Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Breaking Language Barriers with the Help of Course Networking

Dr. Dan Kulmala is responsible for making an impact in global learning on a daily basis. His career in education, more specifically, Global English at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, has not only helped foreign language learners develop stronger English speaking capabilities, but bonds with other non-native English speakers as well. The connection between how we speak, no matter what language, and the rate at which we can learn other languages, is becoming critical to successfully conducting business in the real-world. So how does Dr. Kulmala help his students find these gateways to interactive and global learning with a simple platform? Well, as the Chair of the Modern Languages Department with years of experience reaching a global audience, it’s no surprise Dr. Kulmala supports and encourages Course Networking’s functions and capabilities.



Dr. Dan Kulmala, (CourseNetworking)
              Dr. Kulmala is using CN to help ESL (English as a Second Language) learners learn English for professional or business purposes. As a result, his course is already intended for a large global population. “Because my program is attractive to international students, a site like CN is well-suited for delivering courses to these types of learners, like my students at Sias University in China,” Kulmala stated. As with the majority of student encounters, Dan’s students found the CN interface to be straightforward and easy to understand. “My students seem to greatly enjoy it over Blackboard or Canvas because of its fluid structure and user-friendly nature.”
                For his course, Dr. Kulmala credited the post tool in the different ways to reach the students of his course. He discovered versatility with its capabilities. “I like using it for course assignments,” he began. “And I like the functionality of the tool, especially the way in which I can embed open educational resources into the course site. Through this tool, CN makes it possible for me to communicate quickly and efficiently with my students.”
                Those critical communication skills begin developing from the time we are born, but how do we continue the process as we mature? “For my field of study, effective global communication skills form the foundation for much of what my students learn and do,” Kulmala noted. “CN matches the practices of the Global English field perfectly.” The ways in which we communicate have depended heavily on the languages we speak. However, with the development of technology, geographical distances and cultural differences have become two less learning barriers with the help of platforms like Course Networking. “Because it functions like other social media platforms, it meets the expectations of many students by the way they interact and share knowledge with others.”

(Google Images)
                What does the future for Dr. Kulmala and his use of CN look like in respect to his field? “My primary plan is to design all the courses in the Global English Program into CN,” he concluded. “Eventually, I’d like to release the entire degree program for the international partnerships that my university maintains.” With members in over 136 countries, goals of expanding Global English studies through CN are not only possible, they’re anticipated. Alongside CN advocates like Dr. Kulmala, students are gaining so much more than a new language: they’re gaining connections they will not find anywhere else.

How is CN translating your course topics to foreign language learners?



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