Critical Language Projects Share Language and Culture, Build Sister School Relationships, and Provide Professional Development

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Over the past few months, TCLP teachers and alumni have focused their efforts on projects that they have implemented with the support of Critical Language Project (CLP) Grants. The past two rounds of CLP awards (Rounds 16 and 17) have supported projects that include the building of sister school relationships, professional development workshops, and festivals and events to share language and culture.

There are so many ways to share language and culture. TCLP teachers and alumni have used their creativity to plan multiple cultural events with a wide impact in their schools and communities. This year, the 2018-19 cohort teachers who organized cultural events in their schools and communities include Arabic teachers Mohammed Etify (Anne Chesnutt Middle School, NC) and Abdelrahman Dawoud (Baltimore International Academy, MD) as well as Chinese teachers Zhao Xin (Plantation Middle School, FL), Zou Feili (Bodine High School, PA), and Chen Ken (Moos Elementary School, IL).

Three mentor teachers including Ivy Yiu (North Warren Regional High School, NJ), John Pecoraro (Chariho High School, RI), and Roxana Rivero-Taube (Plantation Middle School, FL) are also working on similar projects. These events include cultural activities such as tasting Chinese and Middle Eastern foods, tea ceremonies, dancing, painting, calligraphy, and other traditional arts. Each project incorporates a strong element of language to build interest among new learners in the school and community.

Another type of project that has received great interest this year is related to building sister school relationships. Three 2018-19 cohort members have developed the beginning of a sister school partnership between their home school in China and a school in the United States. For example, Wang Ling (Chariho High School, RI), Kong Yanli (LaSalle Magnet Elementary, IL), and Guo Jin (Suder Montessori, IL) are working on joint classroom projects, international class trips, and dignitary visits to strengthen the sister school bonds.

Professional development projects also make wide-reaching impact. 2015-16 TCLP alumna Gu Zhen (Chinese, Wright Elementary School, FL) developed a workshop to share the effective teaching methodologies and teaching practices that she learned in the United States. The workshop is designed for English as a Foreign Language teachers who teach at her home school and sister schools in China. Gu Zhen is working collaboratively with other TCLP alumni and their intention is to create an atmosphere for the participant to experience a very interactive, participatory workshop.

Expand your reach and the impact of TCLP with your own Critical Language Project! The next deadline to apply is November 30, 2019. Check for deadlines and example projects!