CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Five additional West Virginia counties have been chosen by the College Board to host Chinese teachers next school year, bringing the total number of counties teaching Chinese to nine. The expansion of Chinese into West Virginia schools is part of the state Department of Education’s effort to promote global awareness and 21st Century Learning.
“Providing our children with the opportunity to understand the Chinese language and culture will give them a better chance of succeeding in the 21st century,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “If our children are to be competitive in today’s global society, studying foreign languages, especially Chinese, is essential.”
A total of seven teachers will be added in Harrison, Mason, Monongalia, Putnam and Wood counties. Other programs are in Barbour, Cabell, Kanawha and Lincoln counties.
The addition of more Chinese teachers in West Virginia coincides with a joint project between the state Department of Education and the College Board to introduce students to the Chinese culture and language. The agencies have organized a series of Chinese Cultural presentations in West Virginia schools from April 14-16 on various topics, including Chinese history, geography, cultural traditions and modern development.
A sampling of Chinese arts, such as calligraphy, painting, martial arts and folk music, will be introduced. The Chinese language presentation also will engage participants in a Mandarin Chinese lesson that includes basic pronunciation and Chinese character writing.
“The presentation programs serve as a great way to foster student interest in Chinese at no cost to participating schools,” said Amelia Courts, executive director of the WVDE’s Office of English as a Second Language/International Schools. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students.”
Participating schools include those that are not yet offering Chinese but have plans to do so, feeder schools that send students to schools teaching Chinese and schools that have a fledgling Chinese program they are trying to grow.
Presentations will be made on April 14 at South Charleston High School at 9:30 a.m. and at Parkersburg High School beginning at noon. On April 15, presentations will be made at Bridgeport Middle School at 8:30 a.m., Harrison County Schools District Office at 10 a.m. and at Bridgeport High School at 1 p.m. On April 16, presentations will be made at Winfield Middle School beginning at 8:30 a.m.
For more information, contact Amelia Davis Courts at (304) 558-2691, or the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.