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Vol. LVIII, No. 23
November 17, 2006

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FAES Foreign Language Program Marks 47th Year

How can you learn survival Japanese for a trip to Tokyo or revive your knowledge of French before beginning a 3-month rotation in tropical medicine at the Albert Schweitzer Clinic in Lamboréné, Gabon? One way is to enroll in a language class sponsored by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences.

FAES has provided a rigorous continuing education program not only in medicine and the sciences, but also in foreign languages since 1959. According to Dr. Alan Schechter, chief of NIDDK’s Molecular Medicine Branch and acting director of the Office of NIH History, in the 1960s the school offered German and Russian for scientists who wanted to keep up in their fields and read some of the older scientific literature. In subsequent years Chinese and Japanese were added to the curriculum when scientists involved in international collaborations wanted to acquire a fluency in these languages. Classes in English as a second language began to figure prominently in the catalogue as the numbers of foreign NIH postdoctoral fellows grew.

“The language curriculum continues to evolve,” said Dr. Constance Tom Noguchi, FAES dean. “The school currently offers 40 courses that teach basic to advanced communication and reading skills in 7 languages—Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and English as a second language. We have been fortunate to recruit language instructors from within our ranks and from the local universities. They have enriched our courses and created special classes in response to the needs of our scientists. Earlier this year an introductory French class was scheduled for postdoctoral fellows who are collaborating with scientists in Mali. When foreign postdoctoral fellows wanted training in presentation preparation and delivery, FAES added an English class in public speaking.”

FAES classes meet once a week in the spring for 16 weeks and 14 weeks in the fall. The spring session will begin on Jan. 22, 2007, and end on May 11. Advance mail registration is possible beginning in mid-November through Dec. 29. In-person registration will be held in Bldg. 60, Suite 230, Jan. 3-9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. on Jan. 8. FAES will charge a late registration fee of $10 from Jan. 10-Feb. 16. To obtain a catalogue and spring schedule, visit FAES offices located in Bldg. 10, Rm. 1L101; Bldg. 10, Rm. B1C18 or Bldg. 60, Suite 230; or go to the FAES web site at For more information, contact the FAES Graduate School at (301) 496-7976 or book store (301) 496-5272.—

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