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“August is American English Month” Alumni Highlights

Monday, August 28, 2017

Jai Lili (2015) teaching a demo lesson for her colleagues at the Education and Research Institute in Shanxi Province  

In honor of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State August social media theme, American English, TCLP asked program alumni to share how they’ve incorporated their exchange experiences into their teaching at home. Among the many stories TCLP received, the work of two program alumni is truly outstanding.

Yin Qian (2015)
TCLP alumna Yin Qian, who taught in 2015-2016 at Andrew Lewis Middle School in Virginia, continues to develop her professional knowledge by participating in monthly seminars and RELO round tables at the US embassy in Beijing. She enjoyed the workshops, noting that the workshop on “Active Learning through Literature Circles” was especially interesting to her. Additionally, Qian taught a language class to American NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) students at Chaoyang No. 80 Middle School. For her lesson she used student centered activities including ‘that’s me’ and ‘Think pair share.’

Xia Zhi (2015)
Xia Zhi has been really excited to launch activities using American English in his classroom and finds his students are quite interested in it. Since his exchange at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Florida, Xia Zhi incorporates at least 5 minutes a day into his classes for his students to read or hear American English news. Most of the news items are from the Washington Post and CNN Student News. He made a series of power point to show in the class and all the news item were in authentic American English. In the upcoming school year, his plan is to set up an activity for his students to watch and imitate a short of an American movie. They will try to match the English most closely to that used by the actors in the movie and students will choose the best expressions they watch to practice.

Jia Lili (2015)
In April 2017 TCLP alumna Jai Lili, who taught in 2015-2016 at Walnut Elementary School in California, was invited by the Education and Research Institute in Shanxi Province to give a demo lesson on teaching grammar for 120 fellow teachers. To construct her lesson, she employed the backward design strategy that she learned through TCLP. By focusing on students’ life experiences, participants learned the grammar rules and were also able to express themselves using the target grammar principle. The leader organizing the demo lesson said “it was an eye-opening lesson and teachers benefited a lot from it.”

Gu Zhen (2015)
This year, TCLP Aluma Gu Zhen initiated and was approved for a provincial project on cultivation of cultural awareness for English learning in schools. She and her students will begin in September and 11 teachers and 22 classes will participate in the project. Gu Zhen will organize meetings, give presentations, and lead discussions on the cultural material they collect and how to incorporate that information in teacher lessons, so that students can know more about and have better understanding of US cultural and traditions. This project will last about 2 years and Gu Zhen will incorporate her exchange experience at her host school Wright Elementary in Florida.

Mohamed Eldwin (2011)
Mohamed Eldwiny was asked by the Senior English Supervision in his District to develop a plan for training elementary English teachers. He created a plan that incorporated topics he learned about during his TCLP experience such as building good relationship with your students and creating classroom rules, facilitating student target language usage, Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling, and more. He was then invited by the English Supervision to do a session on how to use TPRS techniques in teaching English. The method was new to the teachers and for the supervisors themselves. In total 43 English teachers from 43 different schools in the district in addition to 5 English supervisors benefited from the sessions. Mohamed hopes to continue to share the teaching techniques he learned in the U.S. through his TCLP experiences in New York and Arizona.

Tamer Elsharkawy (2015)
TCLP Alum Tamer Elsharkawy, who taught at HD Cooke Elementary in Washington, DC, led a training entitled "Developing the Functional Language for Educational Leaders." The session was about using American English in every day life and Tamer worked with Egyptian educators who are leaders in their communities. Below you can watch a video where participants are using American English in formal situations.