Tuesday, April 30, 2013

LCI helps train South Korean engineers

Ten engineers from South Korea participating in a six-month civil engineering program at the Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington began their studies with six weeks of intensive English training at the Language and Culture Institute in the National Capital Region.

For six weeks, the engineers learned strategies for producing intelligible speech, developed classroom presentations, participated in group work, practiced academic writing in the field (journals and citations), and explored Virginia Tech's extensive online resources through their research.

The skills acquired at the LCI provided the engineers with a strong foundation for the seminars, research, and writing they will perform during their training in procurement and projects.

Read more about the engineers and the VT-KPEA Global Engineering Program here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

More photos from Washington

Washington, D.C., cherry blossoms
AlJowhara took this photo of the Washington Monument during a boat trip to get a different perspective of the cherry trees.
After the LCI National Capital Region field trip to Washington, D.C., student AlJowhara created a photo essay showing off  the city's famous cherry trees and some of the capital's many monuments.

Click here to see more of AlJowhara's photos from Washington.

The 555-foot-tall Washington Monument, the most prominent structure in the city, is closed for repairs due to an earthquake in 2011.
I picked this shot for Martin Luther King after the park ranger explained it to us, AlJowhara says. His statue is the leap of hope from the two mountains. His status is incomplete because there are still some works to done for the civil rights. 
I doubt that the grass is doing any kind of camouflage, AlJowhara says of the Korean War Veterans Memorial. I can clearly see the soldiers and so can the plane above.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Students take in beauty, history in Washington, D.C.

The LCI group stops for a photo in front of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial.
On April 10, LCI students and their professors in the National Capital Region made an unforgettable trip to the National Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, D.C.
Talking with the ranger at the Korean
War Memorial

After leaving the Metro, we walked around the west side of the Tidal Basin, where everybody took astonishing photos with the cherry blossom trees in full bloom and the Jefferson Memorial in the background.

 Our first stop was the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, where one of the park rangers gave us an informative speech explaining the symbolism of the memorial.

The next stop was the Korean War Veterans Memorial, where we had the honor of listening to a park ranger who was a Korean War veteran; he was also present at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and listened to King's "I Have a Dream" speech in person. Not only did he share much valuable historic information about the Korean War that most of us were not familiar with, but he also told us about how he had been affected by segregation and King's work.
At the Martin Luther King Jr.

The last, and equally impressive, stop was the Lincoln Memorial. We took some time to explore the memorial and learn about the symbolism of it as well as the contributions of the man honored -- President Abraham Lincoln, who is regarded as one of America’s greatest statesmen.

The trip was a great success, both entertaining and educational. To make the trip as informative as possible, the LCI professors created a scavenger hunt to accompany the field trip. Students were split into a few groups at the beginning of the trip and were given lists of questions they were able to answer only if they had carefully listened to the park rangers' speeches and observed the memorials. Students were presented with their prizes last week.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

LCI hosts conference for ESL teachers

Linda Sanford greets conference participants at the Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute in Blacksburg, Va.

Ada Chrisman chats with colleagues during the lunch break.
Judy Radford, ESOL coordinator for the Virginia Department of Education,
presents on the WIDA ELD standards.
On April 13, the Language and Culture Institute hosted the first Southwest Virginia conference of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (VATESOL).

About 100 people attended the conference in Blacksburg.

Participants had their choice of 13 sessions, many of which focused on teaching strategies. For lunch, participants ate in different rooms throughout the LCI and mingled with people from other institutions.

“We had a good mix of attendees from elementary, secondary, and tertiary institutions from all over Virginia,” said Melissa Tan, a member of the LCI’s Professional Development Committee.

The attendees also included two teachers from the University of Science Malaysia and a number of former LCI instructors.

Kay Gude, who traveled from Williamsburg, said she enjoyed her day at the conference, which she said was “well organized and attended with a nice variety of people and sessions.”

The association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting professional development, strengthening instruction, and supporting research opportunities at all levels for teachers and administrators of ESL/EFL/ESOL.

Photos by Linda Jilk. Reporting by Kama Weatherholt.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Former Humphrey Fellow returns to Blacksburg

Salem bin Talib (left), a 2010 Humphrey Fellow, poses for a photo with this year's cohort of Fellows and LCI staff and teachers. Salem talked with the Fellows about what to expect during their Fellowship year.
A former member of Yemen's Parliament, Salem is now the chief of staff for the Yemeni prime minister. He assists the prime minister and prepares all the decrees for the high-level positions in the country.
Salem catches up with his former teacher Pinar Gurdal.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2012 Humphrey Fellow to speak about disabilities and the WHO

Magteld Smith
Magteld Smith, a 2012 Humphrey Fellow from South Africa who studied at the LCI and the University of Minnesota, will return to Blacksburg this month to give a talk about hearing impairment and the international classification of disability.

Her presentation, "Hearing Impairments and the International Classification of Disability, Health, and Functioning of the World Health Organization," will be at 3 p.m. Friday, April 12 at 130 Jackson: A Venue for Blacksburg at 130 Jackson St. downtown.

The talk, sponsored by Virginia Tech's Office for Diversity and Inclusion, is free and open to the public. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

R.S.V.P. to shelbs19@vt.edu.

Smith is a medical-social researcher in the otorhinolaryngology department at South Africa's University of the Free State. She is an advocate for efforts to improve the conditions of people with disabilities, particularly those with disabling hearing impairment. 

Her research compares the cost effectiveness of rehabilitation programs for persons with disabling hearing impairment, including multiple disabilities associated with hearing impairment, making it possible for more people to have access to a wider array of rehabilitation options.

During her fellowship year in Minnesota, Smith, the founder of Voices of Change: Transformation for People with Disabilities Project, focused on public health policy management.