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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Multilingual/Multicultural Education: Summer Institutes for Arabic and Chinese Teachers

The Multilingual/Multicultural Education program is actively engaged in filling the need for highly qualified teachers in languages identified by the United States Department of State as critical need. These languages include Arabic, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. In the past three years Arabic and Chinese teachers have participated in summer institutes and monthly fall workshops for intensive pedagogical training in transitioning to teaching in U.S. schools. Teacher participants actively engage in an online multimedia learning environment using Blackboard. A significant component of the summer institutes is the creation and maintenance of a learning community during which participants experience the preparation, engagement, assessment, and reflection phases. This online community provides rich insight into cultural and educational influences that shape and inform teachers' attitudes and dispositions about teaching and learning.