IFLE Newsletter - October 2017

US Department of Education Newsletter

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IFLE Holds Virtual Title VI Technical Assistance Workshop


On September 19th and 20th, IFLE held a virtual technical assistance workshop for five of its Title VI grant programs:

  • National Resource Centers
  • Centers for International Business Education
  • Language Resource Centers
  • American Overseas Resource Centers 
  • Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language

Workshop sessions featured information for potential applicants to the programs, pending availability of funding. Other sessions examined promising practices and lessons learned from projects supported by these programs over the past few years, with discussions on distance language learning, collaborations with Minority-Serving Institutions and community colleges, initiatives to improve language and international education at the K-12 level, and more. Copies of presentations are available online at the link below.

IFLE plans to make recordings of the workshop sessions available online within the next few weeks. If you were unable to attend the workshop, but would like to receive notification as soon as the recordings are available, please email Kathleen Connors de Laguna at kathleen.connorsdelaguna@ed.gov.  (Note: If you registered for the workshop online, regardless of whether you were able to attend any or all sessions, there is no need to contact us. You will be notified by email once the recordings are available.) 

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IFLE Seeks Peer Reviewers

Peer Review

Are you looking for professional development experience or interested in learning more about IFLE programs?  


We are seeking to expand the pool of specialists who serve as “peer reviewers” to read and evaluate applications for IFLE grant competitions. Participation requires up to two weeks of part-time effort with modest compensation.


To learn more and/or apply please visit the Peer Reviewers Information page on our website.

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U.S. Educators Study Abroad with Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

2017 Seminar Abroad in Bulgaria and Greece

The 2017 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program supported 48 U.S. educators as they traveled to Bulgaria, Chile, and Thailand this summer. This program provides short-term seminars abroad for U.S. educators to improve their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. Participants draw on their experiences abroad to create new curricula for their classrooms and school systems back in the U.S.


Four Weeks in Bulgaria and Greece

In July, sixteen teachers from U.S. high schools traveled to Bulgaria and Greece for four weeks to participate in educational lectures and activities focused on the theme of “Bulgaria in the Context of Migration and Challenges to European Cohesion.” IFLE collaborated with the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange (Fulbright Commission) to develop and administer the seminar.


During their time in the region, participants learned about Bulgaria's rich cultural and political history, exploring how its past affects its current national identity. Through meetings with scholars, NGO representatives, politicians, artists and members of civil society, seminar participants investigated the country’s historical and contemporary relationship with the European Union (EU), NATO, Russia, and Turkey and how this past has created challenges for Bulgaria’s European integration.


Since Bulgaria is an EU border state on the frontlines of the refugee and migrant crisis, the group learned about the country’s strategies for dealing with the influx of newcomers that threatens regional stability. Teachers explored the concept of migration in a broader sense, considering not only refugees from the Middle East and Africa, but also Bulgarian migration to the EU and United States for educational and employment opportunities. Seminar participants toured sites of major historical, cultural, and political importance, and also had the unique opportunity to travel to Thessaloniki, Greece (left and below) where they visited a major refugee housing center.

Now that they have returned to the United States, the teachers will use their experiences in Bulgaria to incorporate content dealing with migration, the refugee crisis, and European cohesion into new curricula for their courses. They will share what they have learned with their own students, institutions, and colleagues throughout the country.

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The Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship: Jason Chen’s Experience in Beijing

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow Jason Chen

Sponsored by the United States Department of Education, the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship provides academic year and summer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students studying modern foreign languages or related area studies. Fellowships cover tuition and fees as well as a living stipend, and priority is given to less commonly taught languages. Jason Chen, a current second year medical student at the University of Utah, studied intensive Mandarin Chinese in Beijing through the FLAS Fellowship.


After graduating from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Honors Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Jason Chen pursued a FLAS fellowship to study Mandarin Chinese at Beijing Normal University. He then served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Oxolotán, México, where he taught English and Mandarin courses to indigenous students in the sierra of Tabasco. His fellowship experiences have helped him realize the importance of serving diverse communities, and he hopes to pursue a residency in Family Medicine after graduating medical school with the goal of becoming a Regional Medical Officer in the State Department or the medical director of a Community Health Center.


Jason received his FLAS fellowship through the Intermountain Consortium for Asian and Pacific Studies, a consortium of the University of Utah Asia Center and the Asian Studies Program at Brigham Young University.

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Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Website Showcases Teacher Experiences in Cambodia

Fulbright-Hays Group Project in Cambodia

Massachusetts' Middlesex Community College (MCC) received a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad (GPA) grant in Fiscal Year 2015 for its project, Cambodia’s Cultural Heritage in the Modern WorldMCC is one of the largest public community colleges in Massachusetts; over 2,600 of its 10,000 students hail from the city of Lowell, which has the second largest Cambodian diaspora in the United States (representing nearly 20% of the city's population). 

MCC's Group Project Abroad aimed to deepen and expand connections between Cambodian arts and cultural traditions with curricula at the community college and in Lowell Public Schools (LPS). By offering teachers an opportunity to experience Cambodian traditions and culture first-hand, the project aimed to help foster an appreciation of Cambodia's rich heritage in the general Lowell community. 

Six MCC faculty and six LPS middle and high school teachers from a variety of disciplines studied in Cambodia from July 5 to August 3, 2016. Upon their return to the United States, teachers incorporated their experiences into their classrooms and curricula, and also created a website to house resources related to their trip. The rich repository of resources includes lectures, videos, links, and information on a variety of topics including Buddhism, Cambodian music and dance, cultural citizenship, and more.

Click the link below to learn more about this project and to read blogs written by the participating teachers.

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NRC Study Tour Helps NC Public School Teachers Bring Global Dimension to Classroom

UNC Mexico Study Tour Participant

In the three years since a group of North Carolina teachers traveled to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to learn about a different education system and broaden their perspectives, they and their K-12 students are still reaping the benefits.


Betty Brandt Rouse, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Creekside Elementary School in Durham, recently reflected on a Mexico Study Tour she and fellow teachers took in 2014. “We were able to [talk] with teachers in Mexico and learn a lot about how their school system differs from our school system,” she said, “and to get to actually see it and be there hands-on. It was a really powerful experience.”


Rouse was one of eight North Carolina public school teachers who participated in the Mexico Study Tour organized by the Title VI National Resource Center Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute for the Study of the Americas and Duke University Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

The Mexico Study Tour was made possible with Title VI funding.

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Fulbright-Hays Group Project in Brazil Presents International Approaches to Accessibility and Inclusion

Group Project Abroad in Brazil

Faculty members from Ohio's Ashland University recently published two journal articles thanks to a summer study experience in Brazil made possible by the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program. Ashland University received grant funding through the Fulbright-Hays grant for its project titled “Accessing Carioca Culture through the Lens of Disability.”


Ashland University's GPA grant allowed a group of eight pre-service education students and eight full-time K-12 teachers in the humanities and social sciences from around the state of Ohio to join professors Dr. Carla Abreu-Ellis and Dr. Jason Ellis on a study trip to Rio de Janeiro. The trip agenda featured 20 seminars and 11 field research activities, including: 

  • Accessibility and Architectural Barriers and Inclusion in Brazilian Tourism: The Importance of Accessibility for the Image of Rio de Janeiro
  • A Curriculum of Inclusion: An Introduction to Brazilian Sign Language and its Mandatory Place in K-12 Education in Brazil
  • Human Rights and Accessibility in Rio de Janeiro
  • How inclusion works in Brazilian schools
  • Power Soccer: Brazil’s National Sport from Wheelchair User’s Perspectives
  • Teaching the Blind in Rio de Janeiro: Discussing Access to the General Curriculum
  • Visits to various museums and tourist sites to evaluate accessibility features

To learn more about the project and resulting activities, please click below:

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Calling DC Area K-12 Teachers & Administrators!

You're Invited! IEW 2017 Workshopblank

Are you a K-12 school teacher or administrator in the Washington, D.C. area looking for ways to add a global dimension to your school or classroom? 


To celebrate International Education Week 2017, the U.S. Department of Education will host a workshop for K-12 educators in Washington, D.C. on the afternoon of Monday, November 13th. 


If you would like to attend this event, please register at https://iew2017workshop.eventbrite.com

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Follow us on Twitter @GoGlobalED

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IFLE is on Twitter with the latest from the world of international and foreign language education. Follow us @GoGlobalED and tell your friends! We'll see you in the Twittersphere!

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Join our FLAS and Fulbright-Hays Alumni Groups on LinkedIn

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Have you received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship or participated in a Fulbright-Hays grant program? Join our alumni groups on LinkedIn!

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Send Us Your Feedback and Comments

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We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for webinar topics? Ideas for things to include in future newsletters? Send them to Carolyn Collins at carolyn.collins@ed.gov.


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