Improving critical language skills of students in the U.S., Egypt and China

Critical Language Project
4 years 4 months ago
Tan Jin, former TCLP Exchange Teacher, was awarded a CLP grant to support her efforts organizing and conducting the annual Chinese New Year Event at Naselle Grays River Valley School. This year, the event was combined with celebrations for the Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair. The whole community and outlying areas were invited to this event. Guests enjoyed authentic Chinese food, traditional games, sports, art projects, and the lion dance. Additionally, Tan Jin continued to build awareness of Chinese culture and Mandarin language through her after-school club. Students participating in the club explore in greater depth Chinese culture, art, and language. Parents were also be able to sign up for cooking classes once a month.
Critical Language Project
4 years 4 months ago
Ni Fenfen, former TCLP Exchange teacher, received a CLP Grant for a project for students to do an in-depth exploration of Chinese culture and art. The project involved two field trips to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. The first field trip included a visit to the Phoenix Art Museum to see Chinese art treasures, and students also participated in a Chinese Culture & Cuisine festival. Through this field trip, students were given the opportunity to cultivate appreciation for Chinese art, had access to stunning Chinese cultural activities in the festival, and enjoyed authentic Chinese food. The second field trip included a visit to the University of Arizona to take part in their Chinese Health Day, which included activities like exhibitions, games, musical performance, Chinese lion dance, dance performance, fashion show, Chinese martial arts, lecture, and a Chinese proficiency competition. Students were given a deeper understanding of Chinese medicine and health philosophy. In addition to the field trips, the project supported developing teaching and learning materials for the Mandarin classes and the Chinese Club: "Joy Luck Club", in the hope of enhancing club members’ awareness of Chinese culture. The Joy Luck Club organized a New Year celebration in Mingus Union High School cafeteria to enhance the local community members’ awareness of Chinese culture. Teachers, office staff, students, parents, sister school students, and parents and other community members were invited to take part in this celebration. Through the club activity they hoped to get more students learning Mandarin next year and also let more community members know about Chinese culture.
Critical Language Project
4 years 4 months ago
As part of a cross-cultural Critical Language Project, TCLP Teacher Tamer Elsharkawy and his students explored Alexandria, Virginia. His students shared what they learned about Alexandria, Virginia with students in Egypt and in turn, students in Egypt shared what they learned from a field trip to Alexandria, Egypt. Both groups of students practiced their target languages of Arabic and English through the project.
Critical Language Project
4 years 7 months ago
Sophia Griffies was awarded a grant on behalf of Audubon Charter School in New Orleans, which began their new Mandarin program by hosting TCLP Chinese exchange teachers during the 2013 and 2014 school years. Through the CLP funds the school hosted a Chinese New Year celebration in 2015 for families and community members. The event showcased Chinese language and culture and included Chinese decorations, a student parade and Chinese dance performance, and tents featuring Chinese food tastings, art, and music. The goals of the project were to 1) increase awareness of, and appreciation for, Chinese language and culture; 2) increase knowledge of Chinese customs, art, music, dance, and food; and 3) build excitement for Chinese language and culture educational programs. Long-term goals were to: 1) increase the likelihood that graduating students will continue their Chinese education upon entering high school if the option is available and 2) build long-term support for Audubon’s Chinese program. The program was an overall success! The school proudly hosted a two-day event with multiple activities serving 800 students, approximately 100 staff and faculty, and approximately 60 parents. Students and parents responded positively to the event. A wide array of Chinese activities were offered, ran smoothly and were well organized.
Critical Language Project
4 years 7 months ago
  TCLP exchange teacher Tan Lihua received a CLP grant to establish the Chinese Language Club, an intensive Chinese language program that provides extra learning activities to students who are interested in learning more about Chinese language and culture, and the Chinese Club Newsletter an online Newsletter that provides a report and summary to Chinese Language Club members who participated in different club activities. Students participated in the following activities: a Chinese culture and arts show, a shadow puppet play, making Chinese knots, a traditional Chinese fashion show, making Chinese tea, reading Chinese Books, Chinese calligraphy, playing Chinese cards game, learning Chinese songs, video-conferencing with Chinese students in China to learn more from each other, a lecture from a Chinese calligrapher from the Overseas Chinese Culture Athletic and Arts Federation (OCCAAF), and Chinese Cultural field trips to the international market, Buddhism temple, and a authentic Chinese restaurant.   After the engaging Chinese club activities, students greatly improved their Chinese language skills, which included their Chinese writing and speaking. The Chinese language club largely increased students’ cultural awareness about Chinese culture and arts through diverse Chinese cultural activities and lessons to immerse students into Chinese Culture and language.
Critical Language Project
4 years 7 months ago
  TCLP Arabic Teacher, Hanan Gawdet, received a Critical Language Project Grant to give Southern Lehigh Arabic students from 7th -12th grade an opportunity to focus on “Ancient and Modern Egyptian Arts.”   First, the students (in 7th to 12th grades) studied and presented to the class in Arabic on Islamic Art, Ancient Egypt, and different cultures in the Arab world. This prepared the students for the class field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, funded by the CLP, where they did further research on related subjects. At the museum, the students were provided with a check list of scavenger hunt questions to answer for their class. Simultaneously, Ms. Gawdat’s class in Egypt took a virtual museum tour in Egypt via Skype, which allowed the them to learn about topics similar to her U.S. students. The Egyptian and American students shared what they had learned with each other using Skype.   After the field trip, the students shared information via a Power Point presentation with Arabic subtitles, photos, and video of their experience at a school assembly. In art classes, the American students also created Egyptian Sculptures and made a giant tapestry using Arabic and Islamic Art pictures that was hung at the entrance to the school.
Critical Language Project
4 years 8 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
4 years 8 months ago
The 3rd annual TCLP Virtual Alumni Conference took place on December 10th and 11th, 2015. The topic for this year’s virtual conference was Building Sustainable Critical Language Programs.   The conference was organized with the purpose of offering strategies for making Arabic and Chinese programs sustainable after participating in TCLP. Some school district are undergoing budget cuts and participants discussed how to keep these critical languages going. Current and alumni TCLP schools met virtually during these recorded one hour-long sessions conducted by program alumni on each day.   Over the past few years, TCLP alumni schools have developed various models to successfully maintain their Chinese and Arabic language programs and provide consistent and enduring educational and social value for students after TCLP. During the 2015 Virtual Alumni Conference, U.S. host school alumni who have implemented creative ideas and practices to sustain quality critical language programs shared their experiences, offered advice, and answered questions.   Please see the attached announcement for more details about the guest speakers and their schools. To view the recordings please click the links below:   • Thursday, December 10th at 4:00 pm (EST) Featuring: Claudine Clark and Karen Wirkkala View the recording at: https://bit.ly/2tqBqxA   • Friday, December 11th at 4:00 pm (EST) Featuring: Leah Christman and Jim Holifield View the recording at: https://bit.ly/2Grnsny
Conference
4 years 8 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
4 years 8 months ago
TCLP Arabic teacher Abir Hassan at Siletz Valley Early College Academy in Siletz Valley, OR organized a Culture Night performance and Fashion Show. Both activities provided an opportunity for her Arabic students to interact with one another and perform for the school and great community, furthering awareness of Arabic culture and language. Ms. Hassan’s Arabic skit was included during the Siletz Culture Night to over 350 community members, and a DVD was created to be used as a learning resource for future Arabic students. Fifteen students performed during the Fashion Show, describing the traditional clothes they wore and teaching the audience of basic Arabic phrases. A recording of this show was used by Ms. Hassan during six other outreach presentations at local middle and high schools with the goal of increasing awareness about Arabic culture.

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