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Margaret Key
IU East Asian Studies Center

Last modified: Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Chinese institute opens at IU

June 20, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington and its East Asian Studies Center, opened the Chinese Pedagogy Institute on Sunday to 15 prospective and practicing high school teachers of Chinese. Jennifer Liu, East Asian languages and cultures professor, and Chinese language coordinator at IU, is leading the course.

IU was one of only 34 institutions awarded a grant by the National Security Language Initiative's STARTALK, a federal program aimed at increasing the number of Americans learning critical need languages such as Chinese and Arabic.

The Chinese Pedagogy Institute is a two-week, intensive course on teaching Mandarin Chinese at the secondary level for pre- and in-service teachers who are seeking full certification to teach the language in U.S. schools. Participants receive four hours of graduate-level credit through the IU School of Education, and all of their expenses -- except travel costs -- are covered. Those enrolled study methods and techniques of teaching Chinese, principles for selecting and developing instructional materials, curriculum design and instructional planning, and implementation of lesson plans and class management.

During the second week of the course, enrollees will practice what they've learned with 10 local high school students, with or without previous experience in Chinese, who will serve as practicum subjects. The students, who will be paid $75 for their participation, applied earlier this year to be part of the program.

In addition to Liu, teachers are Michael Everson, a professor of foreign language education at the University of Iowa, and Claire Kotenbeutel, a teacher of high school Chinese and an instructor and consultant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

STARTALK focuses on summer programs for both high school students and prospective and current teachers for levels K-16. Programs awarded for this summer are expected to involve more than 600 teachers and 1,100 students; more than 400 participants will be in Arabic programs and more than 1,350 in Chinese. Funding for the STARTALK program is expected to grown from $5 million in 2007 to $20 million per year in 2010.