Mission of our programThere are a good number of proverbs or sayings that aptly describe the transformative nature of learning a new language. Our mission is best captured by the following two:
- TURKISH: Bir
dil bir insan, iki dil iki insan. “One language, one person; two languages, two persons.”
- PERSIAN: !یک زبان جدید، یک زندگی جدید “A new language; a new life.”
The MENA Languages program aims to do just that: develop proficient speakers and confident “new humans” who, through exposure to a new language and its rich culture, will be able to extend the limits of how they see, understand, talk about, and interact with the world. To achieve this mission, the MENA Languages program has the following objectives which fully align with the proposed Weinberg Learning Strategies (observe, critique, reflect, and express):
- Provide expert language instruction to ensure that communication in the foreign language is effective in a variety of academic, career-related, or personal situations, and for multiple purposes.
- Provide opportunities to enrich students’ knowledge of the target culture by encouraging them to investigate, explain, and reflect on practices and perspectives.
- Encourage tasks that allow students to make comparisons between the target culture and their own so that they can identify and understand similarities and differences.
- Provide events (language tables, movies, lectures, cultural events) for students to make connections between the different cultures, and learn to comprehend and accept diverse perspectives.
- Encourage students to venture outside the classroom (for example, through study abroad) to apply and practice their linguistic and cultural skills by interacting and collaborating with and within communities of different ethnicities and cultures.