United States

Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP Arabic teacher Samy Hendawy and mentor teacher Jennifer Thomas will organize and host an Egyptian Product Fair at Carver K-8 in San Diego, California to enrich student and community appreciation and understanding of Egyptian culture and Arabic language. Exploration of the sights, sounds, styles, and tastes will allow 350 students, 25 staff members, and 80 community members to have direct exposure to the traditions and culture of Egypt. Carver’s current 45 Arabic students as well as 15 high school Arabic club members, and 27 middle school Arabic students will host 8 different stations where participants can develop their language skills and cultural knowledge. Current Arabic students will present products and information on a variety of categories with the hopes of increasing interest in and discussion of Arabic culture and language. The goals of the Egyptian Product Fair are to promote Arabic language programs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and serve as outreach to the local community. In the future, it is hoped that additional Egyptian product fairs will continue to boost interest and attention to the Carver Arabic language program, both within the school and in the greater San Diego community.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP Egyptian exchange teacher Ahmed Mohamed at Renaissance High School was awarded a grant to shed the light on many aspects of the Arab language and culture though an Arabic Night. Current Arabic students gave participants an in-depth look at the Arab world through performances, songs, fashion shows, and games. In the audience were current 8th grade students who will be attending RHS next fall, as well as community members, school district officials, and current RHS students. The main goals of this project were to generate more interest in the Arabic program and to correct stereotypes. About 250 people attended the Arabic Night.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP Arabic teacher Manal El Gamal worked with mentor teacher Claudine Clark to organize a field trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum in order to provide an authentic cultural experience for the facilitated language students at Madison East High School. In April, 45 students attended the exhibit on Egyptian Mummies, explored actual Egyptian artifacts, viewed educational films on ancient Egypt, and had lunch at an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant. To further expand on their learning experience, students prepared Arabic vocabulary and dialogues around the cultural topics of mummies and ordering in a restaurant, and then practiced these skills during the field trip. Upon their return, the Arabic students chose one aspect of the trip to explore more deeply in a project. This experience impacted the students greatly. The Arabic students were able to learn more through the hands on experiences and also teach other students. The non-Arabic students were excited to learn some of the language and culture that they had not been exposed to. All students broadened their understanding of the Egyptian culture. The trip highlighted the Arabic class and increased the visibility of the program in the school. The information gathered through the trip and projects will give future FLS teachers more materials and knowledge to teach these concepts again. The restaurant portion of the project was exceptional as the restaurant owner, originally from Egypt, gave a short presentation about the food and cuisine of Egypt.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP alumni mentor teacher Lalainya Goldsberry was approved for a project to showcase Arabic and Chinese students’ language and cultural knowledge at the Lindblom World Language Festival. A secondary goal of the project was to motivate students to begin or continue learning the Arabic or Chinese languages. The Lindblom World Language Festival itself is a competition where students from Lindblom and other schools who were taking Arabic and Chinese compete with each other in the categories of poetry recitation, talent, skits, research project, and drama. The participants were judged by Arabic and Chinese speaking judges from the community, with plaques awarded to the winners. The 2011 festival was the third year of the event, which has grown each year. Ms. Goldsberry invited Lincoln Park High School and Roosevelt High School (also TCLP alumni schools), as well as other schools offering Chinese. Students saw what their peers at other schools were accomplishing with the same language, and the progress they were making in another language.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP host school alumna Roslynne McCarthy from the Center for Global Studies in Connecticut was awarded a CLP for a student collaborative project called Sister-schools: Expanding the Student Dialogue. The goal of this project was to create and implement a curriculum of personal interactions among students at the Center for Global Studies and Al-Salam Private Language School in Tanta, Egypt with the expertise and input of TCLP 2008 alumnus Mr. Emil Markos. As a result of his TCLP year, his host school at CGS and his school in Egypt, the Al-Salam Private Language School, became sister-schools. Two groups of American and Egyptians students have already visited each other’s schools and communities, and the plans will continue. In addition to these once-a-year visits, this project facilitated on-going opportunities for students from both countries to connect with one another, practice their language skills, deepen their understanding of Egyptian/American culture and events, use technology in innovative ways, and forge personal relationships with international friends. The beneficiaries of this project were current students in the two schools, including the 55 students currently studying Arabic in CGS. The CLP allowed for a curriculum to be created, the educator’s to be trained in the appropriate technology to implement the curriculum which includes electronic interaction (email), video-conferencing through Skype, and other interactions through Voice Threads, podcasts or student-made movies.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP mentor teacher alumni Todd Lynum will lead a group of Willmar High School students on a trip to China in the spring of 2012. He was awarded a CLP that helped to fund 18 student and 3 chaperons visas as well as on-the-ground transportation to and from the airport. Their trip to China was the culmination of 3 years of studying Chinese and it provided students with the opportunity to see China and its famous sites and to interact with local Chinese using this opportunity to practice and apply the Chinese they have learned so far. During the ten-day travel to China the students saw the cities of Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. The trip was organized by the Educational Tours organization, located in Denver, Colorado. They were responsible for most of the travel planning and itinerary to, within and from China. However, the students and their families were solely responsible for the costs to be paid.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP mentor teacher alumni Steven Berbeco was awarded a CLP for his grant proposal to organize a meeting of The Teachers of Arabic Language K-12 network at the Northeast Conference on Teaching of Foreign Languages in Baltimore, MD. At this meeting, he hosted a best practices workshop and professional networking meeting with 20 teachers of Arabic who came from all over the United States. At that time there was no other national organization that provided support for Arabic classroom teachers to exchange curriculum ideas, develop teaching skills and share best practices, so the aim of this bi-annual meeting was to provide an opportunity for these 20 teachers to participate in a 3 hour hands-on workshop and share ideas with one another. CLP funding provided support for the meeting materials and resource books. This project was successful in its goal of exchanging curriculum ideas, developing teaching skills and other best practices, and supporting each other as professionals. As part of the workshop the teachers reviewed current curriculum materials, discussed best practices from their classroom experiences, and performed materials development exercises.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP Arabic exchange teacher Mohamed Abdelsamad was awarded a CLP grant to attend and present at the NCOLCTL (National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages) Conference. His presentation was titled “Incorporating Egyptian Culture and Current Events into the Teaching of a Critical Language with TCLP.” Within this presentation, he talked about his experience teaching Arabic in Missoula, Montana and addressed the importance of incorporating cultural competency into language classes. His goal was to share best practices in handling the issue of culture in education, and to increase networking with other educators of less commonly taught languages in order to develop a more sustainable exchange. He also enriched the teaching of Arabic in his host city by sharing ideas with other educators. After the conference, he conducted a round table discussion with his fellow teachers and TCLP colleagues to disseminate information that he gained at the conference.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP mentor teacher Christina Cannon has been chosen to present with colleague Annie Hasan at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in April 2012. Their CLP proposal will help them cover the cost to attend the conference. Their presentation discussed best practices for teaching songs in the target language, and attendees learned a method of teaching with songs and games that maximizes ‘student talk’ during the class period, keeping students engaged and communicating. The long-term goal of this project was to improve the learning experience of K-12 Arabic students, and thus, ultimately, increase their proficiency. Their materials from the presentation, including songs, were made available to all Arabic teachers online after the conference.
Critical Language Project
2 years 8 months ago
TCLP Host School Alumni Pratt Community School’s Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson was awarded funding for a grant titled “Arabic Language in the World Today”. This proposal included the creation of an Arabic Language Café, where students and their families can practice their Arabic skills in a 'real life' environment. Students used Arabic to create signage for the restaurant, menus, and table learning opportunities. Students waited on tables and utilized their Arabic skills in the ordering and serving of food. The project also implemented an Arabic club for students in upper grades at Pratt School, and provided Arabic Language Instruction to adults living in the Pratt/University of Minnesota community. The project was considered an overall success because of the joy of learning that it created. Over 400 individuals participated in the first Arabic Café. It was so popular with the students and families, that the school organized 11 more Arabic Café experiences. All of the adults who participated in the Community Education class enjoyed the experience and found it educational. Many of the adults and students who participated in the Arabic classes were interested in continuing their mastery of Arabic.

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