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UH CSEAS Joins SEALC Consortium


We are pleased to announce that UHM’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies is a member of the
recently-established “Southeast Asian Language Council” (SEALC) consortium. In 2019,
SEALC was awarded a five-year, $1.1 million grant by the Henry Luce Foundation through its
Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia (LuceSEA)
for the proposal “Professional and Materials
Development to Strengthen Southeast Asian Language Instruction.”
The project’s objective is to
increase instructor expertise and enhance instruction/assessment materials for teaching eight
Southeast Asian languages: Burmese, Filipino, Hmong, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Thai and
Vietnamese.  

Luce funding to SEALC will support activities to professionalize the field of Southeast Asian language teaching in the United States for Southeast Asian language programs. SEALC institutional stakeholders include Centers for Southeast Asian Studies across the US and other institutions offering instruction in Southeast Asian languages. SEALC will work with the Council of Teachers of Southeast Asian Languages (COTSEAL), the Southeast Asian Summer Studies Institute (SEASSI), language-specific organizations, institutional stakeholders, Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA), and other national initiatives supporting Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) that include Southeast Asian language programs.

Specific Luce-funded SEALC activities will focus on: 

  • development of instructional materials, including those for heritage learners, 
  • creation of materials for distance learners and flipped classes by expanding the use of technology, 
  • instructor awards to develop curricular materials during the summers, 
  • SEASSI fellowships, 
  • strengthening and empowering language-specific organizations, 
  • facilitating communication among all stakeholders, 
  • coordination with CORMOSEA to ensure open access to SEALC-developed materials in the Southeast Asia digital library, and 
  • support for the COTSEAL website and annual conference.

Our UHM Center for Southeast Asian Studies received a Luce Discretionary grant in 2020 to
support travel costs for UHM language instructors to participate in these Luce-funded SEALC
activities. We look forward to playing our part to create a brighter future in teaching Southeast
Asian languages!

The University of Wisconsin’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies is hosting SEALC. For more information, please contact SEALC Luce Project Director Ellen Rafferty or the SEALC office by email or phone (608-262-0646).