Founded in 2014 at The Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY), the Center for Integrated Language Communities (CILC) focuses on the teaching and learning of languages other than English, with a special focus on community colleges and minority serving institutions. The activities that CILC conducts include research, and the development and dissemination of materials which serve to better integrate lingua-cultural communities of practice, both small and large, from families, churches, and companies to K-12 schools, colleges, and governmental organizations.
CILC’s ongoing and completed projects emphasize the following areas:
- Heritage language learners
- The use of educational technology to foster intercultural connections
- Literacy development in languages other than English
CILC is one of sixteen national Language Resource Centers (LRC). These centers, first established by the U.S. Department of Education in 1990, share the common goal of developing resources to strengthen foreign language education in the U.S.
CILC is launching five new projects for 2022-2026, and also already completed five earlier projects, all of which are listed below:
- The Text-based Pedagogy Training will develop, pilot, and disseminate modules for instructors on how to integrate text-based activities into existing courses.
- The Text-based Task Repository will develop, pilot, and publish text-based tasks for elementary and intermediate foreign and heritage language courses in five languages (Arabic, Japanese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish).
- The Text-based Effectiveness Research will investigate the academic outcomes of using text-based tasks with students at community colleges and Minority Serving Institutions.
- The Heritage Interpreting will develop, pilot, and research the impact of an interpreting curriculum specifically designed to address strengths and needs of future interpreters who are heritage speakers.
- A National Forum on Literacy will provide a space for a national dialogue on the opportunities that a focus on literacy development affords to students and programs alike.
- The Language at the Community College Nexus project (LCCN) seeks to facilitate discussion on language instruction in the community college context and to generate knowledge about students and instructors of world languages at community colleges across the U.S. This project hosted the national Community-College-Language Forum (2014 and 2016) and administered the Students and Instructors of Languages at Community Colleges Surveys to a national sample in Fall 2015.
- The Heritage Arabic eBook project (HAeB) developed materials and curated resources for the teaching of Arabic to heritage language learners. Materials and resources were designed with the goal of advancing sociolinguistic awareness and developing proficiency and literacy in colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic.
- The Writing Proficiency of Heritage Language Learners project (WPHLL) investigated the writing proficiency of heritage language learners and disseminated research-based pedagogical recommendations. This project has produced biographical and linguistic profiles of heritage writers of Chinese, Korean, and Spanish, research findings on the relationship between writing proficiency and biographical data, as well as recommendations for the teaching of writing to heritage language learners at Intermediate and Advanced levels of proficiency.
- The Heritage Telecollaboration project (HT) developed materials and compiled resources for integrating telecollaborative projects—domestic or international—into heritage and mixed heritage/L2 courses. This project produced sample telecollaborative modules for the teaching of Chinese and Spanish in heritage and mixed heritage/L2 courses and provides consultations and on-demand workshops to facilitate the integration of telecollaborative pedagogies into existing courses.
- In Fall 2017, CILC launched Teleplaza (Tpz), a portal that supports telecollaborative connections among heritage Spanish and Latinx Studies courses at the college level within the United States. Through Teleplaza, instructors partner with instructors at other institutions to implement telecollaborative projects in their courses by proposing their own telecollaborative projects or responding to another instructor’s call for partnership.