Charlottesville-area high school students are invited to apply for a free Chinese language training opportunity being offered at the University of Virginia this summer.
The Chinese Language and Culture Immersion Program is part of the Virginia STARTALK Chinese Teacher Academy, which meets at U.Va each summer and trains middle- and high-school Chinese language teachers.
The immersion program, which runs June 24 through July 3, occurs during STARTALK and is open to rising ninth- through 12th-grade students. The students participate in demonstration classes in which “excellent in-service and prospective teachers recruited nationwide apply research-supported best practices to teaching learners in a linguistically and culturally enriched environment,” according to the program description.
Information and an application are available on the program’s website. Student participants are required to commute to and from U.Va. each day, so area students are encouraged to apply.
Rachel Stauffer, outreach coordinator for U.Va.’s Asia Institute, said students can only benefit from exposure to Chinese language and culture, and encouraged students frustrated by past attempts to learn French or Spanish to give Chinese a try.
“It’s a language that can be accessible to students who are very visual,” she said. “You don’t have to memorize tenses and endings like you would in Spanish, French or Latin. Learning Chinese is not necessarily easier, but it’s a much different language learning experience.”