The University of Guyana will revamp its Languages Programme. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday, between the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China and the University.
The MOU will provide a $4.6Million grant to fund the acquisition of furniture, computers, headsets and other items for the creation of a new language lab. The facility is expected to be functional in September 2018, for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement, Dr. Barbara Reynolds envisions every graduate of UG being able to speak a second language within a few years, “as a result of our developing business climate in Guyana.”
“It’s obvious that if as Guyanese and we’re the only English-speaking country in the South American continent, a lot of our business is conducted in languages other than English”, she said.
Reynolds further added, “We want to interact with our neighbours. We want to welcome tourists and investors to Guyana, and for us to be able to do so effectively we need to be able to have a high level of proficiency in another language, to be able to represent Guyana well, to be able to negotiate effectively and to be able to engage with others.”
Reynolds believes immersion and practical experience in the various foreign languages is of extreme importance, “For us, immersion in the language is critical, and next to immersion is having a fully functional language lab.”
She explained, “It’s a lab to satisfy a particular need and so obviously we want to ensure our students have the opportunity for immersion.” The University Guyana is engaged in pursuing the establishment of an academic programme in Mandarin.