NEW INSTALLMENT OF THE FASTEST PIG IN THE WEST PUBLISHED
Do you remember Jimmy Lin, an active, curious 11-year old who was the hero of the KCIES chapter book, The Fastest Pig in the West. Jimmy is a boy who straddles two cultures: the Midwestern culture of Buffalo Grove, Kansas where his family runs the town's Chinese restaurant, and his ancestral culture from mainland China. The book tells the story of how Jimmy learns to understand, live with and embrace these two cultures and their differences.
Now, Jimmy is back in Fastest Pig II: Journey to the West thanks to further funding from the Freeman Foundation of New York and Stowe, Vermont. This time his travels in China are told in the format of a graphic novel. He and his friend Grace, visit the usual sites in China-the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square-and some more unusual spots including a small village where Jimmy attends a family wedding. Along the way, Jimmy meets one of the most famous characters in Chinese legend-the Monkey King-and learns some important lessons about maturity.
Fastest Pig II: Journey to the West is written in both English and Chinese. Readers can flip the book over and compare the corresponding English and Chinese texts. It will give American students an experience of how Chinese looks and sounds. The book can also be used as a Chinese language teaching tool for those interested in studying this fascinating language. A copy of Fastest Pig II: Journey to the West was given to every public library and elementary school library throughout Kansas in hopes that Jimmy's story would provide an entertaining and informative way for students to learn more about Chinese language and culture.
Teachers may receive a free copy of Fastest Pig II: Journey to the West for their classroom by contacting Randi Hacker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-educators should send a check for $7.99 made out to CEAS/KU to Randi Hacker at Center for East Asian Studies, 1440 Jayhawk Blvd. #200, Lawrence, Kansas. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.
New Legislation on Global Education Introduced
The “Excellence and Innovation in Language Learning Act” (HR 6036) which was introduced in the House of Representatives this summer, would expand teaching and learning of world languages and international education to help every young American more proficient in a second language—in addition to English—within a generation. HR 6036 promotes access to an articulated K-12 language sequence and coordinated national and state roles in foreign language instruction. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) offers tools and guidance on how to make your voice heard on this issue.
Now is also a good time to invite Senator Pat Roberts to visit your school or district, especially your world language classes, since he is a member of the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions. His support for legislation like HR 6036 in the Senate would help to increase the global competencies of Kansas students. Such support is crucial if the vision of starting language instruction early on is to be realized.
To request a visit by Senator Roberts, just go to the "Contact" info on his public website. There is also a link there to email him your thoughts on why K-12 world language instruction has become so necessary. Being able to speak more than one language has become increasingly important in our global economy and Kansas’s exports were almost NINE BILLION DOLLARS last year alone.
The Kansas in the World Award 2010
The Kansas Committee for International Education in the Schools (KCIES) awarded the fifth Kansas in the World Award for Excellence in International Education this fall. The winners were Prairie Star Elementary School and White City Schools, two very different facilities. White City Schools which serves pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades is located in a central Kansas town of 525, while Prairie Star Elementary School serves kindergarten through fifth grades in Lenexa, a Johnson County suburb with a population of 48,000.
Both schools include international content across many subject areas and grade levels using face-to-face experiences as well as online and digital resources. Exchange students have brought knowledge of and appreciation for their home countries to White City students and by extension to the community at large. At Prairie Star, the focus in on one country in particular; all students learn French language and customs culminating in a celebration of National French Week every year.
Both schools are committed to international education (usually defined as knowledge of other world regions, cultures, languages, and global issues) and will serve as role models to others in the state. They each will receive $1,000 and a handsome plaque in recognition of working to provide for student achievement in the global economy of the twenty-first century.
For more information on the Award, please contact Nancy Hope.
Kansas Task Force on International Education Releases Report
The Kansas Task Force on International Education, a statewide group of policymakers, educators, and business leaders, has released a public report detailing the current status of international education programs in Kansas elementary and secondary schools, opportunities and challenges for future development, and a series of specific policy recommendations. This report is an important first step in starting a statewide discussion on the need for increased international content in the K-12 curriculum and enrichment programs so that Kansans may be prepared for the 21st century.
Download the entire report (PDF)
Download the entire report (Word)
Download the executive summary (PDF)
Download the executive summary (Word)
For more information on the task force click here.
To request a hard copy of the Kansas Task Force on International Education report, please contact KCIES Board Member Nancy Hope at email@example.com.