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TCLP Teachers in U.S. and Egypt Connect their Students Online

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Students at John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School and in Alexandria, Egypt discuss their perceptions of America and Arab countries and field trips funded by their teacher’s Critical Language Project grant  

In December, TCLP teacher Mohamed El-Dwiny’s Arabic II students at John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School in Staten Island, New York got the opportunity to connect with their previous TCLP Arabic teacher, Amany Kasab (2015-16), and her English classroom in Egypt over Google Hangout.

In March of 2016, Ms. Kasab received a Critical Language Project (CLP) to take her students in the U.S. and her students in Egypt on complementary field trips to museums in New York City and in Alexandria, Egypt. As the culminating project activity, her students in the U.S. (now taught by Mr. El-Dwiny) and in Egypt connected online to talk in both Arabic and English about learning each other’s languages and their field trips.

Ms. Kasab's Egyptian students asked Mr. El-Dwiny's American students what they think of the Arab world and the American students asked them how they see America. In addition to discussing their field trips, Ms. Kasab’s students were interested in the portrayal of the Arab world in the social studies class in the U.S. The students and their teachers had in-depth conversations about culture and language, and learned from one another.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the meeting and the American students were so happy to see and talk to Ms. Kasab again. Many other teachers at Lavelle stopped by to say "hello" to Ms. Kasab during the session as well. Mr. El-Dwiny's students continued to use video exchanges as a way of building cultural bridges, as well as developing their Arabic language skills. Both Ms. Kasab and Mr. El-Dwiny's students gained from the cross-cultural experience.