The University of Houston Chinese Studies Program has received a $99,980 grant to launch the STARTALK program over the summer, which is designed to teach Chinese as a second language.
The program is available to public and private elementary and secondary school teachers, community college professors and instructors at various Chinese heritage schools in Texas.
“Chinese as a second language refers to people who have a Chinese background, but the heritage is still missing,” said Xiao-Hong Sharon Wen, head instructor of the program. “These people might be born here or in China, but they have the desire to carry on their heritage interests and values.”
The Chinese language is popular around the world, especially in today’s job market, Xiao-Hong said.
There is a $200 registration fee due at the beginning of the program that will be returned after completion. Students can also apply the three graduate course credits earned in the course to future teaching certificate programs specializing in Chinese.
STARTALK began in 2006 when President George W. Bush implemented the National Security Language Initiative to induce the learning of prominent, less taught languages in classrooms nationwide.
The program will take place from July 9 to July 20 with follow-up classes on Oct. 13 and Nov. 3 in the Language and Acquisition center in Agnes Arnold Hall.