IFLE Newsletter - June 2019

US Department of Education Newsletter

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Volume 5 | Issue 2 | June 2019

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Fulbright-Hays Scholars and Teachers Get Ready for Summer Programs

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad group in Poland last summer

The U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays programs offer U.S. students, teachers, faculty, and school administrators unique opportunities to travel overseas to conduct research, study languages, and learn about other countries and cultures. These experiences can greatly enrich the work of educators when they return home to their respective institutions and jobs — enabling them to incorporate their new knowledge into curriculum, classroom pedagogy, and their careers. The Fulbright-Hays programs include the Group Projects Abroad (GPA), the Seminars Abroad, and the Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) fellowships programs, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education's International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office.


The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) and organizations to conduct short- and long-term cultural research, develop their curriculum, or advance foreign language projects. GPA participants may include teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor such as learning about African languages or researching creative teaching methods for middle school world cultures curriculum.


Nineteen IHEs received GPA grants to organize projects in 2019, allowing many groups to depart soon for summer educational experiences in countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Thailand. 


Howard University students will participate in the University of Pennsylvania's Group Project Abroad for Zulu in South Africa

For example, 15 students from Howard University (right) competed to participate in the University of Pennsylvania's Group Project Abroad to South Africa focused on Zulu language learning. From June 10 to Aug. 8, students will have the opportunity to advance their Zulu language skills and cultural competency through intensive classroom instruction, lecture seminars, cultural activities, and home stays. The cohort will spend time in the city of Durban, and in Zululand at Empangeni and Richards Bay, where they will experience total immersion in the language and culture of amaZulu (Zulu people). “Our students are living in exciting times, where opportunities for career advancement are increasingly going to be based on their mastery of languages and cultures vastly different from those their parents had to know,” says Phiwokuhle Mnyandu, who holds a Ph.D. and is a Zulu instructor in Howard's Department of African Studies and the Department of World Languages and Cultures. “Africa is fast becoming a major stage where some of the world’s most powerful economies vie for strategic advantage. As a consequence, Africa’s prominent languages and cultures are fast becoming advantageous for American students wishing to have a competitive advantage in their careers, whether it is in foreign service, development finance, or education." 


In addition to the many Group Projects Abroad that will take place this summer, 48 U.S. teachers and school administrators will soon depart for Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad projects in Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, India, and Uruguay. These short-term seminars will feature educational lectures and activities designed specifically for each group, including visits to local schools and organizations, meetings with educators and students, and visits to cultural sites. Upon their return to the U.S., participants will draw on their experiences abroad to create new or revised curricula for their classrooms or to update school systems' strategic plans to include global competencies.


Finally, many of the 100 Ph.D. students that were awarded FY 2018–2019 Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowships are already overseas (or will be departing soon) to conduct discipline-specific research using the language of a particular world region. DDRA projects cover a wide range of topics, countries, languages, and disciplines, from an architectural analysis of urban models and transnational technologies of poverty in São Paulo, Brazil (Portuguese language), to an investigation of coffee and sanitation practices in Ethiopia (Amharic language). A list of the funded FY 2018 DDRA projects is available on IFLE's website.


We look forward to seeing how the current cohorts of Fulbright-Hays participants incorporate their experiences abroad into their dissertations, careers, classrooms, schools, and communities!



University of Washington Business Students Help Minority-Owned Businesses Grow through Foreign Market Consulting Projects

UW students participate in foreign market consulting projects

The University of Washington’s (UW) Consulting and Business Development Center (CBDC) created Ascend 2020 in partnership with JPMorgan Chase as a national strategy to grow revenues and profits for minority-owned, women-owned, and inner-city businesses. In 2018, UW’s Title VI Center for International Business Education (CIBE) partnered with CBDC on three Ascend 2020 projects, including export workshop classes, a global customer acquisition grant program, and foreign market consulting projects.


The foreign market consulting projects offered local companies the chance to enhance their business growth strategy with the help of bright undergraduate UW students. Teams of students were tasked with evaluating foreign markets and providing a global expansion strategy tailored to each company. Five businesses were selected for this opportunity and received over 300 hours of paid student consulting services at no cost. Student teams met with their companies for 10 weeks to better understand the company's business model, market, and challenges. Utilizing their training in international business, strategy, finance, marketing, operations, and supply chain management, the teams conducted research and made recommendations for global expansion.


The five participating businesses represented education, agriculture, technology and retail/consumer goods sectors. One team worked with a line-caught, frozen-at-sea salmon business seeking international sales growth in Asia and Europe. The student team cross-referenced sales of luxury goods and seafood consumption per capita to find the most suitable countries for market expansion, then compiled a detailed analysis of nine potential markets, weighing cultural influences, seafood consumption, ease of doing business, import/export regulations, and more. Their final report included a detailed marketing and social media strategy to target consumers in each region.


Another CIBE team explored 40 possible international markets for a woman-owned company producing small-batch plantain snacks. The team developed clear criteria for evaluating foreign markets and ultimately conducted in-depth research on Australia, Canada, Norway, and the UK as potential markets. The company's owner plans to use a global customer acquisition grant to travel to two Australian food trade shows based on the team’s recommendations.


A third project focused on a manufacturing company specializing in safety bumpers and molded foam products targeted for the aerospace industry. The company's owner and CEO also received a global customer acquisition grant that she will use to participate in a European trade show researched and recommended by the student team.


While students gained important hands-on experience through these Ascend 2020 consulting projects, the local minority- and women-owned businesses expressed the projects' value in helping them explore global market opportunities. Many intend to act on the teams' recommendations in the coming months. One business owner said, “I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunity to participate in this program. I really enjoyed working with my student team and am especially appreciative of the perspective they offered. It definitely broadened my initial (quite intuitive) thoughts on exporting my product.” Another owner shared that the final report and recommendations “were exactly what I needed, and more than I expected.”


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Title VI National Resource Center at Vanderbilt University Celebrates Third Annual Haiti Week

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the public participate in "Cooking and Creole" event during Haiti Week

In February, Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) hosted Haiti Week, collaborating with partners across the U.S. to highlight Haitian history and culture through a series of public events held on campus. Vanderbilt's CLAS is one of 96 Title VI National Resource Centers for the fiscal year 2018–2021 grant cycle.


Haiti Week kicked off with “Cooking and Creole” (right), a hands-on event that engaged students, faculty, staff and the general public in the preparation of a traditional Haitian meal and also featured a Haitian Creole language lesson.


The week also featured special presentations by Ibi Zoboi, author of the 2018 Américas Award-winning novel American Street, and by Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, professor emeritus of Africology (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and expert in the fields of African and neo-African religious thought and social philosophy, with an emphasis on national and cultural identities. Lunchtime presentations included Zoboi's discussion, “American Street: The American Dream and the Immigrant Imagination," while Bellegarde-Smith spoke on "The Price of Admission: Louis-Marie Dantes Bellegarde's Life and Oeuvre in Context." The event was also an opportunity for him to introduce his new book In the Shadow of Powers


Other events during the week included a day-long teacher workshop featuring presentations on the Haitian Creole language, Q&A sessions with Zoboi, and the dissemination of resources for teaching about Haiti.


Haiti Week culminated in a panel discussion open to the public entitled “Haiti at the Crossroads,” featuring Bellegarde-Smith, Zoboi, and Vanderbilt History Professor Brandon Byrd and African American and Diaspora Studies Professor Tiffany Patterson. 


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University of Utah National Resource Centers Collaborate on Reading Initiative

Some of the books selected for the READ-U initiative

“I’m officially resigning from love…” bellowed young adult author Pablo Cartaya, as he delivered the opening monologue to his award-winning title The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora to a packed house at the Artworks for Kids Auditorium in the College of Education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. On a rainy April day, Cartaya spoke with 75 fifth grade students and over 100 educators and members of the public. Cartaya’s visit coincided with the launch of the Reading for Empathy, Awareness, and Diversity with U (READ-U) initiative, a new children’s literature resource shared among the university's Asia Center, Center for Latin American Studies, and College of Education. The Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies are both Title VI National Resource Centers (NRC)

The READ-U program is intended to tackle challenging and varied subjects by establishing a college-based community resource where families and educators can access quality, diverse books in themed sets, curated by faculty with expertise in children’s literature, literacy, and socioemotional development. Among their many K–12 outreach initiatives, the university's two NRCs support teacher pedagogy training related to international children’s literature to integrate Asian and Latin American studies into elementary school curricula.

When introducing READ-U, Karen Tao, assistant professor of educational psychology, shared a personal story from her childhood about navigating a difficult conversation with her mother regarding war and trauma after she read the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, a children’s book that tells of the aftermath of the World War II bombing of Hiroshima. Tao shared that READ-U’s themed book sets include discussion guides to support educators and families in creating dialogue to address life experiences that are often too challenging to talk about. The global literature book sets, which include Latin American or Asian settings and themes, are in categories to facilitate discussions that include Grief and Loss, Activists for Social Justice, Positive Identity Formation with Regards to Race and Ethnicity, and Living with War and Traumatic Events.

In addition to curating thematic book sets, the READ-U initiative invites an author to campus annually to highlight work relevant to Asia and/or Latin America. As a Cuban American, Cartaya's work explores the experiences of Latin characters living in the United States and is centered around the themes of family, community, and culture. This fall, the university's READ-U collaborative will bring author and illustrator Thi Bui to Salt Lake City. Bui’s illustrated memoir The Best We Could Do gives a glimpse into one family’s journey as it flees war-torn Vietnam in the 1970's. According to the Asia Center Director Kim Korinek, “Bui’s visit will bring together local members of the Vietnamese American community, as well as students and scholars from fields ranging from creative writing, to Asian studies and sociology, to explore the social and familial legacies of 20th century wars in Southeast Asia and the lessons gleaned from refugees’ stories.”

To access the READ-U book sets, please write to readu@utah.edu.



2019 Summer Institutes for K–16 Teachers at Title VI National Resource Centers

Summer Institute at University of Pennsylvania

There are 96 federally funded Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs) at universities throughout the United States. As centers of excellence for teacher education, area studies and modern foreign language instruction, and outreach, the NRCs provide curriculum materials, travel awards, faculty development stipends, support for visiting scholars, and other teacher education and faculty resources. Through the centers' websites, you can find a wide array of resources, such as lesson plans, culture boxes (for educators with a desire to use real artifacts from a particular world region in their classrooms), Skype-based classroom speakers, and more.


Many NRCs also organize summer institutes for teachers. Some institutes have funding to defray travel expenses for out-of-town participants. The University of California, Berkeley has compiled a list of summer institutes for teachers around the country. Information is posted as it becomes available.

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Attend a 2019 Summer Institute for K–16 Language Teachers at a Title VI Language Resource Center

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There are 16 federally funded Title VI Language Resource Centers (LRCs) at universities across the United States that work to support the nation’s capacity for language teaching and learning. The LRCs offer free or low-cost teaching materials, professional development opportunities, assessment and evaluation services, and much more throughout the year. To learn more about the LRC summer institutes and other programs, see the "Professional Development" section of the joint LRC website at the link below.

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Global Teaching Dialogue at U.S. Department of State: June 28

Global Teaching Dialogue

Registration is now open for the fourth annual Global Teaching Dialogue at the U.S. Department of State, which will take place in Washington, D.C., on Friday, June 28, 2019.


All teachers, educators, and global education experts are welcome to attend this free and public event. Online registration is open through Friday, June 21.


For more information, directions, and resources for the event, please visit the Global Teaching Dialogue Website. If there are any questions, please contact the U.S. Department of State Teacher Exchange Program team at teacherexchange@state.gov.


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International and Foreign Language Education Office News

IFLE Welcomes Sarah Beaton

Welcome to IFLE

Sarah Beaton was selected as the new director of the Advanced Training and Research Division to oversee the Title VI grant portfolio and program staff. Sarah is not new to the Department's Office of Postsecondary Education or to international education programs. Previously she coordinated the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, the First in The World program, and the international academic partnerships including special U.S.-Brazil collaboration programs to link American academia with European Union, Canadian, and Mexican universities. She also led the Hispanic-Serving Institutions - Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics and Articulation programs and other programs that bolster U.S. colleges and universities to prepare globally competent students for the 21st century workforce. During her tenure in the international education program office 10 years ago, Sarah gained extensive experience managing Fulbright-Hays programs and Title VI international business education grants. In these various roles, she designed and convened conferences and research projects. She holds degrees in economics, liberal arts, and business. Welcome to IFLE, Sarah!


Google Map of FY 2018 Grantees

Google Map of FY 2018 IFLE Grantees

Explore our Google map of FY 2018 IFLE grantees to learn about the currently funded Title VI domestic projects being implemented on campuses across the United States and the Fulbright-Hays overseas projects being conducted around the world by participants and dissertation researchers. These projects strengthen international and foreign language education for a wide range of students, participants, and stakeholders!


This map provides a user-friendly way for viewers to get a sense of the extensive reach of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays grantee institutions featured, as well as the diversity of our grantee institutions.


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