Two University of Oklahoma students are recipients of Critical Language Scholarships, awarded through the U.S. Department of State, to study one of 13 critical-need foreign languages. Recipients John Black of Ardmore, Okla., a College of Engineering sophomore majoring in computer science, will study Arabic in the Sultanate of Oman in southwest Asia; and Thomas Parker Simpkins of Norman, College of International Studies senior majoring in Middle Eastern studies, will study Persian in the Republic of Tajikistan in central Asia.
Recipients spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in one of 13 countries to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish or Urdu.
The Critical Language Scholarship program is a part of a U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. It provides fully funded, group-based summer intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.