Community-Based Language Initiative

The Community-Based Language initiative emphasizes that because our communities are now so diverse, "local" is "global." This initiative focuses on building bridges between Duke language students and different language communities both locally and abroad.

What is the Community-Based Language Initiative?

The goal of the Community-Based Language Initiative (CBLI) is to integrate community into academic language learning. CBLI connects Duke language students to communities that have educational assets and resources that complement learning outcomes. Students engage in many types of interactions with the community members and critically reflect on their experiences.

CBLI includes both service-learning courses in Arabic, French, and Spanish, as well as other language courses that integrate community-based learning in a variety of ways with native speakers of Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, German, Spanish, and Persian

How Diverse is Durham?

  • Explore information and interviews from ArabicFrench, Persian, and Spanish speakers living in Durham.  
  • LANGUAGES IN DURHAM: A collaborative educational project between community members and Duke students and faculty to showcase our growing diversity and the contributions of immigrants to Durham.

Examples of Student Experiences with Community-Based Language Learning


Multi-lingual website LANGUAGES IN DURHAM

  • Publication of “How to Live in Durham” guides for Arabic and French-speaking refugee families
  • Cross-cultural dialogues with visiting Chinese officials
  • Publication of bilingual Spanish/English coloring books for primary school students
  • Exhibit at the Durham History Hub called "Resettlement Journeys: Central Africa to Durham"
  • Celebration of Chinese New Year
  • Creation of multi-lingual website LANGUAGES IN DURHAM
  • Shadowing of Medical and Education Interpreters