GVA Awarded $1.4 Million From US Department of Education!
Aurora charter school to serve as national model for Chinese culture and language acquisition program
AURORA—Global Village Academy (GVA), an Aurora public charter school, has been awarded a five-year, $1.4 million Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant by the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education’s FLAP competition supports Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) – including school districts and charter schools – that work in partnership with Higher Education Institutions to establish or expand articulated programs of student in foreign language learning that exclusively teach one or more languages critical to the United States’ national security. The programs must be designed to enable successful students to achieve a superior level of proficiency in those languages as they advance from elementary school through high school and college.
Grant monies will enable GVA, a charter school that currently offers successful Chinese language immersion, to develop a program designed to address the critical shortfalls that hinder students’ ability to reach advanced levels of proficiency in Chinese as a second language. Key elements of the program will include:
Expanding GVA’s current language immersion program into a model that can be replicated at other schools
Partnering with the Community College of Aurora (CCA) and Aurora Public School District (APS) to offer Chinese language courses that will be open to eligible high school students wishing to participate in concurrent enrollment (meaning they earn high school and college credits simultaneously)
Implementing American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (ACTFL) performance assessments to ensure that students are on track to reaching advanced proficiency levels in Chinese as a second language
And providing teachers with intensive professional development in Chinese immersion, and creating a customized alternative teacher’s licensure program through collaboration with Naropa University in Boulder, in order to increase the number of highly qualified teachers of Chinese in Colorado.
“Conventional Chinese as a second language programs require students to devote themselves to language study at the expense of other academic content,” said Christina A. Burton, Chief Academic Officer at GVA. “GVA’s Chinese Culture and Language Acquisition Program will provide full Chinese language immersion to students in early grades, and partial immersion in later grades so that language and academic skills complement and reinforce each other. Most programs do not provide sufficient time for real proficiency to develop – students under our program will receive nearly 5800 hours of Chinese language exposure and instruction by grade 8, without sacrificing core academic content.”
GVA, which serves students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, will collaborate with CCA, APS and the University of Oregon to develop a 9-12 grade Chinese language curricula framework, course descriptions and online assessments for concurrently enrolled students – high school students who attend college courses for both high school and college credit.
“The Community College of Aurora looks forward to collaborating with Global Village Academy and Aurora Public Schools to create a pipeline for high school students to continue their Chinese language studies after graduating from Global Village,” said Linda Bowman, President of the Community College of Aurora. “This new program will create a bridge to unlimited opportunities for students who reach advanced proficiency in Chinese as a second language. We are honored to be able to create college courses that will be accessible to both high school and college students that will serve as a model for other colleges around the country who are looking to replicate a similar program.”
“GVA’s Chinese Culture and Language Acquisition Program will also become a member of the University of Oregon Flagship Collaborative, a national group dedicated to developing articulated K-16 programs leading to superior language proficiency,” said Burton. “By working with colleagues around the college, we will be better equipped to tackle the difficult structural, curricular, and pedagogic barriers to meeting our ambitious goal of helping more public school students to become proficient in Chinese as a second language.”
Currently there are no Teachers of Chinese certification programs in Colorado. Under the FLAP grant, GVA will attempt to tackle this challenge by offering intensive professional development to current Chinese language teachers, and partnering with Naropa University in Boulder to create an alternative teacher’s licensure program. Headed by Dr. Debra Young, Chair of the Education Department, Naropa will offer an onsite program at GVA that enable teachers to be fully employed as a Chinese language instructor at GVA, while simultaneously receiving their teaching license.
"We are excited about this partnership with Global Village Academy. The grant will provide Aurora students additional opportunities to learn Chinese and develop their global perspectives,” said John L. Barry, Superintendent, Aurora Public Schools.
Global Village Academy is a leading-edge K-8 Charter school in Aurora, teaching global literacy and language immersion in mandarin Chinese and Spanish. GVA is truly a global village; its teachers come from all over the world, each bringing their unique culture and language into the classroom. United by a common curriculum, spanning each language village, students are challenged to become world class thinkers, capable of engaging ideas using multiple languages and perspectives. GVA students have a voice that can be heard worldwide.