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English as a Foreign Language

Critical Language Project
3 years 2 months ago
Chen Jinyun, a 2013 Chinese alum from Nanjing Foreign Language School Xianlin Campus, in Nanjing, China, received a CLP grant to organize TESL professional development for ESL teachers at her home school. The project included school community conferences, regional conferences and national conferences, faculty visits to other schools for English class observations, presentations at regional teaching events, teaching competitions, school-based training sessions, and international video conferences with Dracut High School (Ms. Chen’s host school). The project allowed Ms. Chen to share fresh ideas from her experience of teaching in the U.S. and inspire teachers to reflect on existing teaching methods and change them to be more interactive and engaging. Workshops directly helped teachers in devising curricula, designing lesson plans, giving differentiated instruction, making SMART objectives and assessments, and learning more student-centered teaching methods and class management strategies. Moreover, launching international video conferences with her host school in the U.S. was a new communicative experience for teachers, which provided them with more opportunities to ask questions and learn from others. Research seminars provided more teachers with opportunities to learn different assessment methods.
Critical Language Project
3 years 3 months ago
  TCLP alumna teacher Li Qiong was awarded a Critical Language Project grant to conduct a sister school exchange project with Sonoran Trails Middle School in August 2015. This project was completed in conjunction with Cristina Ladas, the school’s World Language Coordinator. Twenty students from Ms. Li’s school visited the school in order to strengthen the sister school relationship and share Chinese language and culture. This visit coincided with the opening ceremony for the host school’s Chinese Language and Culture Club, which featured cultural performances and a ping pong tournament.
Conference
3 years 3 months ago
On January 14 and January 15, 2014 TCLP alumni from China and Egypt met for a Two-Day Virtual Conference about Student-Centered Teaching. Presentations lasted for 30 minutes and included group discussions. The following alumni gave overviews of effective student-centered strategies they have employed and more.  Ez Eldin Salem (2010) presented on how he benefited from participating in TCLP and discussed the best practices of student-centered instruction he learned at his U.S. host school. The presentation emphasized the importance of student-centered instruction and frankly reveals the difficulties which teachers face in the Egyptian classes when they want to make their classes student-centered. It also gives solutions and suggestions to overcome these difficulties. The presentation is supported by short video extracts from his classes in Plymouth, USA and Behera.  Zhang Juncheng (2012) presented on his experience of student-centered teaching in his elementary school in China. First, he talked about the differences of student-centered teaching between China and the U.S. Then he showed how to organize student-centered teaching in an elementary school class. The teaching plan and the learning materials gave the audience more suggestions and ideas on classroom activities and school based curriculum planning.  Marwa Elgezery (2012) presented on how movies offer an unbeatable combination of real-world language in context and cultural information integrated with text and image. In this session, alumni learned how to choose and evaluate films to use as assessments and learning activities in the classroom. Alumni also learned how to prepare and plan the film unit including choosing a good film and establishing the baseline for the unit aligned to learning objectives.  
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
TCLP host school alumna Roslynne McCarthy from the Center for Global Studies in Connecticut was awarded a CLP for a student collaborative project called Sister-schools: Expanding the Student Dialogue. The goal of this project was to create and implement a curriculum of personal interactions among students at the Center for Global Studies and Al-Salam Private Language School in Tanta, Egypt with the expertise and input of TCLP 2008 alumnus Mr. Emil Markos. As a result of his TCLP year, his host school at CGS and his school in Egypt, the Al-Salam Private Language School, became sister-schools. Two groups of American and Egyptians students have already visited each other’s schools and communities, and the plans will continue. In addition to these once-a-year visits, this project facilitated on-going opportunities for students from both countries to connect with one another, practice their language skills, deepen their understanding of Egyptian/American culture and events, use technology in innovative ways, and forge personal relationships with international friends. The beneficiaries of this project were current students in the two schools, including the 55 students currently studying Arabic in CGS. The CLP allowed for a curriculum to be created, the educator’s to be trained in the appropriate technology to implement the curriculum which includes electronic interaction (email), video-conferencing through Skype, and other interactions through Voice Threads, podcasts or student-made movies.
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
TCLP Host School Alumna Veronique Lahey was awarded funding to create a collaborative learning environment between Mandarin students at Arlington High School in Massachusetts and Exchange Teacher Alumnus Yu Bo’s home school in China. To accomplish this goal, Lahey used an interactive whiteboard, blogs, and videoconferencing software to share student-created videos, facilitate virtual discussions, and assign chat buddies for all students. Lesson plans created through the project were shared on a blog as a model for other language teachers, in the hopes that they would consider reproducing the project at their schools.
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
At Sonoran Trails Middle School, TCLP Chinese Teacher Alumna Li Qiong received a grant to lay the foundation for a sister school connection between her host school in Arizona and her home school in Hubei, China. Sonoran Trails Principal Bill Dolezal traveled to China as a first time visitor with Li, who developed an itinerary with a travel company in China that allowed Principal Dolezal to meet with Chinese Principal Wang at her home school, No. 6 Middle School of Yichang. Li attended and facilitated the signing of sister school documents and served as Principal Dolezal’s tour guide during the trip. By obtaining personal buy-in from both principals, these two very different places were able to converge somewhere in the middle, giving students a real-life reason for studying Chinese (to be able to communicate with their sister school peers), and opening doors for future student, teacher and school leaders exchanges.
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
  TCLP alumnus Ahmed Mohamed received a CLP grant to offer a five-day professional development workshop for 40 English teachers from Etay El Baroud District in Egypt. The goal of the workshop was to help teachers incorporate American culture in their English classes and to improve their ability to do peer observations, give constructive feedback, and reflect on their teaching methods. Mr. Ahmed saw a need for students to move beyond language learning and to add depth to their studies by including American culture into their English classes to increase their intercultural communication skills. During the workshop, Mr. Ahmed and another TCLP alumnus, Ez Eldin, worked as trainers and discussed their experiences living and teaching in the U.S. for a year. Mr. Ahmed also invited other trainers who were well-informed in peer and reflective teaching to lead in-person sessions and 3 U.S. teachers to conduct virtual presentations over Skype. Funds from the grant were used to purchase materials and supplies for the workshop.   "Upon my return from my exchange program [with] TCLP I found that it is my duty to pass [on] my experience [with the] American Educational system and best practices in EFL teaching" said Mr. Ahmed. "I have a steadfast belief that this grant was given to the Egyptian people and not to me personally."  
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
  With the help of CLP grant, TCLP alumna Fu Ailing worked with volunteers to conduct summer English lessons for students in grades 4-6 at Jinye Primary School in Guizhou Province, China. Jinye is situated far away from major cities in the mountains and consequently does not have a regular English teacher. The primary objective of Fu Ailing's project was to teach these students some basic English and to lay a sound foundation for their English learning in middle school.   During the summer of 2015, Fu Ailing taught 80 students in total for 20 days. In this time, the students learned the alphabet, vocabulary related to food, the classroom, family, and numbers and practiced saying full sentences in English to greet one another and introduce themselves. In addition, students successfully learned to sing 2 songs in English. Fu Ailing used different teaching methods to make the class relaxing and interesting for students. She used TPR to help students remember nouns and verbs and designed different games for her classes. At the end of the summer training, the students reported that they enjoyed the English class very much and hope to continue learning next summer.   In addition to teaching English to the students, Fu Ailing also held a round table discussion with the local teachers and other volunteer teachers. This meeting helped Fu Ailing to better understand the teachers' difficulties and needs in teaching in this region. She also exchanged ideas with the teachers about cooperative learning.   After returning to her home school, Fu Ailing conducted a presentation for her students and colleagues. As a result, some teachers at her school have shown an interest in volunteering at Jinye Primary School with Fu Ailing the following summer. "In my own community", said Fu Ailing, "more people began to care about the education, the English learning of the kids in mountain areas".  
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
  2013 alumna exchange teacher, Tan Lihua, received a CLP grant to help implement a Joint-Classroom Project between her U.S. host school district and her home school in China. The goal of the project was to facilitate opportunities for students in the U.S. and China to develop oral and written communication skills in their target languages, learn about one another's cultures and traditions, and ultimately formalize a sister school partnership between JN Fries Magnet School and Concord High School in North Carolina and Da Zu High School in Chongqing, China.   The project took place over the course of three months, during which teachers organized pen pals/ E-pals activities for all students involved and created a Sister School Club. The Chinese and ESL joint-classrooms took on three major projects: the Folk Tales Project, One Day in the Life Project, and the My Identify, Your Identity Project. In the Folk Tales Project, students participated in live storytelling sessions in which they shared stories in traditional and digital forms, as well as pictures and videos prepared by about traditional folk tales from their countries. The One Day in the Life Project gave students an opportunity to exchange messages and images with one another, describe typical days in their lives, and make cross-cultural comparisons. The My Identity, Your Identity Project asked students to explore and research the elements that form their identities.   After the Joint-Classroom Project, those involved reported a greater understanding of U.S. and Chinese cultures. The Coordinators of the project received positive feedback from students, parents, and teachers of the three participating schools. "The Joint-classroom Project offers our students the opportunity to apply what they have learnt with the native speakers,” said Ying Yu, the Dean for the ESL Teaching and Curriculum Department at Da Zu High School. “As a result of this experience, using their target language to learn and communicate with their partners becomes a tangible idea for them, rather than a far-fetched notion – they’ve Skyped , they’ve interacted with their American/Chinese peers… they have a sense of what that experience will be like for them, and that makes them want to work twice as hard to learn more about the world.” Students’ speaking and writing ability, and teacher’s teaching ability have had great improvement.  
Critical Language Project
3 years 4 months ago
  TCLP Alumnus School, Lakes International Language Academy (LILA), received funding to help implement a CLP titled “Welcome, Friends!” in cooperation with Deyang Forest Language School in China. This project provided an exciting English-immersion learning experience for 22 visiting students from China and forged new international friendships. During a two-week summer camp on the school's campus, Chinese and American students strengthened skills in their respective target languages by speaking to one another in casual settings, traveling, and participating in fun activities.   LILA teachers gained experience in teaching English as a second language, which is a different but positive perspective than teaching immersion Spanish or Chinese to native English speakers. In addition, the host families in the community shared the language-learning experience, building interest in long-term hosting and cultural exchanges.The opportunity to meet and interact with Chinese guests helped expose the community to a different culture, celebrating diversity while appreciating their similarities. The positive and lasting impact of this project was visible in the progress that Chinese students made in building their English skills and the fast friendships that the Chinese and American students (and their families!) made during the camp. As a result of the project, LILA has strengthened the relationship with the school's sister school and helped introduce students and families in the community to a broader cultural experience.  

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