IN THIS ISSUE: Summer language academy announced | Campus holiday schedule announced | UI to host translation competition | Summer art classes begin June 14 | Sustainability institute gets new name| Efficiency Fair is May 23
4- to 8-year-olds
Summer Language Academy announced
Many parents enroll their young children in piano lessons, ballet class, gymnastics or martial arts, figuring that getting a jump-start on these skills will serve their children later in life.
Silvina Montrul suggests that parents consider another option – a foreign language course.
Young children have a unique ability to soak up a new language, says Montrul, the head of the UI department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.
“Research shows that childhood is the best time to learn a language, and we, as a society, are not taking advantage of that opportunity,” said Montrul, who also is the director of Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education and of the Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Lab.
Montrul established the University Language Academy for Children last September. Classes meet after school at University Primary School.
The academy was designed to fulfill the three missions of the university: research, teaching and community engagement. The staff, all native or near-native Spanish speakers, put together a curriculum that teaches children Spanish through games, songs, stories and crafts.
“By playing, they learn a lot, and they’re having fun,” Montrul said. “We want the children to enjoy the classes.”
The academy is registering children ages 4 through 8 for summer camp.
Statistics suggest that Spanish is the logical second language to learn. Montrul cited 2010 census data showing that there are more than 50 million Spanish-speakers in the United States, making it the second-largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world, outranked only by Mexico. And in the U.S., Illinois has the fifth-highest number of Spanish speakers.
The summer camps, which begin June 6, will run 3 1/2 hours a day (campers select either morning or afternoon sessions), five days a week; families are asked to commit to a minimum of two weeks.
The summer camp sessions are $150 per week, with a $25 discount for additional siblings enrolled. The after-school program, which will resume in the fall, is $215 per month for four classes per week.
“It’s comparable to what you would pay for other after-school activities that children do in this town,” Montrul said. “Parents spend money on music lessons, ballet lessons, martial arts lessons. This is another skill that enhances cognition and other aspects of intelligence as children develop. This is a tool they will use for life.”
Campus holiday schedule announced
The 2011-12 holiday schedule for the Urbana campus:
- Monday, July 4: Independence Day
- Monday, Sept. 5: Labor Day
- Thursday, Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Day
- Friday, Nov. 25: Day after Thanksgiving (designated holiday)
- Monday, Dec. 26: Christmas Day holiday observed
- Tuesday, Dec. 27: Day after Christmas (designated holiday)
- Wednesday-FridayDec. 28-30: Reduced-service Days**
- Monday, Jan. 2: New Year’s Day holiday observed
- Monday, Jan. 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Monday, May 28: Memorial Day
**Dec. 28-30 are reduced-service days. As in past years, it is expected that most units will be closed and most employees will not be working on these days. Additional information about these reduced-service days will be communicated closer to the holiday period. Employees can choose to use three days of benefits (vacation, floating holidays), or take time without pay, or any combination.
Employees have two floating holidays that can be taken anytime during this fiscal year; however, the scheduling of these holidays is subject to departmental approval.
The information is online at www.shr.illinois.edu/resources/Holiday_Schedule_2011-12.html.
UI to host translation competition
The UI invites Illinois high school teachers of foreign languages to hold translation competitions during the fall of 2011, with winners invited to the UI campus for a one-day program in November.
The competition, sponsored by the UI’s Center for Translation Studies and the European Union Center, will challenge high school students to translate texts in European languages into English.
This year’s competition will focus on Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.
Schools (or participating schools) must register for the competition by June 15.
In August a selected short text in these languages will be sent to teachers, along with student eligibility and competition guidelines.
One teacher per school will administer the competition to eligible students and nominate two students to participate in the program on the basis of their translation performance. Eligible students may come from advanced foreign language classes and/or heritage speaker groups. Eligibility will be left to the discretion of the teachers.
The teacher will send a cover letter justifying the selection of participants, along with the two best translations, to the organizing committee by Oct. 3.
The committee will notify participants by Oct. 17, of their acceptance into the program. Up to 25 entries from the winning schools will be accepted. The winning students and their partnering teachers will be invited to the UI campus for a one-day program Nov. 4.
Each participating teacher will be awarded a $100 stipend. A limited number of substitute teacher grants also is available.
Summer art classes begin June 14
Pre-school through high school students may register for the 2011 Summer Art Enrichment Program, a community art school taught by art education doctoral candidates in the School of Art and Design. Summer classes will focus on the theme “Art in 4-D.” Students will create works of art that fly, fall, flash, wave, sway and swirl – art that refuses to sit still.
The summer schedule:
- Preschool/kindergarten: July 5-15 (choice of 8:30-10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.-noon)
- Grades 1-3: July 19-29 (choice of 8:30-10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.-noon)
- Grades 4-6: July 5-15 (choice of 12:30-2 p.m. or 2:30-4 p.m.)
- Grades 7-12: July 19-29 (1-4 p.m.)
Classes are held in the Art and Design Building and meet Tuesday-Friday. The cost is $79 per student, ages 4 1/2 through 18. An early registration discount is available for registrations received by May 20. Registration ends the Friday before classes begin or when classes are filled. For more information and registration forms, visit the Saturday Art School website: http://satschool.illinois.edu, or call Melissa Madsen at 217-333-0855; email email@example.com.
Sustainability institute gets new name
The Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability has been renamed the Prairie Research Institute.
The institute comprises the Illinois Natural History Survey, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, the Illinois State Geological Survey, the Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.
“The Prairie Research Institute gives the surveys’ diverse research activities an appropriate geographical context,” said institute executive director William W. Shilts. “We were looking for a name that would be unique within the university and emphasize our strong connection to the state of Illinois.”
The institute was created in 2008 when the surveys moved from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to the UI. More information about the institute is available at www.prairie.illinois.edu.
Efficiency Fair will be May 23
With the increased focus on budget concerns on the UI campus, it has become more important to stress efficiencies in all areas. To address this concern, the Office of the Provost will host an Efficiency Fair from 1-5 p.m. May 23 in Illini Rooms A, B and C in the Illini Union.
The goal is to have members of the campus community demonstrate ways they have improved their business processes. This is an opportunity to learn from others and to share best practices to solve existing business issues. Areas that will be addressed include information technology consolidation, budget examinations, revenue enhancement, shared service centers and administrative restructuring.
Richard Wheeler, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, will give opening remarks at 1 p.m. The event also will feature poster displays and interactive presentations.
More information is online at www.provost.illinois.edu/efficiencyfair/. Or request more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.