(PRWEB) February 12, 2014
Scholarships are available for summer study in the WUSTL-ALLEX intensive Chinese and Japanese language institutes. As interest in learning Chinese and Japanese has grown steadily in the United States, it has created a growing demand for trained language teachers, as well as a need for affordable and effective language courses. One small organization, the ALLEX Foundation, has had a big impact in meeting both of these needs.
Each year ALLEX (Alliance for Language Learning and Educational Exchange: http://www.allex.org) recruits and trains about 45 Chinese and Japanese teachers and places them in positions at universities all across the U.S., from Wellesley College in Boston, to Portland State University in Oregon.
Every summer the teacher-trainees gather at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) for an intensive eight-week teacher training experience. What makes this training unique is that the trainees learn by teaching actual first-year Chinese and Japanese classes that are especially recruited to run in parallel with the teacher-training course.
These first-year classes provide university students and talented high school students an amazing opportunity to study Chinese and Japanese under the guidance of master teachers, but at a cost that is far less than comparable summer language programs in the U.S.
Each day students have a language class with a master teacher who has many years experience teaching at American universities. Then they have a second hour led by one of the training teachers under the supervision of the master teacher. The faculty of master teachers are leaders in the field of Chinese and Japanese language learning, so students are getting the opportunity to study with the best.
But because the class is also serving as a laboratory for the training of language teachers, the course is offered at a low cost. This entire program is part of the WUSTL-ALLEX Chinese and Japanese Teacher Training Institute, which is run by a consortium of four universities—Cornell, Portland State, Ohio State and Washington University-St. Louis.
The language classes are designed for students who are serious about learning Chinese or Japanese, but don’t have a huge amount of money to spend for tuition. The teaching techniques used in the classes are fun, interactive, and designed to get students speaking the language—ready to travel or continue their studies—in just two months.
The ALLEX Foundation has helped more than 200 universities start new Asian language programs, or expand the programs they already have, since it began as Exhange:Japan in 1988. The reason so many universities choose their Chinese and Japanese language instructors through ALLEX is because all instructors are required to attend the eight-week intensive teacher-training course.
Because the course is so successful at developing effective language teachers, other universities have sent their language instructors there to be trained. The course is also open to enrollment by individuals who are teaching Chinese or Japanese or aspire to do so.
The two courses working together—the teacher-training course and the language-learning course—create a perfect atmosphere for successful language learning. The language learners who are attracted to this class are serious, and are prepared to spend two hours in class every day for seven weeks. They spend half of each day being taught by the master teacher, and then spend the second hour getting a lot of individual attention from the teacher-trainees. The teacher-trainees are carefully selected, bright and enthusiastic young people from China, Japan and Taiwan—they make the classroom fun and exciting. Each year a tight community forms and the students and teachers create a close bond. The language learners are especially happy to be getting the best of both worlds: top quality language instruction at an affordable price.
Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. The dates for the 2014 summer program are June 23 – August 9. For more information contact David Patt at 607-280-3676 or david(at)allex(dot)org or visit the ALLEX website at http://www.allex.org.