Chen Xiaoyun’s students explore a Chinese grocery store during their field trip
This year, TCLP exchange teachers completed a variety of Critical Language Projects (CLPs) that supported the Arabic and Mandarin language programs at their host schools.

From November 2021 through the beginning of May 2022, Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) Exchange Teacher Azza Ghazaly, hosted at Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, NC, facilitated her “Arabic Hub” capstone project. Ms. Gahazly’s capstone was funded by a Critical Language Project (CLP) grant awarded in Round 22. The project was centered around an Arabic club, in which students learned about Arabic music, calligraphy, food, and more. They also connected virtually with guest speakers and went on a field trip to learn about Ramadan and Eid. Through a community forum event and cultural performance, Ms. Ghazaly and her 25 club students reached over 400 community members, raising awareness about the Arabic language and culture and the Arabic program at the school. Ms. Ghazaly’s project was well-received in the school community and supported Seventy-First High School’s decision to continue their Arabic language program next year. 

Wu Jiaman, hosted at Edward E. Sadlowski Elementary in Illinois, received a Round 22 CLP grant for her project, “Chinese New Year Celebration”, which was designed to boost students’ interest in language learning and to involve parents to win their understanding and support of the school’s Mandarin language program. Ms. Wu’s Mandarin Chinese class first learned about the traditions of Chinese New Year. They studied vocabulary about traditional foods and the Chinese zodiac and made crafts such as lanterns and paper plate tigers. Then, on February 13, 2022, Ms. Wu led her students and their parents on a field trip to Chicago’s Chinatown. The group enjoyed lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, where they were able to practice what they had learned about Chinese table manners and using chopsticks. Finally, the students and parents toured Chinatown and watched the Chinese New Year parade. Ms. Wu’s project directly impacted 48 individuals but also garnered significant interest in and support for the school’s Mandarin program among the broader school community. Going forward, Sadlowski Elementary plans to make this field trip an annual event for the school.

On May 11, 2022, Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) exchange teacher Chen Xiaoyun, hosted at Tonopah Valley High School in Arizona, took her students on an immersive field trip funded by a Round 23 Critical Language Project (CLP) grant (pictured above). Ms. Chen took eighteen of her students to the Asian District in Mesa, Arizona, where they saw traditional Chinese crafts such as painting and calligraphy and products such as porcelain and cheongsam. They also ate lunch at a Dim Sum restaurant, where the students tried different Chinese foods and drinking Chinese tea and practiced using chopsticks and following Chinese table manners. Finally, Ms. Chen and her students visited local stores to select and purchase learning materials and classroom supplies such as Chinese character posters, flash cards, and story books for the next school year. The students expressed that this field trip helped them engage with the Chinese language and culture, and Ms. Chen and her host school anticipate that it will strengthen the Chinese program by attracting greater enrollment next year.