Case Study: Building Intercultural Understanding
The Meg language and culture program provides a rich platform for students to start building intercultural understanding, in ways that are both implicit and explicit. Through connecting internationally with a native speaking language teacher, students are presented with an opportunity to build intercultural understanding in a meaningful and contextual environment. As they get to know their China-based teacher across the school year, they get to explore another culture first-hand. This experience allows them to also reflect on what culture is as a concept, and to mirror it to their own culture. This international connection opens up the students’ world beyond their classroom, school, community, city and even country.
PS 87 in the Bronx, New York, is one of our original partner schools in the US market. The principal, Donna Anaman (pictured), is a true innovator who sees the value in providing unique and global experiences to her students. The school enrolled its grade 1-5 students in our language and culture program and have been with us for the past three years. Students enjoy learning about Chinese culture, as they learn the language, and about their Chinese teacher’s daily life in their weekly lessons which helps them building intercultural understanding. They are encouraged to reflect on their own culture and that of others whilst they do so, developing understanding, empathy and respect for different cultures. Teachers at PS 87 have taken it upon themselves to create cross-curriculum ties by linking different subjects to Chinese and build respect and pride in their work by showcasing their learning at school assemblies.
“The teacher is very good with the students, the kids are excited and as an audience, they are engaged.”
– Denise Selivan, PS 87 Classroom teacher