It has become increasingly important that students become more aware of different cultures and societies. For students, international education means learning about the history, geography, literature and arts of other countries and importance or learning a second language.
“With the events surrounding the tragedies of September 11, I believe it is more important than ever to learn about other nations and their customs,” State Schools Superintendent Dr. David Stewart said. “During this week, students can gain a better understanding of the world in which they live and come away with a more tolerant outlook toward different cultures.”
Some suggested activities for International Week include inviting an international guest speaker to address any number of topics, from the differences in education systems to holiday celebrations.
Other activities would be to facilitate a classroom-to-classroom connection with another country. Today’s technology allows computer users to communicate with friends from around the world as easy as a keystroke almost instantaneously. The Teacher’s Guide to International Collaboration on the internet is available at http://www.ed.gov/technology/guide/international/.
Also included as a suggestion is an internationally-themed essay contest. Students can select an international topic and compose essays. The schools could publish the contest winners in a school-wide newspaper. Students who are non-native English speakers could enter the National Association for Bilingual Education’s annual Nationwide Writing Contest for Bilingual Students.
The WVDE encourages all schools to provide it a brief summary of their activities. Anyone with any questions or comments should direct them to Amelia Davis Courts at firstname.lastname@example.org or Debbie Harki at email@example.com.