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

Critical Language Project
4 years 9 months ago
  Mentor teacher Debbie Simpson and exchange teacher Xu Menghong were awarded a CLP grant to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival in Laurens, South Carolina. The open house event, which was offered to all students, parents, and community members, gave attendees a broader understanding of China and cross-cut many subjects. Chinese students prepared booths about Chinese cooking, the Chinese Zodiac, Spring Festival history, paper cutting, lantern making, and customs and superstitions. The students also performed a traditional dragon dance in a costume that they built themselves. Xu Menghong coordinated the student groups to and helped them to complete their assignments and research to prepare for the evening event.   Through this project, the Laurens community received a brief but thorough introduction to the Chinese culture at one of its greatly celebrated moments. Attendance at the event neared 500 people. In addition, the project allowed groups within the Chinese classes to become experts at different aspects of Chinese culture and language. As a result of this CLP, students were increasingly motivated to enroll in Chinese the following year.  
Conference
4 years 9 months ago
The 2nd Annual TCLP Virtual Alumni Training Conference 2015 took place on February 4 and 5, 2015. TCLP alumni from China, Egypt and the United States me for a a two-day virtual conference about building international sister school relationships. To watch recordings for either days please click the links above. Attached you will find slides from each day, as well more information about each presenter.   On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 the topic was Collaborating with U.S. Schools on Sister-School Projects TCLP staff discussed how to design and conduct small scale, easy-to-implement projects that will spearhead the establishment of sister-school relationships. Guest alumni speakers shared how they kept in touch with their U.S. host schools through in-person and virtual exchange projects.   On Thursday, February 5, 2015 the topic was Organizing International Student Exchanges TCLP Alumnus Emil Marcos, and Alumni co-presenters Li Qiong and Bill Dolezal discussed how to establish international student exchanges. The presenters provided tips on financing student exchanges and elaborated on the projects that their students conducted while visiting the host schools in Egypt, China and the United States.   Featured Presenters: Mr. Dolezal is the principal of Sonoran Trails Middle School in Cave Creek, Arizona, the first public school in Arizona to offer World Language as core classes for all students. Mr. Dolezal served as the administrator for two TCLP Chinese teachers in 2011 and 2012, and has worked with Ms. Qiong to facilitate student exchanges between Sonoran Trails Middle Schools and No. 6 Middle School of Yichang.   Mr. Marcos is from Cairo, Egypt. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, as well as an International Diploma for Teachers from Cambridge University. Since 1990 Mr. Morcos has taught at the Al-Salam Private Language School where he is also the founder and manger of an international department. He participated in TCLP in 2008 and was hosted by the Center for Global Studies in Norwalk, CT.   Ms. Qiong is from Yichang, China, where she graduated from Three Gorges University with a major in English Teaching and later studied English Literature at Wuhan University. Ms. Qiong has been teaching at No. 6 Middle School of Yichang for over 10 years. After participating in TCLP in 2011, Ms. Qiong has remained active in pursuing opportunities for exchange and cross cultural collaboration for her students.
Critical Language Project
4 years 10 months ago
  TCLP Chinese exchange teacher Liu Jia was awarded a CLP grant to celebrate Chinese language and culture at “Chinese New Year at The Domes”, which is an annual festival held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through the support of the CLP award, Liu Jia and her students from Milwaukee School of Languages rented a booth at the festival and developed a scavenger hunt.   Students worked in groups to research information about three of the most famous cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an. The student participants then created informational posters to display at the festival and designed tasks related to the different cities for attendees to complete. Attendees earned “stamps” on their festival passports through completing tasks that corresponded with different Chinese cities. For the Beijing section, attendees learned about Beijing Opera. Students prepared posters before the festival and taught attendees about the Opera and the different Opera masks. For the stamp corresponding with Shanghai, participants learned basic greetings and phrases in Chinese, which were taught by student volunteers. On the last stop of the activity, attendees earned a stamp from Xi’an after they learned about Chinese calligraphy, and had the chance to write their name in Chinese. Attendees who finished all three stops of the scavenger hunt had the opportunity to make their own Chinese-style paper cutting. During the event, students used Chinese language to communicate with people and enhance their understanding of Chinese culture. As a result of the event, those in attendance gained a better understanding of Chinese culture and more students were motivated to learn Chinese.   The purpose of the project was educate the surrounding community on some of the most interesting and fun aspects of Chinese culture, such as Peking opera and Chinese history. The event attracted about 3,800 visitors and was covered in by several media outlets.  

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