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

Critical Language Project
4 weeks 17 hours ago
Passant Aly (2017-2018) will organize an Arabic Club in which participants will get the chance to learn communicative Arabic and experience Arabic culture. The club will meet at Anne Chesnutt Middle School once every week, for eight weeks. Each week there will be a different theme. For example, the first week will focus on language and traditions and the second week students will explore food and festivals. For each theme participants will learn through doing: they will cook, perform dances, learn Arabic letters, and much more. Arabic Club members will also go on field trips and virtual tours of Egypt as well. They will keep a passport in which they jot down all they learned. At the end of the eight weeks, club members will host an Arabic Night event, in which members from the community and other schools will be invited. The Arabic Club will perform the dances they learned and give presentations about the cultural aspects they have experienced. Authentic Arabic food will be served to guests. The night will help promote and show the impact of the Arabic program at Anne Chesnutt.
Critical Language Project
1 month 1 week ago
Adel Ghattas (2017-18) received a CLP grant to conduct a project that will expose his Arabic students to a culturally rich work of art whose main theme is the character of the individual Egyptian, the musical: The Band’s Visit. This Broadway musical is based on a movie that tells the story of an Egyptian Police Marching Band that becomes lost in Sinai and ends up in a remote town in Israel. They are hosted by an Israeli lady who owns a restaurant and spend a night with Israeli citizens. It is about the tension that arises from the political conflict versus the human connections that form when individuals meet at a human level. It is about unfulfilled dreams of characters on both sides, and what they have in common although they are supposed to be enemies. It is about tolerance and acceptance. Students will watch the movie and discuss its characters and the theme. They will also work with Mr. Ghattas and their global history teacher to research background information about the history of the Egyptian-Israeli conflict and will learn the Arabic conversations that take place in the movie, learning parts of the script by heart to perform it later at their school's International Day celebration. Students will also attend a live performance of the musical on Broadway and eat at an Egyptian restaurant in New York City.
Critical Language Project
1 month 2 weeks ago
Ji Guanping received a CLP grant for her project titled, "Chinese Art and Food Appreciation". The project aims to enhance students’ cross-cultural understanding and arouse their interest in learning Chinese language and culture. The activities in the project include Chinese New Year traditions poster making, Chinese calligraphy for decoration, appreciating artworks of China and other Asian countries and trying Chinese food by ordering in the target language in an authentic Chinese restaurant. A culminating event will be 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 the students, but also their family members and friends will learn about Chinese culture and traditions.
Critical Language Project
1 month 2 weeks ago
Zhu Xiaohong received a CLP grant for her project titled “Chinese Cultural Immersion Trip: Art Work, Food and Festivals”. The grant will allow Zhu Xiaohong to collaborate with Philadelphia World Affairs Council to take 55 students to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then to Philadelphia’s Chinatown to experience authentic Chinese food and Lunar New Year festival activities. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, students will go on a guided tour focused specifically on Chinese artwork. Prior to the trip, students will learn vocabulary and phrases that relate to art, food and festival culture in order to make the connection between Chinese language and culture. Students will be encouraged and graded on their usage of such vocabulary and phrases during their trip (for example, they will have to describe the art that they see in Chinese terms and will have to order food together in Chinese). This project is meant to enhance students’ understanding of Mandarin through cultural connections and encourage a deeper connection with the language itself through culture. Finally, the main goal of this project is to increase students’ investment in taking Mandarin classes in order to empower them in the future and to help them be more successful in today’s continuously globalizing world.
Critical Language Project
9 months 1 week ago
TCLP alumnae Tan Lihua received a Critical Language Project grant to host a Chinese Culture Day at the Applied Technology Center where she currently teaches students from Rock Hill Schools in South Carolina. The event will allow current Mandarin students to showcase their knowledge, and inspire other students in the district to study Mandarin. The focus of the program will be the Mid-autumn Festival, Chinese food, Chinese traditional arts, including calligraphy and traditional painting, and Chinese ethnic dress. Using the cultural resources, students will learn about vocabulary, techniques, Chinese history and the diversity ethnic groups culture. She will also invite a calligrapher from the Overseas Chinese Culture, Athletic and Arts Federation (OCCAAF) to demonstrate and teach Chinese calligraphy and traditional painting.
Critical Language Project
1 year 2 weeks 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.
Critical Language Project
1 year 3 weeks ago
Madison East High School and Plymouth High School co-hosted TCLP teacher, Mahmoud Hegazy, for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year. Both high schools previously hosted TCLP teachers for Arabic and continued their programs through facilitated language class where students study an Arabic curriculum independently, participate in weekly skype sessions from university tutors, and communicate with local Arabic speakers. In order to generate further enthusiasm for both programs the school developed a unique schedule for Mr. Hegazy that gave each class individual time with him. Mr. Hegazy stayed primarily in Madison and traveled to Plymouth for one week each month. This CLP made it possible for Mahmoud to travel and teach at Plymouth.
Critical Language Project
1 year 3 weeks ago
Mr. El-Dwiny, along with the faculty and staff at John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School, will host an international festival with an emphasis on the Arabic world. Mr. El-Dwiny plans for the festival to provide cross-cultural outreach to students, parents, the community, principals from other schools and local media. He and his students will organize exhibitions on Arabic culture and history, a fashion show of Arabic clothes, music, and videos showing Arabic and Middle East culture. There will also be talks on the importance of studying Arabic from the principals of the school, his mentor teacher, himself and his Arabic students. The festival will include Arabic food, writings in Arabic for the audience, and other activities. The Arabic students will perform a play in Arabic as well as sing songs in Arabic. They will teach other students Arabic vocabulary during the day.   Mr. El-Dwiny’s Arabic students will also take part in an innovative effort to engage students a Lavelle with Arabic culture through popular Arabic music. Prior to the festival event, the Arabic students will study the music of the Middle East with the world renowned New York Arabic Orchestra. Over the span of six weeks, music teachers will work with the students, strengthening their Arab language skills through lessons on musical instruments and the history of Arab music. Then on the day of the festival, the students will have a recital before their family, friends, and peers. The Arabic International Festival will support the school's goal of bringing awareness about the importance of studying Arabic to the community at large. This project also intends to encourage understanding among diverse cultures and to motivate students to study Arabic as well as to increase the number of the students who want to study Arabic.
Critical Language Project
1 year 3 weeks ago
Mr. Ali developed an American Cultural Club at Gharbiya STEM School in Tanta, Egypt. This project included various activities, experiential learning and direct interaction that motivated and inspire students in their English learning. The CLP funding was used to bring the American English and culture to Egyptian students. The club was one of a kind in Tanta, Egypt. The American Cultural Club strives to reinforce tolerance for all people within the community and school. The American Culture Club provided students with engaging workshops, learning materials, resources, and field trips for members. Initially the club was planned for 50 students, but 100 students requested to become members of the American culture club. In addition to the students 35 teachers and 45 parents and community members also participated in the club's various activities and got exposed to American culture by acting American scenes, cooking American food, drawing American culture related posters, making presentations about important topics in the US, listening to American music, practicing American dancing and participating in field-trips. As part of the club’s activities Mr. Ali arranged a visit to the American University in Cairo to meet and discuss U.S. culture with American professors and other Americans.These activities motivated students, teachers, and community members to participate and support the American culture club activities.
Critical Language Project
1 year 1 month ago
TCLP mentor teacher Deborah Page and exchange teacher Gu Wenming will organize a celebration of the Spring Festival at Captain Nathan Hale Middle School. The event will involve students in Mr. Gu’s Mandarin classes, students who participate in the Chinese Enrichment Club, and other students in related arts classes and culinary clases. Students from the nearby High School and pre-school will all be invited to attend. The event will focus on Chinese culture and language and students will take part in Chinese songs, dances, and performances. There will also be stations for participants to try calligraphy, Tai Chi, dumpling making, tea ceremonies, and Chinese vocabulary activities. Prior to the festival Mandarin students will embark on a field trip to New York City where they will experience Chinese culture first hand. They will go to the Metropolitan Musem of Art to view the largest collection of Chinese art outside of China and tour Chinatown and enjoy an authentic Chinese meal. They will take what they learned and apply it to the development of activities at the Spring Festival.

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