TU to establish Institute for Chinese Language Teaching
MAT degree program is country's first
TOWSON, Md. (April 29, 2009)—Towson University, in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education, has received a $517,608 grant from the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) to establish an Institute for Chinese Language Teaching, the first of its kind in the United States.
The purpose of the institute is to provide a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program for Chinese language teachers in grades 7-12. Candidates who successfully complete the degree can be certified to teach in Maryland schools and in other states that share reciprocity with Maryland.
“Right now, only 10 out of 24 Maryland school districts offer Chinese language courses,” observes Dean Esslinger, assistant to the provost for international programs. “As a result, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools, traveled to Beijing to meet with Hanban officials in 2006. She and TU’s President, Robert L. Caret, agree this new institute will help our state meet a documented need for Chinese language teachers.”
The institute will recruit candidates from a pool of native Chinese language speakers who are already living in Maryland and nearby states. The MAT program meets both state and national accreditation standards established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).