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Stacie B. Royster
Media Relations Manager

Howard University Receives U.S. Department of Defense
Contract Award for Center for Foreign Language Study

Washington, D.C., December 20, 2005 – Howard University, Department of Languages and Literatures was recently awarded $992,004 from the United States Department of Defense to establish a Center for Foreign Language Study.  The year-long grant will facilitate a center to promote nationwide second language study among elementary to college-level students, develop and enhance language programs in four less commonly taught languages:  Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, partner with a local pre-collegiate school to offer instruction in one of those languages, provide training seminars on intercultural awareness, and create a repository of computer-based language and cross-cultural teaching materials. 

The Center will contain a multimedia classroom with the capability of providing instruction onsite and through distance learning programs.  Instructional materials developed will be largely in electronic format and shared with other educational institutions upon request. 

Howard University is a first-time recipient of this award, the largest ever awarded to one of the four departments within the University’s Humanities Division of the College of Arts and Sciences, and is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) recipient this year.

“I am particularly pleased that the University will take part in a revived national effort to promote foreign language and cultural awareness studies,” said James Davis, Ph.D., chairman, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. “The center will offer Howard University students the opportunity to gain a competitive edge in their careers and in the quality of their lives in general.  Competency in a second language and cross-cultural literacy has been a requirement for graduation into a global society. It is our duty to make sure that our students receive and act upon this message.  The center will allow us to continue to develop vital programs that demonstrate vigorously and measurably that Howard University is committed to preparing its students for global leadership as outlined by President Swygert in his strategic plans for the University.” 

A major nationwide initiative of the center is to alert the public, especially current and potential students at HBCUs, of the increased imperative to develop foreign (second) language proficiency. While the general targeted population is African-American students, the center will invite participation from all students nationwide who seek instruction in one or more of the languages offered.  The center will be open to Howard University students, faculty, and staff as well as to students enrolled at other educational institutions, specifically targeting ROTC cadets at Howard and at other HBCUs. 




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