The programs use the themes of storytelling and gaming to engage students in a highly motivated learning experience. The programs allow students to explore their own interests and self-understandings within a framework of cultural comparison and deepening cross-cultural competence while completing a series of exciting, creative projects. The entire program is free. This includes all expenses for the summer residential program, including room and board. In 2023, some travel to the program may be eligible for support.
The program will be divided into three modules, each of which is built around the themes of cycles, seasons, festivals, and celebrations. The skills in storytelling and gaming will still play a prominent role throughout the program. Participants admitted in the Spring semester must qualify before being admitted to the summer program through evidence of their commitment to academic success. The year long program begins in January 2023 and runs through December 2023. The Spring and Fall modules will take place entirely online, in a hybrid modality that meets Saturdays for 1 hour of synchronous learning in the Spring and every two weeks in the fall (they will also include 1 to 2 hours of online activities/project building per week). The centrepiece of the program is a 60-hour, t wo-week intensive in-person summer residential program at UConn in Storrs, Connecticut. For qualified students, the entire sequence can count as the equivalent of 3 college credits.
The first module, which is virtual, will take place on Saturdays during UConn’s Spring semester (1 hour synchronous contact, plus 1-2 hours of individual project work). It is about identity in culture, and community and includes a unit on perceptions and styles of gaming in Chinese or Korean culture. The second module is a two week residential summer program (from July 2 to July 15) during which students will live and learn on UConn’s Storrs campus. During the summer module, students will create a game design template, develop their own story-worlds, avatars, and game rules even as they explore the styles and roles of gaming and storytelling in Chinese or Korean culture. The last module, which will take place during UConn’s Fall semester, is again a virtual module that meets every second Saturday. Students in the techniques of digital storytelling as they create their own documentary, podcast series, extension of the gaming project, or works of short fiction (1 hour synchronous contact, plus 1-2 hours of individual project work).
The goal of the program is to enable students at a low-intermediate level to progress to intermediate-high or higher in a single year. It is perfect for anyone taking AP Chinese or ECE CHIN 1114. The program will focus especially on areas that students typically struggle to master. It will also concentrate on the different needs of heritage speakers and those learning the language for the first time through individual coaching and small-group enrichment, especially during the summer portion of the program. By the end of this program students should consolidate a very solid base as they transition to more advanced content-oriented classes in literature, culture, and media (typically the equivalent of minor- and major-level courses) or other advanced language acquisition opportunities including study abroad.