Rice to establish Institute for Chinese Language Teaching

Rice to establish Institute for Chinese Language Teaching

first_imgShareRice to establish Institute for Chinese Language TeachingProgram will be only one in the SouthBY JESSICA STARKRice News StaffWith the support of a $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation, Rice University will establish the Institute for Chinese Language Teaching (ICLT) this fall. No other such certificate programs are offered in the South.Like many other large cities, Houston has a high demand for well-trained Chinese language teachers for its local schools, and this program will help meet that demand. This need was heightened recently when the Texas State Board for Educator Certification added Chinese to the certifications for Languages Other than English. The ICLT initially will train individuals who are already proficient in speaking Chinese, either through heritage or through education, and who want to teach in middle and high schools. The program eventually will recruit, train and produce teachers who can teach Chinese to kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12). “Like other large cities in the U.S., Houston has a high demand for teachers of Chinese language and a ready, but largely formally untrained, supply of potential teachers,” said Lilly Chen, senior lecturer at the Center for the Study of Languages and director for ICLT. “One of the missions of Rice is to serve the community, and by establishing the certificate program, we are answering that call. We are so grateful to the Freeman Foundation for making this program possible and supporting our efforts.”ICLT will equip teachers with the best pedagogy to teach Chinese language in middle and high schools. A 2004 College Board survey showed that nearly 2,400 high schools would like to offer the AP Chinese course in 2006-’07 but do not have qualified teachers.“Right now, most Chinese teachers are teaching without formal certification and you need high-quality teachers, particularly for AP courses,” said Siva Kumari, associate dean at Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. “With the Institute for Chinese Language Teaching, we want to fill the need for certified teachers with a high-quality program taught by Rice and other higher education faculty.”The ICLT will offer a low-cost, two-year summer program designed to fit into teachers’ schedules and budgets. The institute will not provide state certification; instead, it will prepare teachers to be certified through classes that aren’t offered elsewhere in the South and grant scholarships for them to pursue certification at Rice or elsewhere.Offering classes online and on campusThe Institute will include online and face-to-face courses and offer a wide variety of Web materials, integrating technology into Chinese language teaching.Rice already has significant strengths in Chinese language and culture thanks to its Center for the Study of Languages. Under Chen’s direction, the center has led annual workshops for area high school teachers of Chinese language. Rice’s Asian Studies program also conducts regular Freeman-funded seminars for Houston-area teachers, led by history professor Richard Smith. The AP Summer Institute, directed by Kumari, offered the first AP Chinese training in the Southern region last year. By combining its resources, Rice can now offer a comprehensive program in Chinese curricular development and Chinese language instruction.Building educators for the community“These programs are an important component of Rice’s efforts to expand on our current contributions to K-12 education,” Smith said. “We are committed to building synergistic, outreach-oriented programs.”The institute builds on the priority, set forth in the Vision for the Second Century, to make tangible contributions in the K-12 area and increase international understanding of and at Rice. “As our lives become more global and China continues to be a strong economic partner, our young people need to be equipped to collaborate across borders,” said Steven Lewis, director of Asian studies. “It is increasingly important for people to have a rich and deep understanding of other cultures. We want to prepare teachers to teach that understanding to their students who could work with Asia in the future.” Launching the ICLT will be shared by the School of Humanities, the Asian Studies program, the Center for the Study of Languages and the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. The project team is also working with institutions around the state, including the Region IV Educational Service Center, the national Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools, and regional and local Chinese language teachers’ associations. Also, the ICLT plans to work with local schools to implement Chinese language courses beginning with their 2008 summer school programs.The program hopes to produce a pool of up to 30 certified teachers per year, with the first group graduating in the summer of 2008. Success will be measured by the number of students enrolled and graduated each year, placement into subsequent schools, the number successfully completing the external certification program and course evaluations. Participants will be required to complete a two-summer semester, four-course sequence taught by Rice faculty. Admission is selective and depends on the applicant’s proficiency in Chinese language and culture.  Applications for the first group of students are due Sept. 14.Find more details about the program at http://www.teachers.rice.edu.  FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img


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