International Education Week begins November 11. What better way to prepare for the World Language Program Review, especially if your school doesn’t yet offer world language learning opportunities, than taking some steps to internationalize your school. Here are some tips resources to help you out. Go Global in Kentucky!
Do a school walk and ask: What do I see that is clearly international? Where is there an opportunity to infuse something international?
Familiarize yourself with your resources. Survey your community to find out:
- How many ELLs are there and what languages they speak?
- Who in the school (students, parents, faculty, staff) has traveled out of the U.S.?
- What languages do faculty members speak or did they study?
- Which businesses in the community exports to other countries; which are funded by foreign investment?
- What churches go on foreign missions and where do they go?
- What is the immigrant population in your community and where are they from?
- What foreign doctors/nurses work in the local hospital(s)?
- Does the local Rotary Club work internationally?
- Are there local people in the military who are serving or have served overseas?
- What international cultural connections exist (sister cities, foreign artists or musicians, cultural centers, etc.)?
Establish an international relationship.
- Pair your school with a sister school in another country.
- Find a business partner who travels abroad and will share information with students through a “suitcase project,” bringing back interesting items from his/her travels.
- Start a correspondence with a Peace Corps volunteer through the WorldWise
Schools Network. (http://worldwiseschools.ie/school-networks)
- Partner with a student studying abroad through Reach the World. http://www.reachtheworld.org/ Reach the World pairs schools with students studying abroad as RTW correspondents. Teachers can make special requests of their traveler, and students can ask questions directly via a secure messaging system and videoconferencing. It’s website also hosts GeoGames a set of interactive games that teach core geographic literacy.
- Arrange to have an education leader from another country share information with your faculty by Skypeing them into your faculty meeting or PD session.
Celebrate your English language learners.
- Ask them to regularly make a morning announcement in their native language.
- Have them translate English signs that are posted around the school and hang the translations next to them.
Make multilingual literature visible.
- Display books written in other languages along side of books written in English in the school library.
Work with the SBDM council to create new policies that enhance the global aspect of your school.
Infuse the curriculum with lessons or projects that are globally connected. http://www.iearn.org/
iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is a non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world. It offers interactive curriculum-based groups projects (i.e., eradication of poverty, community photojournalism, school life comparison, national toys), through which students create, research, share opinions, and become global citizens.