TCLP Welcomed Largest Cohort To-Date for Orientation in Washington, DC

Monday, October 1, 2018

The 12th cohort of Teachers of Critical Language Program exchange teachers was the largest yet with 29 teachers from China, Egypt, and Morocco! After months of preparation in their home countries, they arrived in Washington, DC on July 31 to begin their 10-day orientation workshop.

This is the largest TCLP cohort to-date with 29 teachers. This year there are 18 Chinese teachers and 11 Arabic teachers, including 9 from Egypt and 2 from Morocco. The teachers are hosted at schools from 21 states plus the District of Columbia. 18 of the schools have been with the program for two more years and 9 of the schools are new to TCLP. Also new this year to TCLP is the state of Hawaii! Wu Ning, from Nanjing, China and senior teacher at Nanjing Wenshu High School since 1989 is placed at Ewa Makai Middle School in Ewa Makai, Hawaii.

The orientation included workshops to prepare the teachers to effectively teach and motivate students in the U.S. including sessions on:
• lesson planning,
• instructional methods,
• assessment, and
• American English.

Participants also worked with experienced language teachers who functioned as pedagogical experts who modeled lessons and worked with student volunteers to help prepare the exchange teachers to work with American students. Finally, the teachers also had time to enjoy a tour of Washington, DC and cultural activities such as bowling, a museum excursion, and theater evening.

The host school representatives from across the country joined their exchange teachers from August 8-10 for their orientation. This portion of the orientation kicked off with a joyful meet and greet between host school representatives and their exchange teachers and a welcome dinner. The following days included a sight-seeing excursion and sessions on:

• cross-cultural communication,
• community outreach, and
• host school requirements.

The workshop for all exchange teachers and host school representatives concluded with a new initiative this year, a simulation at the newly opened U.S. Diplomacy Center at the U.S. Department of State before closing remarks from Director of the Office of Global Educational Programs, Anthony Koliha. Mr. Koliha described the incredible impact of the TCLP teachers on their students and communities and welcomed Hawaii as a new state to the program. The 2017-18 cohort of 26 teachers (16 Chinese and 10 Arabic) established 7 sister-school relationships, collectively taught over 3,962 students, completed 2,500 hours of outreach to over 22,280 students, teachers, parents, and community members across the U.S. They met with members of congress and mayors, visited embassies, welcomed media outlets to their schools for interviews, and overall served as excellent ambassadors of their cultures, languages, and countries. We look forward to hearing how the 2018-19 cohort is bringing the world to their schools and communities!