One of the original purposes of the Visitor Exchange Program is to effect a CULTURAL EXCHANGE that will allow American students to know more about other countries and to help educators in your country know more about your teaching strategies, training and implementation.
You are expected as a J-1 teacher to implement CROSS-CULTURAL ACTIVITIES in your school and community. FACES has received a long document which we are condensing here to inform you of your responsibility.
- You must be involved in “ACTIVITIES THAT ARE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHARING THE LANGUAGE, CULTURE or HISTORY OF YOUR HOME COUNTRY WITH AMERICANS”. Of course such activities must not interfere with your instruction, or completion of the program.
- Every J-1 teacher must complete during the academic school year ONE OR MORE ACTIVITY OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING CROSS-CULTURAL CATEGORIES:
“an activity for the classroom, school or school district DESIGNED TO GIVE AN OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY, TRADITIONS, HERITAGE, CULTURE, ECONOMY, EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, ETC. OF HIS/HER HOME COUNTRY."
- “an activity that involves U. S. student dialogue with schools or students IN THE EXCHANGE TEACHER’S HOME COUNTRY”
Interpretation: You must conduct at least one activity for BOTH (1) and (2).
Suggestions for (1):
A program with a power point, slides, other media that you would conduct with your students with invitation to parents or the entire school community to provide insight to the listed items above. One example in recent years was in Sumter, where the teacher conducted a “Latin American Night” in the school multi-purpose room where the students presented culture, songs, dances and food and the parents were invited. Publicity was made through the local newspapers and the event was very successful. Parents were even invited to participate in the songs and dances.
- A presentation of songs or dances to the entire student body, typical of the home country.
- Students make posters to illustrate various aspects of the home country and place them around the school.
Suggestions for (2):
Of course, pen pals would be ideal for this requirement. But it should not be limited to letters alone: encourage the exchange of e mails, power points, slides, family photos, even SKYPE contacts.
ABOVE ALL REMEMBER THAT THESE ACTIVITIES MUST BE CONCERNED WITH YOUR HOME COUNTRY!!
As your sponsor, FACES will be required to collect from every teacher annually REPORTS THAT DETAIL YOUR CROSS-CULTURAL ACTIVITY COMPONENTS.
EACH report should include the following information:
1-Teacher’s full name, school with location, and of course FACES as the sponsor.
2-Date of every activity as outlined above.
3-Location of the activity. (School, community, school room, etc.)
4-AUDIENCE and PARTICIPANTS in the activity
5-TOPIC of the activity, along with its purpose and general design
6-Estimation of the SUCCESS or IMPACT of the activity.