Ramsey Cardwell, a doctoral student in Educational Research Methodology at UNC Greensboro, was recently awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Chinese this summer in Dalian, China.
The CLS program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program designed by the U.S. government to increase the number of Americans studying critical foreign languages. The eight-week program will allow Cardwell to gain critical language and cultural skills for use in his future career and scholarship. Cardwell is one of approximately 550 college and university students in the U.S to be chosen for the highly-selective program.
Originally from Greensboro, Cardwell began studying Chinese more than ten years ago as an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill. During that time, he studied abroad in both China and Taiwan to improve his Chinese. Now, going into the third year of his PhD in Educational Research, Cardwell is particularly interested in researching the assessment of second language proficiency.
“I started my master’s program in 2014 and came to UNCG for a PhD in 2016, so in the past four years I have not had much opportunity to use or study Chinese,” said Cardwell. “So I applied to CLS in order to revive and further improve my Chinese language skills, particularly more academic/written Chinese.”
More than four weeks into the program, living with a host family in Dalian, Cardwell is already seeing an improvement in his language proficiency.
“This is definitely the most intensive language learning experience I’ve ever had,” said Cardwell. “My communicative ability has already increased noticeably, so I’m very excited to see how much more I can improve by the end of the program.”