Hamilton Awarded $120K Grant for Chinese Language Instruction

Clinton Central is among local schools where Chinese is taught to elementary-age students.
Clinton Central is among local schools where Chinese is taught to elementary-age students.

Hamilton College was recently named the recipient of a grant for more than $120,000 from STARTALK to undertake two Chinese language programs this summer—a Chinese teacher development program and a week-long intensive learning Chinese course for students in grades 8 and 9. The two programs are scheduled to take place on campus from June 4 to June 15. The proposal for the grant was submitted to STARTALK by William R. Kenan Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature Hong Gang Jin and Associate Director of Foundation, Corporate and Government Relations Amy Lindner.


STARTALK, now in its fifth year, is an initiative to expand and improve the teaching of strategically important foreign languages that are not widely taught in the United States. STARTALK is a component program of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), which is jointly operated by the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Education, and the Director of National Intelligence. STARTALK offers dozens of summer programs around the country for students and teachers of Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Urdu, Swahili, Persian, Russian, and Hindi.


The two-week teacher development program at Hamilton is for 12 nonnative Chinese teachers and will work specifically on six content areas of teaching: Standards-based instruction, thematic unit design, teaching in target language, providing comprehensive input, task-based language instruction and assessment, and technology use in a language class. The workshop is being offered by Hamilton in conjunction with Associated Colleges in China (ACC), an educational consortium of more than 50 colleges and universities administered by Hamilton, and Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) a preeminent organization for secondary and elementary-level teachers of Chinese.


The student program is a week-long day camp that will take place in conjunction with and during the second week of the teacher development program. The intensive-learning program is for 15 8th and 9th grade students who have at least two years of experience learning Chinese with their local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) program. While this program aims to provide students with a unique opportunity to further their language skills by interacting with native Chinese speakers, it also will allow STARTALK teacher participants a chance to practice their new skills on enthusiastic students in a supervised environment.

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