New Grant to Cover Language Classes, Trips, Scholarships

Photo courtesy of Jody Littleton/Parkland College (From left to right) Grace Dyrek, Jody Littleton, Chef Alex, Rebecca Grosser, and Nadya Cortes take a French cooking class during a study abroad trip supported by Parkland College.

Photo courtesy of Jody Littleton/Parkland College
(From left to right) Grace Dyrek, Jody Littleton, Chef Alex, Rebecca Grosser, and Nadya Cortes take a French cooking class during a study abroad trip supported by Parkland College.

Portuguese noncredit class starts Feb., study abroad to Brazil set for July

Parkland Marketing and Public Relations

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Students taking a Parkland College language class this spring can then immerse themselves in that language overseas this summer, thanks to a new federal grant to the college.

Parkland, Joliet Junior College and Carl Sandburg College recently received a joint three-year grant from the Department of Education’s Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Education program. Totaling more than $120,600, the grant was one of 31 such grants awarded to community colleges and universities this academic year.

Parkland and its college partners will focus on the culture and language of Brazil for 2015. They have developed a noncredit Portuguese language course, which starts Feb. 17. The group will then offer a two-week study abroad trip to Brazil July 31 to Aug. 15.

In addition, students completing the class and accepted for the Brazil study abroad trip are eligible to compete for one of three $2,000 scholarships available for the trip. Each scholarship covers approximately two-thirds of the trip cost.

“This is a great opportunity for us to educate our students on areas of the world that are globally important but maybe not familiar to them,” said Jody Littleton, Parkland Fine and Applied Arts professor and study abroad coordinator.

Those interested in taking the Portuguese language class should call Parkland Community Education at 217/353-2055 to register. The 10-week class will meet on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and will be taught by a native Brazilian.

For AY 2016, the partners will focus on the country of Morocco, providing instruction in Arabic. The AY 2017 focus will be on Taiwan and the Chinese language. Short-term summer study abroad opportunities and scholarships will be offered for both of these countries as well.

In addition to the language classes and study abroad, Parkland is developing a series of related lectures and activities for each grant year, designed to encourage students and faculty to emphasize international content within their courses of study. Activities hosted at campus will promote greater awareness of Brazil, Morocco and Taiwan.

“Life in the 21st century means adapting to the most hyper-connected, interdependent world we’ve ever seen,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in press statement about the grants. “These grants will enable more students and educators to gain global competencies that equip them with an understanding and openness to cultures and languages around the globe, as well as the 21st century skills needed to preserve a rich, multicultural society and thriving democracy right here at home.”