The Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture (TLAC) hosted 24 teachers from Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province in China, October 6-24 for the 3rd annual Language Institute. The teachers, who teach English language arts in their native country, spent a week on campus for a program that included seminars by department faculty and two-week field observations at high schools in Brazos Valley County and the Houston area.
“There’s only a few programs like this in the country,” said clinical assistant professor Dr. April Douglass, who helped to coordinate the program. “For them to choose to come to Texas A&M, I think is a credit to our program and to our instructors.”
In the seminars, the teachers learned reading and writing instruction strategies for English language learners. Many were excited to have practical teaching tactics to take back to their classrooms abroad.
“This program has been highly valued by both English teachers from China and our department and local schools,” said Dr. Yeping Li, TLAC department head who, along with Dean Doug Palmer, co-directed the program. “Its impact goes much further as these English teachers bring their knowledge and experience back to their home schools for sharing and implementation. The continuation of the program is a clear indication of the quality of our program, which is well proven internationally.”
We are delighted to have hosted our friends from China and look forward to future exchanges. - Dr. George Cunningham, professor and associate dean for academic affairs and researchTweet This
The field experiences provided an immersive look into the real practice of American high school curriculum and classroom instruction. For two weeks, teachers had a chance to explore, not only English language arts instruction, but also elective courses like theater and music.
Given the diverse range of schools that they visited, they were especially interested in the differences between public schools and private schools. Specifically, they were fascinated by how – in spite of the fact that private schools have more resources – each set of schools has its own unique challenges and its own methods for approaching those challenges.
"The College of Education and Human Development is committed to preparing people to work in a diverse, global environment. The Language Institute represents one such example," said Dr. George Cunningham, professor and associate dean for academic affairs and research. "We are delighted to have hosted our friends from China and look forward to future exchanges."
As much as the teachers gained from the experience, Dr. Douglass said that department faculty also benefitted.
“We’ve always found that we learn as much from them as they do from us,” she explained. “Their observations and their reflections really help us step out of the box of our everyday instruction and see it through their eyes. I think it’s an incredible thing; not just for our department but for the College of Education and Human Development.”
Media contacts: Dominique Benjamin, Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Yeping Li, Professor and Department Head of Teaching, Learning and Culture, email@example.com