Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: April 20, 2011 9:58:01 AM PDT
WWU Student and Lake Stevens Resident Earns Critical Language Scholarship

Contact: Sandra Alfers, Western Washington University associate professor of German, (360) 650-7427 or sandra.alfers@wwu.edu

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University student and Lake Stevens resident Dana Rafter received a Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State to study Arabic language and culture in Tunis, Tunisia from May 30-Aug. 1.

The Critical Language Scholarship will fund all expenses for Rafter’s trip, including airfare, accommodation and language courses.

“In Tunisia I look forward to the valuable experience I will gain with the local language and culture,” Rafter said. “I hope to acquire an appreciation of the prospects and challenges facing Tunisia in the wake of its January revolution.”

The CLS Program offers courses designed to develop students’ listening, reading, speaking, spoken interaction, and writing skills. Students will receive a minimum of 20 hours per week of formal classroom instruction. The curriculum will include innovative approaches to language learning and will incorporate technology-based instructional materials in order to promote faster language acquisition in a collaborative and engaging environment.

Rafter, a senior at WWU, is majoring in German and minoring in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He is expecting to graduate this spring. After graduating, Rafter plans to receive his master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, where he has received a $30,000 Founder’s Scholarship to fund his studies there.

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