Below are several suggestions regarding activities that can be easily implemented during the International Education Week to broaden students' understanding of the world in which we live:
* Invite an International guest speaker to your school. This person may be a parent, community member, an employee of an international corporation, a student from a nearby college, a foreign exchange student or an English as a second language student. Your guest speaker could address any number of topics, from the differences in their native educational system to a particular holiday celebration they enjoy. Encourage students to participate and help them brainstorm questions in advance.
* Emphasize cultural diversity in the curriculum. In your lesson plans, include some specific points for addressing multicultural topics. For example, if you are an upper elementary Math teacher and are studying the metric system, you might prepare a world map that highlights a few of the countries that use metrics. Ask students to do a short research project on one of these places.
* Begin an e-pal exchange. Classroom computers and the Internet now allow students to write to friends in other parts of the world as quick as a keystroke! Try these sites for establishing individual or class e-pals: www.world-pen-pals.com, http://www.world-pen-pals.com, www.epals.com, http://www.epals.com (this site allows your students to communicate in English, French, Spanish, German, and Portuguese), www.biwa.ne.ip/~hayama-j, http://www.biwa.ne.ip/~hayama-j (This is a web site for Hayama Junior High School in Japan). * The above sites are all specifically for students. Yahoo provides other listings; however, several are adult-oriented. Make sure to preview these before giving them to your students.
* Choose a foreign word or expression of the day. This is a wonderful way to incorporate language into your celebration. Students might learn to say "Hello"- Hola [Spanish] on Monday; "Good Morning"- Ohayo [Japanese] on Tuesday; "Good-bye"- Arrivederci [Italian] on Wednesday; "Thank you"-Merci [French] on Thursday; and, then, use all four words on Friday.
For more information, go to: http://exchanges.state.gov/iep/ We encourage schools to use their creativity as they modify and adapt these activities to the particular needs of their school. Please feel free to send questions, comments or feedback to Amelia Davis Courts at firstname.lastname@example.org or Debbie Harki at email@example.com .
Thank you for your participation.