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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

07-30-04

Contacts:

Marcia Rosenbusch, National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center, (515) 294-6699

Vicki Gray, National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center,
(515) 294-6699

Cathy Curtis, College of Education, (515) 294-8175

Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986

Kindergarten, first grade students learn Japanese at special summer Iowa State language program

AMES, Iowa -- Fourteen Central Iowa kindergarten and first grade students are participating in a summer Japanese program at Iowa State University that focuses on developing language comprehension, oral communication and global awareness.

The class meets from 11 a.m. to noon daily through Thursday, Aug. 5, in the Child Development Lab School, Palmer Human Development and Family Studies Building.

The course is taught by Jessica Lee Haxhi, a Japanese teacher for grades Pre-Kindergarten-fifth in Connecticut. She is an experienced summer foreign language program teacher and is the former president of the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers. Haxhi has received the Milken Family Foundation national teaching award for her innovative teaching and leadership in the field.

The students learn to follow commands, sing culturally authentic songs and even shop in Japanese during the program. They also are introduced to Japanese writing and some simple foods.

"Very little Japanese is taught in Iowa -- and few foreign language programs are offered in Iowa elementary schools," said Marcia Rosenbusch, director of the National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center. "This course is a unique foreign language teaching model that shows the importance and success of such programs at this age level. Students need foreign language instruction early, especially students in Iowa because few have opportunities to interact with other languages and cultures."

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Quick look

Fourteen Central Iowa kindergarten and first grade students are participating in a summer Japanese program at Iowa State that focuses on language comprehension, oral communication and global awareness. The students, with no previous foreign language experience, learn to follow commands, sing songs and shop in Japanese.

Quote

"This course is a unique foreign language teaching model that shows the importance and success of such programs at this age level. Students need foreign language instruction early, especially students in Iowa because few have opportunities to interact with other languages and cultures."

Marcia Rosenbusch, director