Critical Language Project Builds Sustainability of Mandarin Program
Every year, TCLP invites current participants and alumni to apply for Critical Language Project (CLP) grants to support projects and activities in their school communities.

In March 2020, TCLP exchange teacher Li Ning was awarded a Round 19 CLP grant to support the purchase of Mandarin textbooks for current and future students at his U.S. host school, Chariho Regional High School (CRHS) in Wood River Junction, RI.

The CRHS Mandarin program began with 15 Level I students during the 2018-19 program year, and Mr. Li helped the program grow to 41 Level I and II students during the 2019-20 program year. In anticipation of continued program expansion, Mr. Li and his TCLP mentor teacher identified the need for new Chinese language instructional materials based on the communicative teaching approach and thematic content. With CLP support, CRHS acquired new Level I and II instructional materials including textbooks and workbooks in Spring 2020 and is currently purchasing additional Level III instructional materials. Mr. Li worked with his TCLP mentor teacher to map curricula for each level and began using the new materials with his Level I and II students starting in Spring 2020. In a student survey, the majority of students reported that the new textbooks benefited their learning and increased their confidence in learning Mandarin. Classroom observations also showed that the new instructional materials increased student enthusiasm in class. As of June 2020, 56 students had enrolled in Chinese I, II, and III classes for the 2020-21 year, and CRHS has committed to continuing the Mandarin program with a full-time teacher starting in Fall 2020.

Interested in applying for a Critical Language Project grant? TCLP program alumni, current exchange teachers, mentor teachers, administrative representatives, and U.S. schools and districts are eligible and encouraged to apply for CLP grants. The Round 20 CLP application deadline is November 30, 2020.

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