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Juniata Language Outeach Program Receives Grant to Expand Nationwide

(Posted October 23, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College's international language and culture program, Language in Motion, has received a two-year $150,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to continue the program, as well as expand its mission to other colleges and universities across the country.
"The reason Language in Motion succeeds so well is that it has been responsive to local needs of our member schools," says Deborah Roney, director of Language in Motion.
In addition to funding the operation of Juniata's local program, the grant also earmarks funds to help expand Juniata's model program to seven other colleges and universities nationwide. The grant specifically funded a conference at Juniata to show interested colleges how the program functions. Representatives from eight colleges and universities attended the Sept. 14 conference: Furman University in Greenville, S.C.; Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pa.; Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.; the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pa.; Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas; Willamette College in Salem, Ore., and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
Roney says that the nine participants in the Language in Motion conference have formed a consortium that will expand Language in Motion beyond each member's local campus.

"Every time I participate in Language in Motion, I feel challenged and motivated to discover more about my culture."

"The idea is to have the consortium write a grant that will establish each of the eight members of the consortium (aside from Juniata) as a regional hub where other colleges can further replicate the Juniata (Language in Motion) model," Roney explains
"Iowa State has already started their program and all members of the consortium should have their language programs up and running by fall of 2007," Roney says.
In addition, the grant will allow Juniata to expand its teacher development program for Language in Motion. Juniata, now in the third year of this part of the program, will provide scholarships for three area teachers to attend a state conference on international language issues. In addition, the grant will fund to scholarships for area teachers to attend a national conference on international issues.
"My students really enjoyed every presentation and they\'re still talking about our guests," says Michelyn Hatch, French and Spanish Teacher at Williamsburg Community High School. "It really opens their minds to what is possible outside of Williamsburg."
In addition to the program expansion and professional workshops, Juniata also will use the grant funds to expand a collection of language and culture teaching materials that can be used for Juniata student presentations and function as a lending library for area teachers.
The grant also continues funding for a two-day professional development institute at Juniata, where secondary school teachers can get professional training in teaching language and culture. The college has staged two previous institutes in successive years. The grant also allows Juniata to expand its summer Teachers Abroad program. The Juniata, program, which is going into its third year, sponsors local teachers for a three- to four-week immersion experience at one of three international universities. Teachers can study Spanish at the University of Quetzltenango; Guatemala, French at the University of Lille; or German at the University of Marburg.
Started in fall 2000, Language in Motion brings international students, upper-level language students, and students returning from abroad into middle schools and high schools for language and cultural activities.
Last year, Language in Motion, now in its seventh year of operation, served 12 school districts and presented lessons with 52 teachers in high schools, junior highs and middle schools in three counties. More than 40 Juniata students, both international students and students studying languages, have made presentations as part of the curriculum to more than 3,200 area students. More than 50 international students have made presentations, including 10 from Asia, 11 from Europe, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, 9 from Caribbean nations and 10 from Sub-Saharan Africa.
"Every time I participate in Language in Motion, I feel challenged and motivated to discover more about my culture," says Zineb Gormat, an international student from Morocco who graduated in 2006. "Language in Motion challenges and motivates both the presenters and the students listening to them."
Language in Motion received the Institute Of International Education 2002 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. The program was originally funded by a NAFSA: Association of International Educators grant. The project is currently funded through a grant by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, based in Jacksonville, Fla., were organized in 1952 and founded by the late Arthur Vining Davis, former president and chairman of the board of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). The foundations' aims are to "provide financial assistance within the limits of their budgets and the discretion of their trustees, to certain educational, cultural, scientific and religious institutions."
Davis died in 1962.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.