The EMMS Chinese Class Yearbook 2021-2022 is an artistic presentation of all the activities, what the students have learnt throughout the year, as well as students’ own understanding of things related to the language and culture learning. This is not only a collection of memory, but also an achievement exhibition.
The DLI program in our school is growing. It needs support and understanding from the local community. And our mural program met the needs in two different ways. One is training the chosen ones to practice Chinese calligraphy for the mural, the other is using the mural to inspire the interest of all the 472 students in our school in learning Chinese or Chinese culture. Besides, it gives extra support for the DLI program by being a complement of culture learning for all the 103 DLI students. They learn more about the Chinese language, writing, and culture by the project. Cooperation between the 6 DLI teachers and other 42 teachers increased too. Now more teachers understand and support the DLI program. And as multiculturalism is better understood through the mural, we draw more students into the DLI program, and now the community get more involved with DLI program and more people know our school and choose to send their children here.
In order to select some students for the mural program, we had the introductory classes for the basic, then the afterschool calligraphy club to learn more and finally the morning training session for 23 mural students. They practiced a certain character in the Chinese poem On the Stork Tower 《登鹳雀楼》for the mural with instruction videos and papers from me. Meanwhile I tutored them during the whole period of time to help them improve their calligraphy writing.
The students surprised me a lot by progressing so much in calligraphy. The first work and the last one are quite different. I am so happy to see all the differences. And they are really interested in practicing calligraphy and still want to learn more after the training. Since the mural is done now, the students feel really proud of themselves and they are admired and envied by their peers. Teachers, school and the community all feel proud of them too.
For this project, students wrote and illustrated their own non-fiction children’s picture book about history, religion, culture, and lifestyles of a country of your their choice in the Middle East. The books were then read all around the school to younger grade levels and students of those classes were also taught how to introduce themselves and greet in Arabic. The books were finally displayed in the school library.
My capstone project is to establish a sister school partnership between my host school in the US and my home school back in Egypt. The STEM school I work at back in my home country is well known by its interest in teaching languages. This relation between my students here and back there in my country is going to both open students' horizons and widen their scopes about understanding each other's cultures and different languages.
A grand Chinese New Year celebration was held in Plantation Middle School during Chinese New Year. The students and staff in our school and feeder schools and the officials from our county were invited to spend the wonderful afternoon with my Chinese students who well performed the Chinese-styled programs and showed their projects about Chinese culture. Some students from feeder schools also sang Chinese songs which I taught them during outreach. This capstone raises people's interest in China and Chinese culture and establishes mutual understanding among different peoples.
As Chicago is a city with diversity, our students also come from different cultural backgrounds. One of our traditions is to immerse students into a diverse world. With the coming of Chinese New Year, the students who are majoring in Chinese practice dragon dance themselves, and they will have a big show in our campus!
Moos Elementary has a Spring Festival showcase which involves around 100 parents and students from Pre-K to K6. The school is an IB school so lots of students are from different backgrounds. Our Spring Festival showcase helps spread the impact of the program and increase interest in Mandarin. After the showcase, the students will be proud of what they have done in Mandarin class. The students will have gotten to know more culture about Chinese New Year Celebration traditions. All the Chinese learners in Moos will have also gotten a chance to show their improvement in Chinese.
The theme of our capstone project is culture boxes. And it is also our CLP. Both of my home school and host schools are willing to establish a sister-school relationship. Therefore, we plan to ask students and teachers to communicate with each other through a series of activities called culture boxes.