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State Receives Grant to Enhance Foreign Language Programs

June 28, 2000

The West Virginia Department of Education announced today that it has received a three-year, $152,835 grant to expand foreign language programs in elementary and middle schools throughout the state.  

The grant was received from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs.  

“This grant will assist the Department in ensuring that all seventh and eighth grade classes in the state receive foreign language instruction and that a curriculum is developed for all sixth grade classes in West Virginia,” said State Superintendent Dr. David Stewart. “This grant will help the state to introduce a second language at an earlier age, which studies indicate is imperative for language proficiency.”  

According to Deborah Harki, foreign language coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, the state has already formed a six-person committee consisting of foreign language educators across the state. Harki said that the committee will help the Department implement the various aspects of the grant.  

“We plan to use the expertise of some of the state’s outstanding educators and nationally-recognized elementary foreign language experts to develop a comprehensive curriculum for the students of West Virginia,” she explained. “We also plan to enlist the assistance of principals and other teachers throughout the state to establish a grass roots network for early language learning.”

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