From the April 2015 Desktop News | Dr. Koji Arizumi, director of UA’s Critical Languages Center in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics and an instructor of Japanese language and literature, has been named executive director of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs. As director, Arizumi will manage operations and promote the activities of the organization.
The National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs, or NASILP, includes more than 50 member institutions and helps students realize proficiency in less commonly taught languages. The association fosters language learning by partnering with universities and providing training materials for individual study.
Through NASILP, UA’s Critical Languages Center offers more than 20 less commonly taught languages including Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Farsi, Korean, Hebrew, Thai, Turkish and many others. The center is recognized as one of the leading institutions providing less commonly taught language programs in the United States.
“I strongly believe that learning different languages is essential and the best way not only to connect with people in different cultures, but also to broaden our perspective on the world,” Arizumi said. “Our Critical Languages Center includes self-study supported by native/near native speakers, which is a strong tool for students who would like to obtain practical, functional abilities in foreign languages.”
The development of educational technology has made language learning more accessible, Arizumi said, by connecting otherwise remote people worldwide online. As director of NASILP, he hopes to use technology to expand the organization, using UA’s Critical Languages Center as a model to reach more people who are willing to learn different languages, even though they may be far away from educational institutions.
“By collaborating with many institutions through technology, it is possible for more people to learn different languages and cultures of the world,” he said.
For more information about UA’s Critical Languages Center, visit www.clc.ua.edu.