United States

Critical Language Project
5 years 1 week ago
  Leah Christman, superintendent of Southern Lehigh School District, was awarded a CLP grant to help fund a one-month school visit from TCLP alumna teacher Hanan Gawdat. Hanan, who had been teaching Arabic for the school remotely, visited the school throughout the month of November. During her visit, she delivered lessons to students enrolled in the Arabic program and leda field trip to the nearby Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania to learn about Middle Eastern culture. Middle and high school teachers at Southern Lehigh also invited Hanan to visit their classes to discuss different of Egyptian culture with students and foster interest in learning Arabic.  
Critical Language Project
5 years 2 weeks ago
  TCLP Alumnus School, Lakes International Language Academy (LILA), received funding to help implement a CLP titled “Welcome, Friends!” in cooperation with Deyang Forest Language School in China. This project provided an exciting English-immersion learning experience for 22 visiting students from China and forged new international friendships. During a two-week summer camp on the school's campus, Chinese and American students strengthened skills in their respective target languages by speaking to one another in casual settings, traveling, and participating in fun activities.   LILA teachers gained experience in teaching English as a second language, which is a different but positive perspective than teaching immersion Spanish or Chinese to native English speakers. In addition, the host families in the community shared the language-learning experience, building interest in long-term hosting and cultural exchanges.The opportunity to meet and interact with Chinese guests helped expose the community to a different culture, celebrating diversity while appreciating their similarities. The positive and lasting impact of this project was visible in the progress that Chinese students made in building their English skills and the fast friendships that the Chinese and American students (and their families!) made during the camp. As a result of the project, LILA has strengthened the relationship with the school's sister school and helped introduce students and families in the community to a broader cultural experience.  
Critical Language Project
5 years 2 weeks ago
  Exchange teacher Wei Wei received a CLP grant to implement the Joy of Eight Project at her U.S. host school, Roton Middle School. The project encompassed various activities with the overall goal of motivating middle school students enrolled in Mandarin classes to continue to study the language after they enter high school.   Teachers from Roton Middle School and Brien McMahon High School designed two major events as part of the Joy of Eight Project: a tea ceremony in the middle school library and a Chinese culture fair on the high school campus. Both of these events included a number of activities to give students a deeper understanding of Chinese language through culture. Activities included: a chopsticks competition, tiger dancing, fan dancing, making paper lanterns, practicing calligraphy, riddle games, playing musical chairs, playing jiguchuanhua, making dumplings, and singing Chinese songs. The opportunity to interact with students at Brien McMahon gave the middle school students a firsthand look at the engaging program opportunities available to them at the high school.   The middle school students also participated in two fields trips to New York City, where they toured museums related to Chinese culture, history, and art. While in New York City, the students had the opportunity to experience the life of a Chinese immigrant in the U.S. on an experiential walking tour. Students also scripted, filmed, and edited a short video that documented the Joy of Eight project. As a result of this project, there students were motivated to continue studying Chinese language and culture.  
Critical Language Project
5 years 2 weeks ago
  Exchange teacher Min Haiwei received a CLP grant to increase exposure and understanding of Chinese culture in his host community of Cumberland, Maryland. Mr. Min organized a Chinese New Year event at a local shopping center to garner community support for the Chinese Immersion Program at West Side Elementary and to introduce members of the local community to the vast and rich heritage of China.   Several special activities took place during the day-long event. The celebration began with a traditional Chinese Lion Dance performed by the Wong People from Washington D.C. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn about the Chinese language, calligraphy, paper cutting, and traditional crafts related to Chinese New Year. Performers and craftsman from Shan’xi Province performed puppet shows and demonstrated their craftsmanship throughout the event. In addition, West Side students in the Chinese Immersion Program performed speeches in Chinese and cultural songs and dances. The celebration culminated with a Chinese New Year parade, in which children carried lanterns that they constructed during the program.   The project was hugely successful in raising awareness and appreciation of the Chinese culture. Many mall shoppers that happened on the event made a point to tell a staff member how much they learned and how they enjoyed the evening. Survey results were resoundingly positive.  
Critical Language Project
5 years 2 weeks ago
  Alumna mentor teacher, Laura Koebel, was awarded a CLP grant to implement a three-part project designed to promote the Arabic program at Plymouth High School, inform others about Arabic culture and language, and provide support to current Arabic students.   In part one of the project, students hosted a culture and language fair at Plymouth High School. The objective of the fair was to increase awareness and interest in the Arabic program in order to ensure success and program continuation. The fair evolved into a language fair featuring all of the school's languages, however Arab culture remained the primary focus. Attendees learned how to write their names in Arabic and in hieroglyphics, received henna tattoos, and tried Kosherie, a traditional Egyptian dish. Musicians from Palestine also gave a drum performance and discussed stereotypes about the Arab world.   For the second part of the project, Plymouth High School invited a second-year Arabic student to speak with students about the benefits of learning the Arabic and opportunities for future study. The class enjoyed falafel and baba ganoush as a taste of traditional cuisine and students were encouraged and inspired by the guest’s comments.   The final part of the project was intended supplement the school's tutor fund for conversation coaches from University of Wisconsin- Madison. Plymouth High School partnered with UW-Madison Arabic students to act as conversation coaches and tutors throughout the year. The objective was to give the students communication practice and time to ask questions about content studied. Students met through Skype with tutors from the UW-Madison Language Institute on a weekly basis.  
Critical Language Project
5 years 2 weeks ago
  Mentor teacher Debbie Simpson and exchange teacher Xu Menghong were awarded a CLP grant to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival in Laurens, South Carolina. The open house event, which was offered to all students, parents, and community members, gave attendees a broader understanding of China and cross-cut many subjects. Chinese students prepared booths about Chinese cooking, the Chinese Zodiac, Spring Festival history, paper cutting, lantern making, and customs and superstitions. The students also performed a traditional dragon dance in a costume that they built themselves. Xu Menghong coordinated the student groups to and helped them to complete their assignments and research to prepare for the evening event.   Through this project, the Laurens community received a brief but thorough introduction to the Chinese culture at one of its greatly celebrated moments. Attendance at the event neared 500 people. In addition, the project allowed groups within the Chinese classes to become experts at different aspects of Chinese culture and language. As a result of this CLP, students were increasingly motivated to enroll in Chinese the following year.  
Conference
5 years 1 month ago
The 2nd Annual TCLP Virtual Alumni Training Conference 2015 took place on February 4 and 5, 2015. TCLP alumni from China, Egypt and the United States me for a a two-day virtual conference about building international sister school relationships. To watch recordings for either days please click the links above. Attached you will find slides from each day, as well more information about each presenter.   On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 the topic was Collaborating with U.S. Schools on Sister-School Projects TCLP staff discussed how to design and conduct small scale, easy-to-implement projects that will spearhead the establishment of sister-school relationships. Guest alumni speakers shared how they kept in touch with their U.S. host schools through in-person and virtual exchange projects.   On Thursday, February 5, 2015 the topic was Organizing International Student Exchanges TCLP Alumnus Emil Marcos, and Alumni co-presenters Li Qiong and Bill Dolezal discussed how to establish international student exchanges. The presenters provided tips on financing student exchanges and elaborated on the projects that their students conducted while visiting the host schools in Egypt, China and the United States.   Featured Presenters: Mr. Dolezal is the principal of Sonoran Trails Middle School in Cave Creek, Arizona, the first public school in Arizona to offer World Language as core classes for all students. Mr. Dolezal served as the administrator for two TCLP Chinese teachers in 2011 and 2012, and has worked with Ms. Qiong to facilitate student exchanges between Sonoran Trails Middle Schools and No. 6 Middle School of Yichang.   Mr. Marcos is from Cairo, Egypt. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, as well as an International Diploma for Teachers from Cambridge University. Since 1990 Mr. Morcos has taught at the Al-Salam Private Language School where he is also the founder and manger of an international department. He participated in TCLP in 2008 and was hosted by the Center for Global Studies in Norwalk, CT.   Ms. Qiong is from Yichang, China, where she graduated from Three Gorges University with a major in English Teaching and later studied English Literature at Wuhan University. Ms. Qiong has been teaching at No. 6 Middle School of Yichang for over 10 years. After participating in TCLP in 2011, Ms. Qiong has remained active in pursuing opportunities for exchange and cross cultural collaboration for her students.
Critical Language Project
5 years 1 month ago
  TCLP Chinese exchange teacher Liu Jia was awarded a CLP grant to celebrate Chinese language and culture at “Chinese New Year at The Domes”, which is an annual festival held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through the support of the CLP award, Liu Jia and her students from Milwaukee School of Languages rented a booth at the festival and developed a scavenger hunt.   Students worked in groups to research information about three of the most famous cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an. The student participants then created informational posters to display at the festival and designed tasks related to the different cities for attendees to complete. Attendees earned “stamps” on their festival passports through completing tasks that corresponded with different Chinese cities. For the Beijing section, attendees learned about Beijing Opera. Students prepared posters before the festival and taught attendees about the Opera and the different Opera masks. For the stamp corresponding with Shanghai, participants learned basic greetings and phrases in Chinese, which were taught by student volunteers. On the last stop of the activity, attendees earned a stamp from Xi’an after they learned about Chinese calligraphy, and had the chance to write their name in Chinese. Attendees who finished all three stops of the scavenger hunt had the opportunity to make their own Chinese-style paper cutting. During the event, students used Chinese language to communicate with people and enhance their understanding of Chinese culture. As a result of the event, those in attendance gained a better understanding of Chinese culture and more students were motivated to learn Chinese.   The purpose of the project was educate the surrounding community on some of the most interesting and fun aspects of Chinese culture, such as Peking opera and Chinese history. The event attracted about 3,800 visitors and was covered in by several media outlets.  

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