Jai Lili leading a professional development program
Program alumna organizes a city-wide training on student-centered teaching methodology


TCLP alumna Jia Lili (2015-2016) received a Critical Language Project (CLP) grant to conduct a professional development program for nearly 300 teachers in Hebei Province in September. Ms. Jia modeled the program after the professional development training sessions she attended through TCLP and her U.S. host school while teaching Mandarin at Walnut Elementary School in California during the 2015-16 school year. The project was supported by the local leader of the Institute of Education and Research, who invited teachers from different schools across Shijiazhuang City to attend training workshops at Shijiazhuang No. 1 High School where Ms. Jia is an English teacher. The attendees participated in workshops to learn best practices in teaching, including Differentiated Instruction, Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling, Student Performance Assessment, Guided Learning Acquisition Development, and Project-Based Instruction. Ms. Jia led some of the workshops as a trainer for the event and drew upon her experience conducting cultural outreach presentations within her U.S. host school and community to convey the importance of developing engaging lessons. “Doing the outreaches [I learned] how important it is to be audience-centered,” she says. “By the end of the project, the teachers will truly experience the importance of getting the audience (their students) involved.” In addition to the participating educators, Ms. Jia expects the project to have positive and lasting effects on the approximately 3,800 students that attend Shijiazhuang No. 1 High School. In the weeks following the workshop sessions, Ms. Jia will film lessons conducted by attendees and facilitate follow-up discussions with teachers to explore ways to incorporate new teaching methods into their daily instruction. “In the long run, teachers will step out of the whiteboard, lecture-based style, cultivating more well-rounded talents” says Ms. Jia. “I hope by doing totally different professional development, teachers can truly feel the difference and make a difference in their teaching too.” TCLP alumni exchange teachers and host schools can apply for CLP grants to organize professional development workshops and many other projects. Round 12 applications are due November 30th, 2016 and can be downloaded here.