Federal grant helps provide Chinese language and culture immersion at TROY

Posted: Tuesday, 07 April 2015

TROY - For the fifth year, Troy University has been awarded a federal grant to offer its summer TROY-STARTALK Chinese programs for high school students learning the Chinese language, and for teachers of Chinese.

The programs will take place June 28 - July 12 on the Troy Campus. The deadline to apply is April 30.

The 15-day residential program will train 12 teachers and 24 high schools students from across Alabama and the southeastern region of the United States. The program is funded through a $120,000 grant from the National Security Agency.

"This grant is a significant achievement, and it provides a basis for the College of Education and the Confucius Institute at Troy University to partner in helping 9th-12th grade programs build a greater capacity for teaching Mandarin Chinese," said Dr. Earl Ingram, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. "At a time when our state looks to build greater economic bridges with Chinese business interests, this program provides vital training."

STARTALK 's mission is to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking and teaching critical-need foreign languages by offering high school students and language teachers creative and engaging summer experiences that strive to exemplify the best practices in language education and in language teacher development.

"We want to encourage students to make foreign language study a lifetime pursuit while increasing each student's level of proficiency," said Dr. Kathryn Hildebrand, Dean of the College of Education.

Teachers of Chinese will undergo intensive training and cultural immersion opportunities similar to the student workshop so that they will have a broader understanding of Chinese culture and thought when they return to their own classrooms.

"Students who complete the program have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs in China through the Confucius Institute at Troy University," said Dr. Iris Xu, Director of the Confucius Institute. "In this unique program as an addition to the language studies, students will be exposed to Chinese culture and language through learning Chinese Kung Fu and Dragon dance, making Chinese-related arts and crafts, playing traditional games, cooking, and calligraphy."

The application deadline for students and teachers alike is April 30. For more information, call 334-808-6154 or email startalk@troy.edu.