Introducing the 2019-2020 TCLP Alumni Cohort Leaders

Thursday, September 3, 2020

TCLP alumni have made an impact in their home countries through collaborative projects and trainings that benefit their fellow educators and students. Working together, alumni have been able to deliver workshops or cultural exchange opportunities for their local communities. In helping to facilitate collaborations and communication between fellow alumni, cohort leaders play a special role in sharing program opportunities and information. Alumni cohort leaders also reach out to their peers for updates on their professional careers or initiatives they are pursuing. TCLP is pleased to announce the new alumni cohort leaders for the 2019-2020 group: Li Ning and Wessam Abdelnaby.

Wessam Abdelnaby taught Arabic language and culture to approximately 525 students through regular classroom teaching and conducted some 50 hours of interdisciplinary outreach at her school, J.W. Reason Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio. In addition to exploring numerous teaching methodologies, she also participated in about 145 hours of professional development, including nine days of orientation workshops in Washington, DC; two days at the 2019 Fall Workshop in Baltimore, Maryland; and two days during the Spring Leadership Workshop, which was held virtually this year.

Ms. Abdelnaby taught all the K-5 students at J.W. Reason Elementary School. In addition to hosting the Arabic Club and teaching Arabic on Saturdays at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, she also held outreach events to promote the Arabic program at her school. One event, the Family Fun Night of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics), was attended by many students and their families. Ms. Abdelnaby quickly adapted to virtual teaching this spring by using Canvas to interact with her students.

The principal at J.W. Reason Elementary School reported that the school is “honored to have been selected to partner with American Councils for the 2019-2020 school year through the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP). Our school had the unique opportunity to work with a highly qualified teacher from Egypt who was able to help us continue our World Language Program by teaching Year 3 Arabic to our students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Wessam Abdelnaby, our guest teacher, has proven to be a dynamic and inspirational part of our staff. She has also become a respected member of our school community.”

Li Ning taught Chinese language and culture to approximately 42 students through regular classroom teaching and conducted some 61 hours of interdisciplinary outreach at Chariho Regional High School in Wood River Junction, Rhode Island. In addition to exploring numerous teaching methodologies, he also participated in about 46 hours of professional development, including nine days of orientation workshops in Washington, DC; two days at the 2019 Fall Workshop in Baltimore, Maryland; and two days during the Spring Leadership Workshop.

Throughout the year, Mr. Li used creative methods such as vlogging in his classroom and engaging with his students through live video lessons during the school closure. Mr. Li connected with middle school students through Chariho’s Chinese Club and worked with his high school students to put on a Chinese New Year celebration for the whole school. Additionally, Mr. Li and his mentor teacher received a Critical Language Project grant to purchase textbooks for the school’s Mandarin program. Mr. Li worked with his mentor teacher to select the textbooks for his Mandarin I and II students.

Mr. Li’s mentor teacher at Chariho expressed appreciation for his efforts: “Li Ning grew the Chinese program and focused on language proficiency and culture. Our students benefitted from his creative methods and tireless efforts to work with the most difficult students.”

Mr. Li and Ms. Abdelnaby are looking forward to reaching out to their cohorts and building supportive links between alumni. One great way to begin collaborating is with a CLP project! Check out the alumni resources pages for information on applying for the next round of CLP alumni grants. You can also find the profiles for all TCLP alumni cohort leaders by clicking this link: http://tclprogram.org/alumni-resources/cohort-leaders