Director of the Center for Language Studies Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl retires


Van Deusen-Scholl, who assumed leadership of CLS in 2007, has developed programs that support undergraduate and graduate students. She will resign in the spring.

04:11, 04 November 2022

Staff reporter

Yale University

Director of the Nelleke Center for Language Studies Van Deusen-Scholl will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year after serving in the role for more than 15 years.

His retirement was announced Wednesday by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Tamar Gendler, in an email to the entire faculty. Van Deusen-Scholl – assistant professor of linguistics – took the job in 2007.

As director, she led the development of programs that support the study of language and culture at Yale, including an English language program that prepares graduate students whose first language is not English. and an undergraduate peer tutoring program for undergraduate students enrolled in language education.

“The decision to retire was difficult because I love my job and I’m so lucky to have been part of this amazing community,” Van Deusen-Scholl wrote in an email to The News. “But I plan to continue to be involved in language teaching and will be working on a few book projects and several national language initiatives.”

During her tenure as Principal, Van Deusen-Scholl developed the English Language Program which prepares graduate students whose first language is not English to teach at Yale. The program supports students from vocational schools across the University. She also launched the Shared Course Initiative, a collaboration with Columbia and Cornell to share less commonly taught languages ​​via video conferencing. Van Deusen-Scholl also ran the Directed Independent Language Studies program, which offers language courses in languages ​​not taught at Yale.

In addition to managing CLS, Van Deusen-Scholl served as Associate Dean of Yale College, overseeing language requirements, and assistant professor of linguistics. As a teacher, she taught an annual graduate seminar on the principles of language teaching and learning and developed a graduate certificate in second language acquisition..

“It doesn’t seem like a very long time since Nelleke came to Yale,” said Kirk Wetters, professor of Germanic languages ​​and literatures. “It was a pleasure to work with her on the language studies committee for almost ten years. We have accomplished a lot during this time. Nelleke’s leadership has made the Center for Language Study an internationally recognized center of research…countless students and faculty members have benefited from his support and leadership on university policies related to language study.

Outside of Yale, Van Deusen-Scholl served as a board member of the Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning since 2001. From 2010 to 2013, she was president of the consortium.

As a highly regarded author, Van Deusen-Scholl’s articles and books are also widely read in the field of language teaching.

“Nelleke has been one of the most productive contributors to the fields of applied linguistics, second language acquisition, and second language teaching and learning,” said Catherine Bauman , director of the University of Chicago Language Center, in a press release.

Following Van Deusen-Scholl’s departure, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science Tamar Gendler set up an advisory committee to determine the direction of the Center for Language Studies.

According to Gendler, the CLS Advisory Board is made up of faculty and staff who are deeply involved in the organization and represent the breadth of language study at Yale.

[The committee members] understand the needs of language teachers and students, and I’m confident their recommendations will help us continue to strengthen the study of language at Yale, building on Nelleke’s incredible work,” Gendler wrote to the News. “The committee was tasked with making recommendations on the short and long-term future of the CLS, including, but not limited to, advising me on the direction of the CLS.”

Gendler has established an advisory committee, which will make recommendations on the direction of the CLS. Advisory board members are Angela Lee-Smith, Kathryn Lofton, John Mangan, Theresa Schenker, Pamela Schirmeister, Kevin van Bladel, Steven Wilkinson, Suzanne Young, and Jason Zentz.

Reflecting on her time at Yale, Van Deusen-Scholl noted the close relationships within Yale’s language community.

The breadth and depth of language instruction and the level of collegiality and collaboration among Yale language teachers is truly unique,” ​​Van Deusen-Scholl wrote. “I would say that the most rewarding aspect of my job has been the opportunity to work with so many talented and dedicated language teachers who have become so much more than just colleagues to me. I will miss them very much. »

Yale offers more than 50 foreign languages.


Alex Ye covers professors and scholars. It previously covered staffing, finance and donations. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he is a sophomore at Timothy Dwight majoring in applied mathematics.


Comments are closed.