Friday, November 9, 2018

LCI welcomes UAE Scholarships Office representatives

From left: Ms. Maha Saeed Al Dhabari, chief academic adviser; Mr. Juma Bin Aati Alrumaithi, director of the Scholarships Office; Dr. Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs; Ms. Ayesha Juma AlKhateri, head of academic section; and Dr. Donald Back, director of the LCI.
The Language and Culture Institute on Friday welcomed representatives from the Scholarships Office (SCO) of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MOPA).

Making the trip from Abu Dhabi were Mr. Juma Bin Aati Alrumaithi, the director of the Scholarships Office; Ms. Ayesha Juma AlKhateri, head of the academic section of the study abroad division; and Ms. Maha Saeed Al Dhabari, chief academic adviser of the internal scholarships department.

Mr. Al Rumaithi was appointed acting director of the Scholarships Office in February. He currently oversees MOPA's Internal and External scholarship departments. He holds master's degrees in business administration and strategic and security studies.

Ms. Ayesha joined MOPA in 2006.  She holds a wealth of knowledge of the education system in the UAE, having worked in education for the past 12 years. She has a master's degree in international business and a bachelor's in computer engineering.

Ms. Maha joined MOPA as a scholarship coordinator in 2009. She currently advises sponsored students at private universities in the UAE and liaises with these universities. She has a degree in business and a higher diploma in banking and financial services.

During their time on campus, they met with representatives from across Virginia Tech, including Vice President for Outreach and International Affairs Guru Ghosh; Luisa Havens Gerardo, vice provost for enrollment; Juan Espinooza, associate vice provost for enrollment management; Lia Kelinsky-Jones, interim associate director at the Cranwell International Center; and Glenda Scales, associate dean for global engagement and chief technology officer at the College of Engineering.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Instructors' VATESOL presentation could help ESL teachers in Pakistan

Instructors Mary Freday and Becky Etzler present at the VATESOL Conference.
Several instructors from the Language and Culture Institute gave presentations at the VATESOL Conference on Oct. 19 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Caitlin Capone discussed "Using PowerPoint to Inculcate Complex Grammatical Structures and Engage Students." Pinar Gurdal facilitated a discussion regarding "How Well Do Truly Multilevel English as a Second Language Classes Work?" Shelly Stoddard introduced "Guided Reading and Comprehension Strategies in the Adult ELL Classroom." Inge McKenney, from Northern Virginia, presented on "How a Stroll Through History Influences U.S. Academic Culture Today." And Mary Freday and Becky Etzler presented ideas for encouraging "Extended Oral Discourse in the ESL Classroom."

Freday and Etzler's presentation was one of a series selected to be livestreamed, and the video has also been proposed for use in a Teaching Excellence Achievement grant project in Pakistan.

Neelo Fer Anwar, an ESL teacher from Pakistan who had previously attended teacher training at the LCI through a TEA scholarship, is proposing to transfer skills learned at the LCI to teachers in the semirural Gujar Khan region.

If Anwar's grant proposal is accepted, this video will be shared with an audience that has "no exposure to activity-based learning and use of technology in the classroom."

Friday, October 5, 2018

LCI students get an inside look at the Supreme Court

In a timely field trip, students from the National Capital Region toured the Supreme Court recently. Below, several students recount their experiences.

By Seham Alqahtani

Last week, we visited Supreme Court. First, I went with professors and students on the
Metro. Second, when we arrived at Supreme Court, it was rainy and cloudy. Then, we saw paintings of the Supreme Court. It was very beautiful. Also, we entered a large hall together. There was someone talking about judges. Additionally, we a movie together. It was a lovely day,
and I enjoyed with my friends, and my professors.

Ashwaq Alhajri

I have been to many trip, in my life but I will never forget out trip to Supreme Court. It was amazing. First, the court consists of chief justice and eight justice and it looked they have good relation and care about people. Second, the design of Supreme Court was amazing and fancy. They told us it is Italy and Spain design. Third, when I saw the building I knew that it was different building it was big and the design was different from the other buildings and the colors of building  was amazing. Finally, I love when we went to Supreme Court as group and I did not see building like this because of that I love it.

Natalia Rodriguez

Can someone  imagine an unique place where the subjective art could be mixed with objective law? Certainly the temple of justice, the third power of the United States, the highest tribunal in the Nation, this is The Supreme Court of the United States. It was opened to the public in 1935. Visitors are welcome to receive a tour that include two stages.

At the beginning is notorious to see majestic art sculptures, figures and symbols outdoors and indoors to the building that express different meanings related to both American and legal themes. Its design detail represent an ancient history that brought shocking facts or events which ones marked and formed the nominated “Constitution”. Afterwards, is impressive to see across the Great Hall busts of former Chief justices, then the large landmark John Marshall statue, who made the Nation's longest serving Chief Justice from 1801-1835 and huge columns and pedestals along the side walls made of an exclusive marble from Spain and Italy.

The first stage of the tour is performance inside The Courtroom where the tour guide explain about who are the participants with their seating area assigned, the judicial functions of the Supreme Court and the building's history in a 30 minutes program. The participants in the Courtroom are: Justices, Clerk, Marshal, Marshal's AIDES, Attorneys, Law Clerks, Special Guests and News Media. The Supreme Court meets between October and June. The Court generally hears two one-hour arguments a day, at 10 a.m. And 11 a.m. And sometimes afternoon sessions are scheduled if is necessary. Arguments are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in two-week intervals through late April.  An oral argument last one hour average, and attorneys are given 30 minutes each one to make a presentation and answer questions posed by the justices.

Jiyeon Shim

I’m a mother of 3 years old baby, however, I was so excited to go on a field trip like an elementary student because I wanted to be a fair and square judge when I was young. Thinking that I could have chance to meet justices whom I admire, I couldn’t sleep well the day before the field trip. It was an unexpected rainy day but I couldn’t calm myself down since Supreme Court is the place in charge of judicial power.

When I first entered the court room, I was a little bit surprised because the size of the room was smaller than I thought. However, it was beautiful and dignified. According to the movie from the Supreme Court, as the building was built during the Great Depression, it was able to build a nice building at a low price. The pillars made up of European marbles and pretty flower-shaped ceiling were impressive. Every people in the room was curious about the meaning of the flower, but the docent said that it has no meaning. The docent introduced Chief Justice Marshall, whose term in office was the longest among all justices. He contributed the main foundation of the U.S. constitutional analysis system, including the principle of judicial review. I could also see his statue in the building.

After the docent introduced John Marshall, she explained about the process of decision making in the Supreme Court. Once case is selected, decision for the case is made through oral argument. I was impressed that every people could see oral arguments. Justices have the exclusive chamber which make them not to be interfered from anyone else for the fair decisions.

There were 8 seats for justices because of the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. Pointing to the chairs, the docent explained the order in which the judges sit down. Following the rule of seniority, justices have their own seat. The docent asked us who is serving the longest among current justices. Most of us surmised Justice Ginsburg, but the answer was Clarence Thomas. He sit next to the chief justice on the right side. I was astonished when I heard their ages. Unless there is impeachment, justices may serve for the remainder of their lives. I thought that this rule could strengthen the judicial power.

Leaving the Supreme Court, I acknowledge that the majestic building and process of decision means that the Supreme Court represented judicial power. Once again, I could recognize again the importance of the separation of powers for justice. I hope that the separation of the three powers of the United States can be maintained as the judicial sphere has been preserved.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Presentations point to the power of persuasion

Students in professor Mary Freday's class presented posters recently in which they "pitched" a product  either one they invented or an existing one  and explained the choices they made when designing their advertisement.

Students had to use persuasive language in their poster. But beyond that, creativity was encouraged!

In three-minute presentations based on the posters, students had to cover the following points:

  • Why did they choose this product?
  • What is great about the product?
  • Explain why they designed the ad they way they did.
See more photos in our Facebook album.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Video: Meet some of Virginia Tech's international students

Here are just a few reasons why the over 425 new international students felt that Virginia Tech was the best choice for them.

No matter your reason, know that you're in the right place and #YouAreWelcomeHere.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Photos: LCI welcomes 2nd cohort of Pakistani Fellows

The LCI hosted a welcome reception for our second cohort of remarkable Fellows from Pakistan.

They are participating in the six-week Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program for Pakistan.

See more photos on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

LCI welcomes CIS University Tour to campus

LCI Director Don Back welcomed participants from the Council of International Schools University Tour to campus on Monday evening with a picnic on Dietrick Lawn.

More than 30 representatives from schools around the world met with representatives from the Language and Culture Institute and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Among those participating in the (nearly rain-free) picnic were AdvantageVT Director Elsie Paredes, Associate Director Bryan Ducote, Interim IEP Director Pamela Smart-Smith, and Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Tyler Oxley.

On Tuesday, participants took part in a walking tour of campus and then held brief sessions at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.