2013-14 Unit Plan
Foreign Languages Department

Mission Statement

The Foreign Language Department of Butte College offers a variety of languages within the context of their cultures to enhance students’ global perspective. Students can acquire foreign language communication skills through transferable and non-transferable courses. Currently, all the courses offered are transferable and applicable to the AA degree in Language Arts. They are also applicable to Certificates of Completion such as the Peace and Global Studies Certificate. And of course they serve as the basis and foundation for learning a foreign language, an essential skill in practically any profession or occupation.

The department strives to meet the needs of a wide variety of students and is therefore committed to a flexible, expanding curriculum, including study abroad. Upon successful completion of a course in Foreign Languages, the student is able to demonstrate an awareness of the ways in which people of that culture respond to each other and the world around them, and also demonstrate an ability to communicate orally as well as in writing in the target language. 

Program Description

The Department of Foreign Languages offers courses in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Latin; by offering a diverse array of languages this department expands its educational range and maintains its integrity. Faculty members continually respond to the call for innovative, creative approaches, especially in times of budgetary constraints and limited resources. 

The department is determined to meet community needs and interests.  In addition to university-bound students, the courses appeal to travelers, professionals such as health-care and social service providers, teachers, business professionals, heritage speakers and life-long learners wishing to achieve fluency and a deeper cultural awareness of their neighbors. In addition to the courses offered at Butte, there is interest in expanding our international programs to offer total immersion experiences. Interdisciplinary approaches have also been implemented, especially in the study abroad programs. In Fall semester 2007 we offered our first semester abroad program in Costa Rica, incorporating the Spanish language, psychology, ecological awareness and service learning. In Summer of 2008 we offered a three week program in Italy, with three units of Italian language and three units of humanities. In Spring 2011 the department took 24 students to study in Costa Rica. This program integrated Peace and Global Studies with Total Immersion Spanish. In spite of severe budget cuts to the Study Abroad program at Butte College, the self-sustaining Costa Rica program has remained viable and has grown in popularity. Unfortunately the program for 2012 was cancelled due to low enrollment but the current program (Spring/Summer 2013) is well on its way to full enrollment. Dean Cen’s staunch support has resulted in a surge of positive energy and enthusiasm among participating faculty, staff and students. 

Curriculum projects have focused on the development of Second Semester Chinese which was offered in the Spring 2013 and IDST 92 which is a 3-unit Study Abroad course which is well on its way through the Curriculum Committee approval process. This will be an invaluable resource in preparing students who participate in Study Abroad programs. It will become part of the Integrated Studies curriculum offered in programs such as the one we organize in Costa Rica.

Ileana Gantt continues to be involved in the joint project with CSUC which brought Chinese instructors to Chico. One of these instructors currently teaches First and Second Semester Chinese at Butte but she will have to be replaced by another visiting teacher once her visa expires. Although very beneficial, the process to continue bringing instructors from China is laborious and lengthy. The department, with the dean’s full support, seeks to institutionalize the teaching of Chinese and hire an associate faculty. Chinese is one of the most important languages in today’s world. We hope to continue offering it at Butte.

In addition to Justin Wentzell (French and Spanish) and Ileana Gantt (Spanish) the instructors for Spring 2013 are:

Zhao Rong (Chinese)
Kerstin Grothe (German)
Danielle DiPietro (Italian)
Daniel Griggs (Latin)
Keiko Tokuda (Japanese)
Maria Shahid (Spanish)
Gema Haraughty (Spanish)
Tom Blodget (Spanish)
Gerardo Mireles (Spanish)
Australia Duran-Roach (Spanish)

There are seven languages involved and the coordinator must rely on the expertise of part-time instructors to collaborate in curriculum development and review, textbook selection and many other aspects of planning and decision-making. In an effort to establish collaboration and cohesiveness, there are frequent department meetings, an annual retreat and generally good communication among department members. As noted by many people on our campus, the foreign language faculty have a unique bond, excellent collegiality and common goals. This is the result of team-work between Ileana Gantt and Justin Wentzell in providing leadership, mentoring and guidance while fostering the unique characteristics of each faculty member and each language. 

We're very fortunate to have Sara Lanam as our secretary. She's extraordinary! Our dean Dr. Luozhu Cen, along with her secretary Janet Palermo, provides great leadership. And the assistance of Jane Alt in Study Abroad has been essential.

Future Development Strategy

Strategy 1



Initiatives
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    The department is particularly concerned with providing transfer students the foreign language classes required. Since some UC’s and other universities require four semesters and many students seek proficiency beyond the first year of study the department has focused on strengthening and expanding the intermediate level courses, more than doubling the number of students in Third Semester Spanish in the last two semesters! All the languages have healthy enrollments in Second Semester courses and German and Japanese  also offer Third and Fourth Semester; Latin offers Second and Third Semester. These three languages generally have to combine their Second, Third and Fourth semester classes. 

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Strategy 2

    Develop an AA-T in Spanish and an AA or Certificate in Foreign Languages.

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale


    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Supports Changes from Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Strategy 3

    Continuation and expansion of study abroad programs.

    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture
  • Modelling sustainability

  • Supporting Rationale
    The benefits of studying abroad are extensively documented. Total immersion in a new language and culture is absolutely the best way for students to gain fluency and confidence communicating in the target language. In addition, the experience provides opportunities to develop a "global" perspective; to "connect the dots" between the lifestyle we choose in the United States and the consequences and/or impact on other peoples across the globe. Students who participate in study abroad are positively affected in many ways; they often refer to the experience as "life-changing." Their minds and hearts are opened; they gain compassion and understanding; their future often appears as a clearer path, with well-defined goals and they often express that they have discovered their purpose and found their voice.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Supports Changes from Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Strategy 4



    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale


    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Resolving health, life, and safety issues
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Maintaining the appropriate program and service mix between the main campus and outlying centers
  • Strategy 5



    Initiatives
  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Valuing a culture of learning
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale


    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Changes from Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Required Resources

    In the future the department would benefit from hiring a full-time instructor with a combination Spanish and Japanese. A qualified instructor would enrich the current program and assist in the development of the second most popular language we teach, Japanese.

    One of the department’s goals is to offer an AA and/or a Certificate of Completion in Spanish. The preliminary work has begun and will continue with the collaboration of Justin Wentzell. Other activities that require full-time dedication include the organization of campus-wide events such as International Education Week and Study Abroad programs.

     Fortunately we now have two full-time instructors to manage the complex foreign language department. There are seven languages involved and the coordinator must rely on the expertise of part-time instructors to collaborate in curriculum development and review, textbook selection and many other aspects of planning and decision-making. In an effort to establish collaboration and cohesiveness, there are frequent department meetings, an annual retreat and generally good communication among department members. As noted by many people on our campus, the foreign language faculty have a unique bond, excellent collegiality and common goals. This is the result of team-work between Ileana Gantt and Justin Wentzell in providing leadership, mentoring and guidance while allowing for the individual needs of each faculty member and each language.

     There is a shortage of associate faculty in Japanese for sure. We just hope Keiko stays with us because it would be very difficult to replace her. Although there are usually associate faculty available for the other languages, the situation varies from semester to semester, depending in part on the hiring situation at CSUC and other colleges such as Shasta and Yuba.

    With the current emphasis at the community colleges on “globalization” and a multicultural content in the classroom, foreign language departments are prepared to play a unique role and should be encouraged to expand offerings rather than cut back. It has been a struggle over the last decade to keep this department a true “foreign languages department”. How many community colleges in relatively rural areas of California are able to offer more than Spanish, let alone six other languages? We do at Butte!

    Current Revenue Stream

    Augmentation Requests

    Original Priority Funded Program, Unit, Area Resource Type Description Account Number Object Code One-Time Augment Ongoing Augment Supporting Rationale
    1 Yes Foreign Languages Operating Expenses Curriculum Development Stipend 11-000-613-1-110500 51490 $6,000.00 $0.00 The development of an AA in Foreign Languages will require collaboration and effort by two dedicated associate faculty members who would deserve a stipend.
    2 Yes Foreign Languages Operating Expenses Curriculum Development Stipend 11-000-613-1-110500 51490 $3,000.00 $0.00 Associate faculty member Kerstin Grothe proposes to develop this combination hybrid class to facilitate the teaching of two or three levels of German simultaneously. Students will have more individual attention and specifically designed activities for their corresponding level.
    3 Yes Foreign Languages Personnel 12-Month Secretary 110006121220200 51000 $0.00 $4,000.00 Throughout the academic year her services are called upon in support of academic excellence and faculty performance. Due to a reduced schedule it is becoming increasingly hard to complete tasks in a timely manner because more disciplines have been added to her load. She also assists in the Study Abroad program that runs into the summer session.
    4 Yes Foreign Languages Personnel Full Time faculty 11-000-613-1-110500 51110 $0.00 $96,956.00 Japanese is our second most popular language and all sections are currently full with waitlists. We would like to develop a Chinese language program in keeping with our new relationships with the People's Republic of China. First Semester Chinese offered at the Chico Center (first time ever at Butte College) in the Fall 2011 proved very successful and many students requested Second Semester Chinese for Spring 2012 but we are only able to offer Chinese 1 again this semester under the current agreement with the Republic of China, in collaboration with CSUC. A full-time instructor is needed for leadership in the important development of Asian languages at Butte.
    Total(s) $9,000.00 $100,956.00