Partnership between government, education, and business creates global professionals
JUNE 28, 2022 BY STAFF REPORT
The annual meeting of The Language Flagship, with more than 150 attendees from all domestic and overseas Flagship programs, was held May 17-20 on the campus of the University of Mississippi.
“The meeting was a tremendous success, from the reception Sunday evening at the Graduate Hotel, to the leadership dinner at Memory House Monday, to the event at Rowan Oak Tuesday, the latter a tour of the facility and a reception on the lawns with a Q&A by curator Bill Griffith, to the three days of meetings at the Inn at Ole Miss,” said Donald L. Dyer, associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, Distinguished Professor of Modern Languages, and codirector of both the Arabic and Chinese Language Flagship Programs on campus.
“The university really put forth quite a showing during the meeting and impressed the group with its academics, its administration, and its hospitality. Among others, Chancellor Boyce, Provost Wilkin, and Dean Cohen were fantastic hosts, and of course our program’s faculty and students, many of whom also participated in the meeting, are real stars in the Flagship.”
One of the original members of the Flagship community, UM and its Arabic and Chinese Language Flagship Programs hosted sessions on Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, and overseas programs, domestic immersion, and ROTC recruitment. There were also meetings with deans and provosts, exhibition hall presentations, and a leadership awards ceremony.
“UM is a leader among Flagship institutions with its Arabic and Chinese Flagship Language programs at the top of these programs nationally given its quality of instruction, student recruitment, numbers of students and results,” Dyer said.
The Language Flagship is a national initiative to change the way Americans learn languages through a groundbreaking approach to language education for students from kindergarten through college. Through a network of 31 Flagship Programs at 23 institutions of higher education across the United States, the Language Flagship graduates students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of proficiency in one of 10 languages critical to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.
Students pursue a variety of academic and professional interests in addition to language study. Flagship Certified Professionals are highly motivated graduates who possess professional-level language proficiency in their Flagship language of choice; advanced cultural skills and experience living and working abroad; and intercultural insights for careers in federal government, global business, nongovernmental organizations, and other fields.
UM’s Arabic Language Flagship is a program that combines extensive study abroad with immersive classroom instruction and dynamic extracurricular activities to achieve professional fluency and a high level of cultural competency. Students in the Arabic Flagship Program enjoy personalized advising, small class sizes and one-on-one instruction. The Arabic Flagship begins with an intensive pre-freshman summer and culminates in the “Capstone Year” abroad, for which students receive extensive scholarship funding. Flagship students pursue a second major in a subject of their choice and graduates secure careers in a diverse array of fields including international business, law, economics, journalism, government work, intelligence and the U.S. military.
The Chinese Language Flagship Program at UM is designed for students who seek to achieve superior-level proficiency in Chinese while pursuing degrees in the academic major of their choice. Unique aspects include an intensive program for beginners in the summer prior to freshman year, a core Flagship Chinese course taught each semester, small classes that allow for personalized instruction, a nine-week summer session in Taiwan immediately after freshman year, a second summer abroad after sophomore year, and direct enrollment and internship experiences through the Capstone Year in China. Graduates of the Chinese Flagship Program work in the private sector and government, and pursue graduate degrees at such universities as Harvard and Georgetown.
“This was the second time we have hosted the annual meeting of The Language Flagship, and the meeting was truly something special,” Dyer added. “Everyone who attended left the University of Mississippi with a great appreciation for its dedication to language teaching and language learning, as well as the support the institution provides for its Language Flagship programs!”