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UNG Summer Language Academy awarded $25,000 grant

Freeman Foundation grant 2017
An instructor helps a young boy write Chinese characters during UNG's participation in the Elementary Summer Language Program.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation to support its annual Elementary Summer Language Program (ESLA), an instructional summer camp for elementary-age students.

The ESLA program, now in its fourth year, serves students ages 4 to 13, and aims to improve their understanding of Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures, and refine their written and spoken language ability.

"This is the third year that the Freeman Foundation has supported ESLA, and this newest award is the highest amount that the foundation has awarded to the program," said Dr. Carly Womack-Wynne, associate director for the UNG's Center for Global Engagement

In collaboration with the Hall County School System and the World Language Academy, a nationally recognized language immersion school that serves 900 students, ESLA will host 500 elementary students for summer 2017. The camp costs $50 per week to provide food, a t-shirt, field trips and supplies, but those who have financial need can secure scholarships thanks to the grant. The camp will be held from June 11 through July 28; the registration deadline is April 1.

"The summer program has orchestrated a learning regimen based on the students' grade and skill level where they will establish and refine their fluency in Mandarin – learning ten spoken words and five written characters per week for six weeks – and will attend cultural events hosted by native speakers," Wynne said.

UNG is a long-standing leader in international and foreign language education, and is designated as one of only three ROTC Chinese Language Flagship programs in the nation by the U.S. Department of Defense National Security Education Program. The university is currently developing a new baccalaureate degree program in East Asian Studies to educate new generations of civilian and military leaders in the languages, cultures, histories, politics and art of China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia.

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