December 5, 2014, May George, a post-doctoral fellow and Frederick Douglas
Institute Scholar at IUP, and doctoral students Huachuan Wen and Yao
Fu, from Professional Studies in Education, shared their successful
cross-cultural experiences with about 20 middle school students in
Pittsburgh using Google Hangouts.
students were seventh and eighth graders, including 10 English as a Second Language (ESL) students
and their American friends, at Gateway School District in Pittsburgh.
During the ESL panel discussion, George (from Iraq) and Wen and
Fu (from China) led the video conference by sharing their intriguing
yet inspiring experiences in adjusting to cultural differences and
gaining accomplishments both in life and academic pursuit since
immigrating to the United States. They also interacted with the
students by exchanging questions and responses toward the end of the
discussion. Hassan Bakri, a dentist from Syria who practices in Mt.
Lebanon, also participated in person.
Loiello, the ESL teacher for Gateway students in grades 5-12, is
also a graduate from the Master of Education program in Professional Studies in
Education at IUP. She said she wanted the presentation to show the
students they could be successful in academia or the workforce,
even when navigating those worlds in a second language. In the
feedback from her, she said the panel discussion was definitely a
rewarding and inspiring experience for her students.
is the first time we’ve done something quite like this,” said
middle school assistant principal Joe DiLucente, who also heads the
language-teaching program. He also hoped to make possible more
opportunities like this for his students.
article regarding the ESL panel at Gateway Middle School was in the
December 11, 2014 edition of The
Professional Studies in Education