A multidisciplinary approach
UNCG's Coalition for Diverse Language Communities
UNCG’s Coalition for Diverse Language Communities (CDLC) started in 2009 with three professors, Dr. Micheline Chalhoub-Deville, Dr. Barbara Levin, and Dr. Colleen Fairbanks. They were just completing a large project that provided professional development to English as a Second Language teachers, and they wanted to extend their work and bring in all UNCG staff and faculty involved with communities with nonnative speakers of English.
“The word ‘coalition’ is critical because it denotes that we are coming together as partners — the faculty, the staff, and the students inside of UNCG but also the families and local school personnel and policy makers,” explains Chalhoub-Deville.
The CDLC typically gives fellowships of $3,000 to three or four startup projects a year that involve collaborations between faculty and communities with non-native speakers of English.
One such program, organized by Dr. Rebecca MacLeod, associate professor of music education at UNCG, provides free private string instruction to underserved middle and high school students. Half of them speak English as a second language.
The CDLC has emerged as a valuable resource for UNCG faculty and staff seeking to collaborate on community-based projects, especially ones posing complex challenges that require multiple disciplines and partners. It also fosters support and sharing of best practices among faculty.
“Many of us do this kind of work as an extension of our scholarship,” says Chalhoub-Deville, who is a professor in educational research methodology. “It is doing what matters in the community where we live.”