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach. Picanço will handle the academic side of the fellows' visit, while Hancks will handle the logistics.

"We are very lucky to be part of a select group of universities that work with the Fulbright Foundation/Department of State (ECA) to receive these young 'ambassadors' of different languages and cultures," said Picanço. "Every academic year, languages will change, allowing us, according to demand from students and departments, to teach Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, Gujarati, Hausa, Hindi/Urdu, Indonesian, Japanese, Javanese, Kazakh, Kiswahili, Korean, Kyrgyz, Malay, Mongolian, Pashtu, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Quechua, Russian, Tagalog, Tajik, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Yoruba, Zulu, among others."

Hancks said he is excited the program will expand the foreign language offerings on campus during the next academic year.

"Knowledge of these languages is increasingly beneficial to students in many disciplines, especially those interested in government, military and law enforcement careers," said Hancks. "I hope this is the beginning of a long relationship with the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program in our ongoing efforts to internationalize our campus and community."

The Fulbright program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Funding for the FLTA program was increased in 2001 to meet the growing need for instruction in languages that are less common in the classroom. The program is now used in more than 50 countries and supports the instruction of more than 30 languages.

Since 2001, more than 3,200 FLTA program participants have benefitted from the opportunity to experience the U.S., while about 80,000 U.S. students have increased their knowledge of foreign languages and cultures.

For more information about the program, contact Hancks at (309) 298-1929.

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