Published on September 5, 2019 by Sean Flynt  
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Samford University’s Critical Languages Program (CLP) will host the 46th annual conference of the National Association of Self-Instructional Languages Programs (NASILP) on the university’s campus Oct.18-19. NASILP is North America’s oldest professional organization specifically devoted to fostering the study of less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) through self-instructional principles developed for an academic setting.

Samford professor Heather A. West, director of Samford’s CLP, serves as secretary of NASILP, and will serve as the site chair for the annual conference, which gathers nationally recognized scholars in the fields of pedagogy, design, materials development, instructional technologies, and program administration to share best practices. The two-day event also features presentations reflecting current research on issues pertinent to academically based, self-accessed programs for less commonly taught languages.

The 2019 conference will cover topics such as program design, budgeting, implementation of new language offerings, student orientation, the role of the tutor, and responsibilities of the Coordinator and Examiner. The conference is especially informative for new and prospective NASILP members, but membership is not required to attend.


Samford’s Critical Languages Program began in 1984 and has grown to offer classes in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Thai and Vietnamese. Small CLP classes take place mostly in the late afternoon and evenings and often feature a native-speaking or advanced level student who works with students in the Language Learning Technology Forum to supplement the guidance of the tutor and the self-instructional materials available in Canvas, Samford’s Learning Management System.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.