3 WHS students accepted into language immersion program

Westlake High's incoming entrants and graduates of the STARTALK Academy, from left, Evelyn Kennedy, Sophie Warner, Harleen Shergill, Allyson Simon and Aly Silver, with WHS Spanish teacher Cheryl Bendik.

Westlake High School sophomores Harleen Shergill and Allyson Simon, and junior Sophie Warner, were accepted into the 2014 STARTALK Foreign Language Academy in Chinese and Russian at Kent State University this summer.

The KSU STARTALK Academy is a four-week language immersion program that introduces a new language and culture. Students are housed in the KSU Honors College and students can receive up to five college credits. Students are provided with a laptop computer and all the necessary software.

The academic year follow-up component involves blended learning with students meeting one Saturday monthly for mini immersion sessions, and online communication between the monthly sessions.

Harleen and Allyson will study Russian, and Sophie will study Mandarin Chinese this summer. Seniors Aly Silver, Evelyn Kennedy and Annie Hoelscher recently graduated from the program after participating in last summer’s Chinese Academy. All are students of WHS Spanish teacher Cheryl Bendik.

All expenses for the program are covered by the National Security Language Initiative, started in 2006 to expand and improve teaching and learning strategically important world languages not widely taught in the United States. This is the fifth year Westlake High School students have participated in the program, which generally accepts only 12 to 13 students per language.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 8:59 AM, 05.28.2014