Federal grant funds Chinese-language summer camp at North Central College

Jul 17, 2015

Sixteen high school and college students learned Chinese language this summer during a two-week North Central College camp, thanks to a federal STARTALK grant through the National Security Language Initiative.

The selective and prestigious STARTALK program is a federal government initiative to increase the number of young Americans learning and speaking critical-need foreign languages by offering engaging summer experiences. North Central’s camp was held July 6-17.

The North Central College Chinese Program collaborates with STARTALK to provide students with opportunities to enhance their Chinese language skills and to learn about China’s major industries, customs and traditions. Students attended classes and participated in cultural activities, sports and field trips during the nonresidential summer program.

“The North Central STARTALK program, now in its third year, draws students from across the Chicagoland area who are eager to learn Chinese,” says Shelly Porcellino ’05 Galasso, North Central’s director of grants.

The STARTALK grant covered personnel costs, student meals, field trip expenses, themed T-shirts and additional materials.

“As one of 151 locations this year, we are very proud to have been selected to hold this prestigious program at North Central College,” says Dr. Jinai Sun, North Central STARTALK program director and assistant professor of Chinese. “Our main goal is to offer local students the chance to grow this summer—to practice their language ability and immerse in a different culture.”

Chinese is among more than 55 majors, minors and programs offered at North Central College. Chinese-language speakers can learn more about the College by visiting North Central’s Chinese-translated webpage.

For more information about North Central’s STARTALK program, contact Sun at jsun@noctrl.edu.