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Bethel to expand cross-cultural learning options with China initiative

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College will be expanding students’ options in cross-cultural learning (CCL) beginning next fall with the addition of Chinese language courses.

The main sponsorship for the initiative comes from an individual donor. In addition to language study opportunities, it will include an interterm travel course to the People’s Republic of China.

Lijun Zhu, who since 2009 has taught Mandarin Chinese in Wichita area high schools (currently Gordon Parks Academy, West High School and South High School), will be the instructor for Chinese I and Chinese II.

Zhu is a graduate of Wuhan University with a degree in literature and earned a master of education in foreign language teaching from Central China Normal University. She then came to Pittsburg State University, where she completed a master of science degree in teaching with emphasis on English for speakers of other languages. She taught Chinese in several Pittsburg elementary schools from 2007-09.

“With this addition of Chinese to our foreign language offerings in German and Spanish next year, students will have an additional option for developing language competency, which for many years has been a key feature of a Bethel bachelor of arts degree,” said Brad Born, vice president for academic affairs. “The link here to broader cross-cultural learning opportunities is especially exciting. Providing students with experience in cross-cultural learning and an understanding of the global nature of human community is central to the Common Ground curriculum that all Bethel students share.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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