District to host summer Chinese programs for students and teachers, July 13 – 31.
It is no surprise to hear that people of all ages, from Maryland, Virginia, and even as far away as Kansas, are visiting the Delaware seashore this summer. What might sound surprising is that some are not coming to stroll on the beaches or to jump in the waves, but rather to study Chinese.
For three weeks this month, the Cape Henlopen School District in Lewes will host a summer program for students and teachers of Chinese. The District, in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education, the University of Delaware, and the Chinese School of Delaware, won a 2009 STARTALK grant from the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland to allow elementary school students to learn the world’s most spoken language and to allow teachers of Chinese to hone their instructional skills.
Teacher participants—one of whom will travel from Kansas for the program—will complete a 3-credit University of Delaware foreign language methods class during the program’s first week, before earning another 3 credits as practicum teachers during the two-week student camp.
Students in each of the District’s four elementary schools have studied Chinese over the last two years with funding from the US Department of Education’s Foreign Language Assistance Program. The STARTALK summer program allows interested students to continue their language learning for two weeks in July.
Program developers have drawn on the local surroundings to offer participants the opportunity to extend their Chinese language skills and cultural insights while exploring the theme, “Life at the Seashore.” Through instruction delivered exclusively in Chinese, children will learn why the ocean is a place everyone must work to protect, both here in Delaware, as well as in China.
In addition to highly engaging language-learning activities focused on the camp’s theme, each day will include Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese exercise, and other cultural activities. An authentic Chinese lunch will be served daily by Confucius Chinese Cuisine located in Rehoboth Beach.
The student camp will run Monday – Friday, July 20 -31, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Richard Shields Elementary School in Lewes. Special events include a field trip to the Seaside Nature Center at Cape Henlopen State Park, as well as a student performance and reception for families on the last day of camp.
For more information on STARTALK, visit www.startalk.umd.edu.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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