CRDLLA and ELRC Sign Memorandum of Understanding with China Primary School
The Center for Research and Development in Dual Language and Literacy Acquisition (CRDLLA) and the Education Leadership Research Center (ELRC) in the College of Education and Human Development formed a professional partnership with the Beihai Haicheng No. 1 Experimental Primary School, China on January 12.
“This collaboration will offer many opportunities for CEHD faculty and students to have direct experiences working internationally in China with their students, teachers, leaders and parents,” Dr. Beverly Irby, ELRC Director and CRDLLA Co-Director, said. “This collaboration will not only benefit children in China, but also our students and faculty in learning about how a second language is acquired in China, and about their culture as a whole.”
The entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines five objectives they hope to achieve in the next five years.
The objectives include the potential establishment of an educational experimental site at the school in China, encouraging the exchange of students, potential development of virtual teaching professional development, furthering academic excellence in the U.S. and China and potentially developing a detailed Memorandum of Agreement.
Director of CRDLLA, Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio, said he is excited about the future of students being exposed to two powerful languages, English and Mandarin. “This is a great opportunity to acquire the oral and biliteracy skills not just for learning to read and write in their world, but also to contribute to world understanding and transformation,” Lara-Alecio said.
The memorandum was signed by Ms. Chunyan Luo, Principal of the Beihai Haicheng No. 1 Experimental Primary School, Dr. Michael Benedik, Texas A&M’s Vice Provost and Chief International Officer, Lara-Alecio, Irby and Dr. Fuhui Tong, Associate Director of CRDLLA.
Tong said the Experimental School is the first government-supported public school in the province to establish an official agreement and exchange with a highly-ranked U.S. university.
Dignitaries and school officials also attended the ceremony, which included a ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the sign for the Dual Language Acquisition with Science-Infused Literacy Innovations Lab (DASI Lab).
Irby said the school is a new concept in China, focused on innovation. “In order to aid the formation of a dual language program, we have introduced our longitudinal, research-based curriculum, Story-Telling and retelling and higher order thinking for English Language and Literacy Acquisition (STELLA), and over 50 teachers, not only at the school, but across the city were trained.”
The program will also train non-English speaking teachers on Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) in English, and it will include Virtual Professional Development (VPD) and Virtual Mentoring and Coaching (VMC).
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