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UMFK to offer French immersion program for high school students

May 13, 2005

NR05079

The unique Franco-American culture of the St. John Valley will be celebrated through a special summer French immersion program offered by the University of Maine at Fort Kent Saturday, June 25 through Friday, July 1.

UMFK is offering the French immersion experience for high school students who wish to jumpstart their language skills while experiencing first-hand what it is like to study and live on a college campus. The program will feature both classroom instruction and field trips.

"The course provides high school students the opportunity to study on campus in the summer and highlights the advantages of studying French in the St. John Valley," said Katharine Harrington, assistant professor of French at UMFK and coordinator of the immersion experience. "The course will also enable local students to work together and have fun. We are encouraging students from outside the St. John Valley to attend, so they can put into practice the language skills they have learned at their school."

The course is designed for high school students with a minimum of two years of high school French. The main focus of the immersion program will be oral communication and cultural experience.

The course schedule includes French instruction in the morning session, various field trips or group projects in the community in the afternoon sessions, and the evening sessions will be filled with fun activities such as watching French films. The program will also include an overnight trip to Quebec City.

"When the course is completed, the student will have improved their French and gained a better understanding about the French culture and heritage that is present in the northern part of the United States and our neighboring Canadian communities," said Harrington.

The program fee is $600 per student which includes lodging and meals. Students interested in enrolling in the summer program must contact the university registrar's office at 834-7520.

To help defray student cost, Le Club Francais, through the assistance of a generous benefactor, is offering to provide each St. John Valley high school student a $250 scholarship to attend. The funds will be awarded after completion of the course.

For more information on the scholarship or French immersion program, contact Donald Eno, UMFK coordinator of distance education and academic outreach at 834-7835.

The high school French immersion experience is one of several offered by UMFK this summer focusing on local culture and language.

The campus is also offering a French immersion day camp for children, professional development courses for French teachers, and the Elderhostel program that will cover ecology of the Maine woods, French-Acadian culture and astronomy.