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Exploring a New Collaborative Language Course at Duke: Bridging Cultures and Building Community

Home Blog Exploring a New Collaborative Language Course at Duke: Bridging Cultures and Building Community

In the spring of 2024, Duke University introduced a novel language course designed to foster conversational English skills within its diverse international community. Developed through a partnership between the English for International Students (EIS) program at The Graduate School, the Duke International Student Center (DISC), and the Office of Global Affairs (OGA), this initiative aimed to address a critical need for language support among postdocs, visiting scholars, and their families.

Origin of Collaboration: Three Voices, One Vision

Driven by the vision of Brad Teague, assistant dean and director of EIS, the collaborative effort of Teague, Eve Duffy from DISC, and Kevin D’Arco from OGA marked a significant step towards providing accessible language resources. Recognizing the absence of structured language assistance for Duke’s international population, the trio leveraged their respective resources to launch the course.

Inside the Classroom: Nurturing Language and Cultural Fluency

Led by experienced instructor Craig Dresser, the course adopted an engaging, student-led approach. Through a blend of large group discussions and intimate sessions, participants delved into the nuances of colloquial English, navigating cultural norms, and refining conversational skills.

Teague, Duffy and Kevin

Future Prospects: Paving the Way Forward

Reflecting on the success of the inaugural course, plans are underway to offer it again in a condensed format during the summer months. With aspirations for future iterations in longer formats, the collaborative efforts of Teague, D’Arco, and Duffy hold promise for establishing the course as a permanent fixture at Duke.

To learn more about this innovative language course and its impact, visit here.