Improving critical language skills of students in the U.S., Egypt and China

Critical Language Project
2 months 2 weeks ago
Ahmed Mohamed (2014-2015) received a CLP grant to take the CELTA certification course offered at the British Council in Cairo. In Egypt, Ahmed teaches English at the Assuit STEM School. Through the CELTA course, Ahmed will have the opportunity to develop as a teacher so as to be better equipped to prepare his students for higher education (many of his students apply to universities abroad) and future careers. He also plans to share the knowledge he will gain through the course with other teachers at his home school.
Critical Language Project
2 months 2 weeks ago
Ezzat Hassan (2015-2016) will be leading a field trip for students at his home school, Gesfa Secondary School for Girls, to Cairo to visit sites of cultural and historical interest. During this field trip, students will have the opportunity to practice English in a particular context. Prior to the field trip, students will have the opportunity to learn about American culture through webinars held by teachers at Ezzat's host school, Mentor High School. Following the field trip, Egyptian students will share their experiences on the trip with students in Arabic classes at Mentor.
Critical Language Project
2 months 2 weeks ago
Zhang Wenjie (2017-2018) received, with mentor teacher Ivy Yiu (2017-2018), a CLP grant to hold, at the North Warren Multi-cultural fair, an event that will introduce the folk art of Chinese fan-making to the school district and community. As part of the FANtasy project, students enrolled Mandarin I and those in the North Warren Chinese Club will perform a traditional Chinese fan dance and sing a traditional Chinese folk song. Students attending will have the opportunity to learn and share about the cultural meanings and history of Chinese paper fans by painting fans, using the techniques of calligraphy and ink-wash painting. Additionally, students will also have the opportunity to make a digital fan through a cellphone application and to make posters for the event. This event will serve to promote the development of the incipient Mandarin Chinese program in the school district through engaging cultural activities.
Critical Language Project
2 months 3 weeks ago
Abdelhady Ali (2008-2009) received a CLP grant to found an American Culture Club at Gharbiya STEM School in Tanta, Egypt. Through this club, 100 students will have the opportunity to learn about American films, food, games, dance, music, sports, and holidays, as well as other elements of American culture. Students will also have the opportunity, as part of the American Culture Club, to attend workshops and field trips. Additionally, the club will purchase quality instructional materials to promote the English language program at the school. Through this club, students will be engaged in the study of English through experiential learning and be inspired to continue their study of the language. Students will not be the only beneficiaries; faculty and staff members of the school will also have the opportunity to participate in club activities, as well as community members and teachers from other schools. The club will therefore serve to promote the cultivation of a multicultural educational environment in Tanta.
Critical Language Project
6 months 3 weeks ago
Passant Aly (2017-2018) organized an Arabic Club in which participants got the chance to learn communicative Arabic and experience Arabic culture. The club met at Anne Chesnutt Middle School once every week, for eight weeks. Each week there was a different theme. For example, the first week focused on language and traditions and the second week students explored food and festivals. For each theme participants learned through doing: they cooked, performed dances, learned Arabic letters, and much more. Arabic Club members also went on field trips and virtual tours of Egypt as well. They kept a passport in which they jot down all they learned. At the end of the eight weeks, club members hosted an Arabic Night event, in which members from the community and other schools were invited. The Arabic Club performed the dances they learned and gave presentations about the cultural aspects they experienced. Authentic Arabic food was served to guests. The night helped promote and show the impact of the Arabic program at Anne Chesnutt.
Critical Language Project
7 months 1 week ago
Adel Ghattas (2017-18) received a CLP grant to conduct a project designed to introduce his students to the history of the Middle East through a rich artistic context, engaging them with the language and culture in a fun way. Mr. Ghattas worked with the global history teacher at his school to prepare and present on the Arab-Israeli conflict. After students had learned about the historical and cultural background, they watched the movie The Band's Visit and participated in classroom activities that explored the movie's characters and themes. (The Band's Visit tells the story of an Egyptian Police Marching Band that becomes lost in Sinai and ends up in a remote town in Israel. There, they are hosted by an Israeli woman and spend the night with other Israelis. The film explores the tension that arises from the political conflict, as well as the human connections that form when individuals meet one other.) 34 students then attended a live performance of the musical on Broadway at the Barrymore Theater and ate at a Moroccan restaurant in New York City. The students who participated in the field trip then reflected on their experience and what they had learned through the project. They also prepared posters and presented about the musical to teachers, parents and colleagues at Lavelle's International Day, extending the impact of the project to include the wider community.
Critical Language Project
7 months 2 weeks ago
Ji Guanping’s (2017-2019) project aimed to enhance students’ cross-cultural understanding and increase their interest in learning about Chinese language and culture. Activities included Chinese New Year poster making, Chinese calligraphy for decoration, appreciating artwork of China and other Asian countries, and trying Chinese food by ordering in the target language in an authentic Chinese restaurant. A culminating event was held simultaneously with parent/teacher conferences for the students to share their experiences and knowledge and celebrate the Chinese New Year. Through the project, not only students, but also their family members and friends learned about Chinese culture and traditions. Overall, 28 students, 12 teachers, and 55 parents benefited from this project and expanded their cultural appreciation of China and awareness of the Mandarin program at STEP. Guanping’s principal and board members were impressed by the project and are excited for the continuing the Mandarin Chinese program in the future.
Critical Language Project
7 months 2 weeks ago
TCLP teacher Zhu Xiaohong collaborated with the Philadelphia World Affairs Council to take 45 students to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then to Philadelphia’s Chinatown to experience authentic Chinese food and Lunar New Year festival activities. Prior to the field trip, students learned new vocabulary and content relating to Chinese art, food, and festivals, highlighting the connection between Chinese language and culture.During the field trip, students participated in an hour long Chinese art lesson at the museum, led by one of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s student educators. The lesson taught students about the pieces of art in the Chinese collection at the museum, connecting the artwork to the history and culture of China. During the restaurant visit, students practiced the Chinese table manners that they learned in class and confidently spoke to the restaurant staff in Mandarin Chinese to say please, thank you, etc. Xiaohong conducted impromptu lessons at the restaurant when she saw opportunities to teach students new vocabulary, phrases, or something about Chinese culture that they were seeing or experiencing in the restaurant. These trips not only strengthened students’ skills and interest in taking Mandarin as a foreign language, but also allowed them to experience a foreign culture in a fun, stimulating way that many had never had the opportunity to before.
Critical Language Project
1 year 3 months ago
TCLP alumna Tan Lihua received a Critical Language Project grant to hold Chinese Culture Stations at three high schools in Rock Hill, South Carolina. These Chinese Culture Stations were a Mid-autumn Festival Celebration, a calligraphy demonstration, a traditional clothes show, and an International Festival. Students also had the opportunity to learn about other aspects of traditional Chinese culture, such as games, food, classic novels, and tea culture, as well as to practice Chinese language skills.These events allowed current Mandarin students to showcase their knowledge and inspired other students in the district to study Mandarin. More than 80 students participated in these events and enrollment in the Chinese program increased 40%.
Critical Language Project
1 year 6 months ago
The project will help students get introduced to Ancient Egyptian history. Students will visit the planetarium to see how astronomers in Ancient Egypt made the solar calendar and how they told time by stars. They will also explore temples and tombs of the ancient world through the hall of ancient Egypt exhibit. They will learn about mummification and the advanced scientific methods to study mummies through the mummies of the world exhibit. They will delve into cultural practices and clothing of the ancient Egyptians. During cultural comparison activities students will use Arabic vocabulary which will improve their reading and their writing skills.

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