http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/on-hiring-nameplate.gifBy Isaac Sweeney. I’d like to tell readers about a couple of cool things Richard Bland College is doing. This is partly because I love my institution and I want it to be a successful place, but it’s also because I think these programs are innovative and might help put Richard Bland College of the College of William & Mary on the proverbial map. The first program is called the Language Institute. This is a partnership with Main Street Virtual Learning, and it uses an online platform that looks like one of the best I’ve seen. Students learn conversational languages, and Main Street’s parent company has a long history of working with military personnel to teach useful language skills. It’s unlike traditional language classes in that students learn how to speak the language, but they probably won’t learn so much about writing or reading the language. As the marketing material says for the Language Institute, “courses focus on the ‘hows’ of language, not the ‘why’ of traditional linguistics programs.” What I’m most excited about is the online platform, which I plan to try with an online English class in the fall. Read more...