TCLP Alumni meet U.S. Department of State Director of Global Educational Programs in Beijing
Anthony Koliha, Director of Global Educational Programs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State visited TCLP alumni in Beijing on Sunday, July 19th. TCLP alumni Gao Jinghua, Yu Bo, Sun Ling, Yang Jing and American Councils Program Officer, Wang Hui had the opportunity to eat lunch and share experiences with Mr. Koliha. TCLP alumni talked about how U.S. students enjoyed learning Chinese and how they applied what they learned in the U.S. to their English classes after they returned to China.
During the event, Mr. Koliha and the teachers discussed what is was like participate in the TCLP program. The teachers shared what they learned from their Pre-Departure Orientation, Welcome Orientation in Washington, DC, the TCLP fall workshop, their U.S. teacher mentors, and outreach activities. The alumni explained how after teaching U.S. students they became more open and focused more on student-centered teaching methodology when they returned to their Chinese classrooms. The alumni also shared updates and developments since being on program. Yu Bo, 2011-2012 alumnus, opened an alternative class to his students named “Traveling around the United States”. Gao Jinghua, 2011-2012 alumnae, is collaborating with a prominent education organization to develop text books and learning materials; she even sings songs and recites chants for the audio components. Sun Ling, 2012-2013 alumnae, has been selected as “The Leading Teacher” in her school district and conducts teachers training in Beijing and other cities. Yang Jing, 2014-2015 alumnae, completed her TCLP experience this summer and talked about her experiences at Walnut Elementary School. The alumni told Mr. Koliha that starting from recruiting through their host school experiences, the program was well organized and efficient.
The alumni emphasized that U.S students appreciated learning from a native Chinese speaker and were very interested in learning about authentic Chinese life. Conversely, the alumni have found the Chinese students are also most interested in learning about real American life and culture from the exchange teachers’ experiences with TCLP. Alumni stressed that TCLP not only benefited their careers, but also in their lives in general. They explained how U.S. students, U.S. host schools, Chinese home schools and Chinese students benefit from an exchange teachers participation in TCLP. The alumni expressed their gratitude to Department of State and American Councils for TCLP and hope more Chinese teachers will continue to receive the opportunity to participate in the program. Mr. Koliha acknowledged the great contributions and positive impacts TCLP, and other exchange programs, make and assured the alumni that he, and his staff, work to make U.S. policy makers aware of these achievements.