Reading Globally: Connecting Classrooms to the World

Project Director: Kathy Short (UA)
In collaboration with: UA College of Education and Worlds of Words

An extension of CERCLL’s “Introducing Children and Adolescents to the World” project of 2006-2010, and the “Bringing Global Cultures and World Languages into K-8 Classrooms” project in 2010-2014, the new project again brings International Consultants and Language and Culture Kits into K-8 schools. The project will: (1) make K-8 teachers more confident and comfortable with integrating a broader range of cultural and linguistic perspectives into their classrooms—including materials created by this project and its earlier iterations; (2) respond to research that shows that early connection of students to foreign language and culture is imperative by bringing materials to K-8 students in order to encourage them to pursue these languages in high school and university contexts; and (3) contribute to the professional development of elementary preservice and inservice teachers, by influencing their instruction and expanding their perspectives on global education and intercultural competence. The project will create new kits on the following languages/cultures/regions: a. Vietnam/Vietnamese, b. West Africa (Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria)/Bambara, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and c. India/Hindi (each kit includes: 12-15 picture books, 3-5 novels, language study materials for the targeted culture and teaching strategies and information on web sites and electronic resources). The project will also offer a series of on-site workshops/study groups at requesting schools, and refine the assessment tools to measure teachers’ and students’ intercultural competence in elementary and middle schools (developed in the previous iterations of this project).