The following is from the Arlington Public Schools.
The Arlington Public Schools announced Wednesday that will be hosting Mandarin teacher Qiang Xu from Mianyang City, Sichuan, China, during the 2012-2013 school year.
Mr. Xu is an exchange teacher awarded to Arlington through a fellowship from the U.S. Department of State through the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP), which is funded by their Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by American Councils for International Education.
The goal of the program is to increase the study and acquisition of Mandarin Chinese and Arabic in U.S. schools, and provide selected exchange teachers the opportunity to learn about American teaching methods, culture and society. The TCLP funds the teacher’s stipend for the full academic year.
Mr. Xu currently teaches English at Nanshan Senior High School, a large urban school for grades 10-12. He received his bachelor’s degree in English Education from Sichuan Teachers College in Nanchong, China, and Certification of Postgraduate courses from Southwest Normal University in Chongqing.
When he is not teaching he enjoys biking, photography and singing Chinese folk songs.
Throughout the school year, Mr. Xu will teach Mandarin language classes at the high school and work with the social studies teachers at the to enhance the curriculum in areas of Chinese history, culture and geography.
One of his goals is to establish connections between Arlington students and his former students in China, enabling both groups to improve their language ability and learn more about each other’s culture and way of life.
“We are extremely pleased that Mr. Xu will be joining us”, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said. “His presence enables us to offer 3 levels of Mandarin instruction to our students, and is a tremendous opportunity for our community to increase its understanding of what life is like in China.”
This is the second year that Arlington High School has been awarded an exchange teacher through the TCLP. During 2011-2012, Arlington hosted Bo Yu, from Beijing, China.