A two-week summer camp for rising third and fourth graders in Frederick County, Md., has students learning a few basics of several foreign languages and expanding their cultural appreciation of the world at the same time, the Frederick News-Post reports.
Every day for the last two weeks of June, about 100 elementary school children showed up and learned common expressions that are part of their daily lives—numbers, colors, animals, for example—in various languages used by people around the world and in the US.
Languages included Spanish, French, German, American Sign Language, and even Latin, which isn’t actually spoken anywhere, with the possible exception of the Vatican.
The program is the brainchild of DeWayne Cash, the school system’s curriculum specialist in world languages.
“It helps them understand and appreciate the languages even better, and diversity,” the paper quoted him as saying. “Hopefully they’ll have a better understanding of the world.”
One rising third grader said his favorite part about learning American Sign Language was that one of his friends knew how to sign and now he could sign with his friend.