Lead with Languages Video

Here is a great video to share with people who need to know why it’s important to learn languages now, more than ever.

Lead with Languages from APCO Worldwide on Vimeo.

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World Languages Competency-Based Credits

As part of the Road Map World Languages Credit Program, a special video was made this summer to highlight the experiences of students in the 7 Road Map districts who have earned World Language Credits for languages they know.
View the Road Map World Language Credit Video.
Road Map Credit for Proficiency Report October 2014
Education Northwest spoke with students across the seven Road Map districts, from a wide range of backgrounds, and consistently found that the Road Map World Language Credit Program provided positive recognition of the value of bilingualism and increased students’ pride in and appreciation for their own strengths. It also appeared to help them meet graduation requirements. Read the Report.
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1st Annual Washington State Global Issues Network Coming!

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Community Partners,

As many of you know, for the past four years, students and teachers at Chief Sealth International High School have organized a weeklong festival called World Water Week. This year we are doing something new and exciting: the first annual Washington State Global Issues Network (WAGIN) Conference.

March 6-8, 2015 (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) we plan to host a few hundred middle and high school students at Chief Sealth IHS. We are partnering with Global Issues Network (GIN), a nonprofit that supports Global Issues conferences in Latin America and Asia. They have worked with a couple of independent schools in the U.S., but our conference will be the first international youth conference of its kind in the United States. The latest GIN conference took place in Buenos Aires in late October. You can watch videos of the student workshop sessions on the conference YouTube channel.

Here’s what WAGIN 2015 will look like:

  • We will have some school-wide events and activities during the week leading up the conference. The content of the conference includes water, but is much broader. See our conference website for the list of 20 global issues.
  • All students who attend the conference will present workshop sessions about action projects that they have carried out (connected to one or more of the 20 global issues). All workshops are youth-led.
  • Keynotes (2-3 per day). We are in the process of inviting some exciting speakers.
  • Throughout the weekend, students will meet in “Global Villages” – these are groups of 10 students, all from different schools, who will have small group discussions (facilitated by youth).
  • Each team of students that attend (2-6 in a team) will create a 1-2 minute trailer for their workshop. These will be shown as part of a film festival throughout the weekend.
  • There will be a Global Action Fair with nonprofit organizations who carry out work related to the 20 global issues. Our 9th grade students will also be sharing their Water Ecology and Sustainability Action Team (WEST) Projects at this time.
  • We are inviting schools from around the region to participate. We will also be hosting several schools from Latin America and Asia that are part of the GIN network.
  • There are over 100 leadership roles for students for planning and implementing the conference. Several student committees have been meeting for the past two months.

We have started our fundraising efforts. We are reaching out to several local businesses. (We will charge a registration fee for student teams that covers meals and other general expenses – we hope raise enough money to allow local public school students to attend for free).

WAGIN will share some things in common with World Water Week:

  • global issues focus
  • it will touch all students in our school
  • youth-led
  • powerful keynotes

And it will bring some new elements:

  • broader list of topics
  • we will bring together students from public, private, and international schools
  • weekend event
  • larger budget

There are several ways that you can be involved in the WAGIN Conference:

  • Participate in the Global Action Fair on Friday, March 6. Organizations will have tables, and some may choose to present workshops.
  • Be a keynote speaker or connect us to dynamic individuals who would be excited to speak to youth.
  • Connect us to local businesses and organizations that might want to be a sponsor or provide in-kind donations (we are looking for breakfast and snack items right now).
  • Spread the word about this opportunity to teachers and school networks. Registration information will available soon.

Noah Zeichner nczeichner@seattleschools.org
Social Studies / International Education
Chief Sealth International High School

Update 12/10/2014

Registration is now open for the Washington State Global Issues Network (WAGIN) Conference! Visit the conference website: http://globalissuesnetwork.org/wagin/.

Teams of 2-6 students can register for the rate of $100 per student. There is no additional charge for the accompanying teacher. If you would like to request full or partial scholarships, please indicate that in the registration form. We do not want the cost to prevent any student from attending. The fee covers all meals and programming throughout the weekend.

For students who are not from Seattle, there will be three categories of lodging options.

  • Local hotels
  • Local hostels
  • Family homestays

More lodging details will be posted on the conference website soon.

If you are from the Seattle area and would like to host out-of-town students for the weekend, please contact me directly.

Each registered student team will need to submit a workshop proposal – these will be due in early February. You will find student workshop guidelines on the conference website.

Noah Zeichner nczeichner@seattleschools.org

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World Educator – Noah Zeichner

Congratulations to Noah Zeichner, the 2013-2014 World Educator award recipient from the World Affairs Council in Seattle.

From their website: https://www.world-affairs.org/programs/global-classroom/world-educator-award/2013-world-educator-award/

For almost a decade, Noah has taught Social Studies and Spanish at Sealth International High School. He works diligently to keep each of his students engaged on a global level. For the past six years Noah has taught a class called Global Leadership in which students learn to work as a community as they learn about contemporary global problems. His students then take their knowledge to a nearby elementary school and teach 5th graders lessons that they develop together. For the past three years, he has facilitated a student-led, school-wide festival called World Water Week. This year he helped organize an interdisciplinary 9th grade project (world history/language arts/science) at Chief Sealth. Three hundred students studied water issues and created action projects based on research done during a field experience day. The ten 9th grade classes were connected with ten classes in Kenya with whom they shared their findings. Currently, Noah is deeply engaged in the development of the dual language/Spanish immersion program at Chief Sealth, the first of its kind in the region (content area classes in Spanish).

Read more at: https://www.world-affairs.org/programs/global-classroom/world-educator-award/

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How global is Washington?

New map illustrates importance of global competence for U.S. students

Nearly one million data points have been collected to prove what parents, businesspeople, and policymakers already know: American students must be globally competent to succeed in the interconnected 21st century. “Mapping the Nation: Linking Local to Global,” a new online resource from Asia Society, the Longview Foundation, and analytics leader SAS, makes a compelling case for a globally competent workforce and citizenry.

Launched at the U.S. Department of Education by Secretary Duncan, Mapping the Nation presents data at state and county levels to show international connections for every county in the U.S. – from jobs tied to global trade and immigrants with rich linguistic resources, to billions of dollars contributed to our economy by international students studying here. It also reveals a significant education gap: Not enough U.S. students at any level, K-16, are gaining the global knowledge and skills needed for success in this new environment.

Check out the our state page: http://mappingthenation.net/state-washington.html.

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International Education Update

We are excited to announce the return of the Washington State Coalition for International Education!

Please join us on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 7:00-8:30 pm for a conversation with Noah Zeichner, Chief Sealth International High School teacher and recipient of the 2013-14 World Educator Award. He will share highlights of his recent trip to Singapore with the Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network and the Center for Teaching Quality.

You can read his recent blog posts to learn more: http://teachingquality.org/blogs/NoahZeichner. Noah will talk about global perspectives on 21st century competencies as well as his big takeaways from visiting schools in Singapore.

After Noah’s presentation, Steering Committee members from the Washington State Coalition of International Education will share an update from their recent meetings talking about revitalizing the International Education Coalition. (Learn more about the work of this virtual coalition of individuals and organizations that share a vision of Washington State: Preparing all students for today’s interconnected world at http://internationaledwa.org.)

Please register at:
(You can register your interest in the meeting even if you can’t attend. We’ll follow up later.)

When:  Tuesday, November 12, 2013 7:00-8:30 pm
Where:  Confucius Institute Education Center @ Chief Sealth International High School
2600 SW Thistle St, Seattle, WA, 98126
Cost:  Free
Who’s invited:  Anyone interested in international/global education from preschool through graduate school.

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WAFLT Spring Regionals 2015

The Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT) is very pleased to announce that there will be more than one spring regional conference this year! This goes back to the original concept of having regional one-day conferences that were easily accessible to people in more than one part of the state. We now have confirmed dates for all three spring regionals. March 21, 2015 is the regional conference at Cheney High School in Cheney (near Spokane). Contact Rachel Martin (tiraromartin@aol.com) for more details. A westside spring regional will also take place March 21, 2015 at Mount Vernon High School. Contact Catherine Ousselin (catherineku72@gmail.com) for information. The third conference is April 4, 2015 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. Contact Alejandro Lee (leealejandro@gmail.com) for more details. Registration coming soon at http://www.waflt.net/conferences.html.

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Steps to help you go global

Wondering how to get started to make your classroom more global? Check out this blog on VIF Learn for 6 easy (pretty easy) steps to take:

  1. Look the part
  2. Take baby steps
  3. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel
  4. Start with the standards
  5. Connect
  6. Collaborate


VIF Learn has a lot of sample learning plans and ways to connect. Check it out (free registration) at: https://www.viflearn.com/.

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What Does Competition Mean Today?

Competition takes many forms. It surrounds us as children on the playground. It increases as we realize classes rank students, then into the pressure of college acceptance, and next in the job market.  Competition is not only between individuals, it is also between organizations, and states.

As I mentioned in my post last week, our world is becoming ever more interconnected. And competition has taken a new form between nations. Never before have citizens from one country been able to directly compete with citizens of another country for spots in universities or jobs at such a large scale.

Competition results in both negative and positive outcomes. The negative outcomes are job insecurities and fewer resources from the home country spent on their citizens. For example, when international students study at US universities they are receiving an education that a citizen of the US could have received instead. The positive outcomes of competition on such a global scale are that it drives states and people to make improvements. Such competition drives development, which creates great things for society. Using the international student as an example again, they pay more than a US student, which is financially beneficial to the university. The student also brings different beliefs and strengths that can better all students attending the university.

If competition is negative and positive, how should we think about it? We should teach our students and citizens that this is the reality of the world they live in. We can even be friends with the people we compete with. Competition is a factor but there is so much more to our interactions with people that it should not negatively consume us.

Competition affects all of us. Whether it is a policy implemented by our government to develop weapons before other countries or it is as simple as students competing for a higher grade in school, we are surrounded by competition. Competition can make us better people, it can help us grow.

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A Student’s Perspective on International Education

“Contemporary societies are marked by new global trends—economic, cultural, technological, and environmental shifts that are part of a rapid and uneven wave of globalization. The growing global interdependence that characterizes our time calls for a generation of individuals who can engage in effective global problem solving and participate simultaneously in local, national, and global civic life. Put simply, preparing our students to participate fully in today’s and tomorrow’s world demands that we nurture their global competence” (Asia Society xiii).

As our world rapidly changes with globalization and interdependence, our infrastructures to keep students competitive and competent need to keep pace. Through classroom exchanges and their free time on the internet, students interact from young ages with people all over the world. From my experience growing up in Seattle, attending both public and private schools in the area, there are good global education practices at work. The most salient examples of international education in grade school and secondary school in Seattle are opportunities for students to explore a second language and study abroad.

However, these opportunities are often not fully taken advantage of by the majority of students due to finances and a common view that a second language is only a graduation requirement and not necessarily a lifelong skill. This is where our schools could greatly improve. Using the Asia Society’s Global Competence framework, schools could pursue much stronger academic areas of international education.

As a student at the University of Washington I see how competitive not only getting into a strong university is, but also after graduation how competitive the job market is. For example, “3 jobs are created for every 7 international students studying in the United States” (Mapping the Nation). In 2013 close to 820,000 international students studied at U.S. colleges (NPR). Not only are US students competing with each other but they are also competing with students from other countries. Competition is not the only factor that should drive the development of global competence in US schools, but it is important to recognize and adapt to.

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