High school students explore Russian and Chinese cultures

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Local high school students prepare for a trip to St. Petersburg/Taipei at Lewis University

Published: July 16, 2014.

Local high school students were recently immersed into the Russian or Chinese cultures while participating in Lewis University’s 2014 STARTALK program June 16-July 11 on the university’s main campus in Romeoville. The 30 students ranged from sophomores to seniors.

“A Trip to St. Petersburg/Taipei” was the theme for this year’s free four-week foreign language program. As students made plans for their journey to the target language country, they learned how to get around the major Russian/Taiwanese city, learned about places of interest, engaged in basic conversations with local residents, and conducted simple transactions in stores, restaurants, asked for directions etc.

“Students gained a positive disposition to Russian/Chinese language and culture, developed awareness of the national need to learn these languages, became motivated to continue studying the language and developed basic proficiency in the respective languages,” commented Dr. Serafima Gettys, director of the Lewis University Foreign Language Center.

Students from various high schools participated in the program, hailing from such places as Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Plainfield, Naperville and Joliet. Several Catholic high school students enrolled in the program as well, including students from Joliet Catholic Academy and Montini Catholic High School.

STARTALK is a project of the National Security Initiative, a multi-agency effort to expand foreign language education in under-taught critical languages by funding new and existing programs and providing incentives and rewards for foreign language learning. The overall mission is to increase the number of young Americans learning and speaking critical-need foreign languages by offering creative and engaging summer learning experiences for students.

For more information, visit www.lewisu.edu/startalk or contact Dr. Serafima Gettys at (815) 836-5544 or gettysse@lewisu.edu.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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