Guidelines for Campus-Based Consortium Proposals

The Center for Language Studies Campus Grants Committee invites grant applications for small-based projects sponsored by the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning.

Proposal submission deadline: May 1st, 2018 (The recipients will be announced on May 15th, 2018)

Types of Fundable Projects:

Projects may include a wide variety of activities dedicated to the teaching and learning of languages on the Brown campus. These activities include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • development of instructional materials in print, audiovisual, or multimedia format
  • research on the efficacy of projects
  • development of instructional Web pages
  • arranging lectures, lecture series, or local workshops

Applicants are encouraged to survey the projects funded by the Consortium described in the Consortium database and to take these projects into account in developing proposals. Click here for a list of campus-based grants awarded along with abstracts.


Only projects with a voting CLS member as project director are eligible for funding.

Funding Limits and Use:

Appropriate proposals will have a budget that does not exceed roughly $3,000. Funds may be used to compensate for summer salary, but they may not be used to compensate project participants for time already obligated to Brown. Click here for guidance and information regarding summer salary. Funds may not be used for travel or to purchase computer hardware for personal use.

Conditions of Grants:

Grantees agree to allow a description of their project to be posted on the Consortium website, to make a presentation of the results of their project, and to submit a final narrative report within sixty days of the completion of their project. This narrative report will be included in the project description on the Consortium website. Any significant changes in the activities, personnel, or budget of the project must be approved in advance by the CLS Grants Committee. Any final materials should acknowledge in an obvious manner the support of the Consortium, while copyright resides with the author(s) in accordance with University policy. Ten per cent of all royalties or profits from the sale of materials produced with help from the grant are to be paid to the Consortium, up to a total not to exceed the amount of the grant.

Application Procedure:

Applications should be submitted to by the announced target dates. All those contemplating a project are encouraged to consult with members of the CLS Grants Committee or with previous successful applicants for help in developing their proposals. A cover sheet must accompany the proposal.

Accepted Proposals from Summer 2017

Adopting a new textbook and redesigning the curriculum for Advanced Modern Chinese I (CHIN 0500, 0600), Yang Wang, East Asian Studies

This summer, I would like to compile a learning unit on gender issues in contemporary China that will be used as supplementary materials to the main textbook for the course. The unit will consist of one documentary film, one TV commercial and several reading articles chosen from online blogs, newspapers and magazines. 

Developing Introducation to Deaf Studies Online and MOOC Courses, Timothy Riker, Language Studies

The goal of this project is to produce bilingual American Sign Language and English content for selected Deaf Studies topics to be used in an Introducation to Deaf Studies course offered online and as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) during summer 2018. By the end of summer 2017, 16 modules of content for the course will be developed. About 8 modules will be selected for use in a MOOC developed as part of Brown University's BrownX initiative. 

Creating Grammar and Word Usage Packet for CHIN 0100, Wenhui Chen, East Asian Studies

The purpose of this project is to create a grammar and word usage packet for CHIN 0100, which I will be offering for the first time in fall, 2017. The packet will include forms, pronunciations, English meanings, sample sentences, common error pattern of all grammar points and key words covered in the textbook, and it will emphasize morpheme teaching. The packet will serve as an important reference for students. 

Accepted Proposals from Summer 2016

Genre-Based Pedagogies: Concepts and Practice, Elsa Amanatidou, Classics

The symposium on genre-based pedagogies took place at Brown University during May 6-7. It was partially funded by the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning to the sum of 10,000 $. The symposium attracted an average of 80 attendees each day, including a large number of colleagues from Brown as well colleagues from all Corsortium schools, Cornell, Columbia, Chicago and Yale. As chair of the organizing committee, which consisted of Ercan Balci (Director, CLS), Stephanie Ravillon (French Studies) and Silvia Sobral (Hispanic Studies) I am requesting a subsidence of 2,800 to defray costs associated with honoraria for 7 out of the 9 speakers. The symposium which qualifies for support under the rubric "arranging lectures, lecture series, or local workshops" contributed to the intellectual exchange on campus regarding matters of foreign language pedagogies and classroom practice and promoted the professional development of the Brown faculty who attended. 

Creating reading and writing exercises for CHIN 0350, Wenhui Chen, East Asian Studies

The purpose of this project is to create reading and writing exercises for a new course, CHIN 0350 (Advanced Beginning Chinese), which will be offered to Chinese heritage students in spring, 2017. During the project period proposed above, I will: 1) create reading paragraphs to reinforce vocabulary and grammar points used in the main texts, and create comprehension questions based on each paragraph; 2) create translation exercises. These two types of exercise will help students to improve their reading and writing skills, which usually are the weaknesses of heritage students.

 Development of Reading Materials for Advanced Japanese Using Interdisciplinary Approach and CBI

I will create my reading materials using an interdisciplinary approach and CBI to promote the acquisition of language proficiency and higher order thinking skills. I organize the reading topics by the controversial legal issues: middle and high school bullying, Spartan spot training and violence, the Japanese constitution and self-defense forces, and the Yakuza. 

Accepted proposals from Summer 2015

Improv Techiniques to Develop Conversational Strategies, Barbara Gourlay, Language Studies

Keeping up with fast-paced conversations, whether in small talk or job interviews, is often difficult for non-native speakers of English. Teaching them conversational formulae can provide a foundation that will lead to greater fluency and more natural interactions, but non-native speakers also need a set of strategies in order to apply the formulae appropriately. This project will develop a series of in-class exercies and activities adapting improvisational acting techniques to help international graduate students develop their spontaneous speaking skills. 

Products and Perspectives, Elsa Amanatidou, Classics

Modern Greek, like many LCTLs suffer from a chronic lack of published materials which incorporate cultural content in a variety of themes and expressive forms that veer away from folklore and representations of a single "national" culture and homogeneous systems of values and citizenry. This proposal aims to address this dearth, and consequent need, by putting together a map of diverse cultural perspectives and practices in relation to "products", in the Greek speaking world. A sequence of thematically arranged TV commericals accompanied by a course pack of viewing comprehension activities and tasks will offer useful insights into the priorities in the students' L1 societies. Scaffolded activities, beyond the comprehension level, will invite independent research, more in depth analysis and cross cultural comparisons, in the form of talking points and prompts for continuous writing on the importance of certain commodities over others and the branding of human experiences and attitudes with corporate stamps. 

As advertising tends to be reliant on certain narrative patterns which lend themselves to the reinforcement of imperative of subjunctive structures, the commercials in this series will also serve as useful reinforcement and opportunity for further practice of challenging but frequently used linguistic structures. 

Accepted proposals from Summer 2014

Use of Urban culture publications and film to develop ancillary materials activities to support the teaching of Intermediate Spanish I, Nidia Schuhmacher, Hispanic Studies

HISP 300, Intermediate Spanish's objective is to advance students' proficiency and communicative ability in Spanish as well as to help them increase their understanding of Hispanic cultures. I want students to hear the inner voices within the target culture(s) and see/understand the ways in which these voices express perspectives, self-critique their choices and also view the world outside their geographical and cultural boundaries. To this end, I will supplement the current materials with texts from Quid, a publication from Argentina on urban culture and films by Hispanic directors for four units of study. I will design a set of specific tasks that will engage students in the discussion of culture and develop and strengthen their linguistic and communicative skills. 

Developing Content-based Materials on Comtemporary Chinese Social Issues for Advanced Mandarin Learners, Yang Wang, East Asian Studies

The goal of this project is to improve the cours portfolio for an advanced Chinese language content bridging course, The Changing Face of China and Readings in Chinese Media by adding three new theme-based chapters: "Human Flesh Search", "Off-site College Entrance Exam" and "China's Urban Housing demolition and relocation Wave." Part of the grant will also be used to hire an undergraduate TA to proofread some of the key grammar notes and translation exercises.

Listening Comprehension Materials for Beginning/Low-Intermediate Level of Arabic Study, Mirena Chirstoff, Language Studies

 Listening Comprehension Materials for Beginning/Low-Intermediate Level of Arabic Study I will select 14 video segments containing authentic monologue, advertisements, interviews, and news articles, using primarily the database of video and audio material Arabic Voices (Aswaat 'Arabiyya) for which I have received permission by the author,Professor Al-Batal, and 1-2 - minute long segments of Arabic films and TV shows available on YouTube. For each segment, I will create a listening practice consisting of: 1) pre-listening oral activity (answering questions that induce students' personal experience and educational background, and are relevant to the topic of the segment); 2) listening task for general comprehension (determining the topic, main idea of the segment of oral discourse); 3) close listening (for details of pronunciation, grammar, and style); 4) post-listening activities (in-class discussion, or a relevant written HW assignment). The materials I will create may be put to immediate use in the First-Year Arabic classroom as early as Fall'14.  

Creating a New Course: Advanced Chinese Conversation, Lung-Hua Gail Hu, East Asian Studies

I am planning on offering a new course in the spring of 2015, targeting at students who have completed four years of college Chinese. The title of this course is temporarily set to be Advanced Chinese Conversation and I hope to finalize it at the end of summer 2014. Although the project will continue into winter of 2014, the requested funding will be used as summer salary for one month from mid-July to mid-August. The content of this new course will be focusing on subjects that are commonly found in public debates. Previously, when I compiled the course packet for CHIN 0800, I included topics such as human cloning and euthanasia that piqued students' interests and challenged them to think critically and deliver their thoughts using advanced structures and vocabulary. As reflected in a semester-end survey I prepared, CHIN0800 students found this kind of materials thought-provoking and conducive to their desire to further improve their language skills.