Hall High School ESL Program Recieves International Visitors

Jan 25, 2016

Visiting teachers observe an ESL Algebra class at Hall High School.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Educators from the around the world toured Hall High School’s English as a Second Language program Monday. The visiting teachers included representatives from Taiwan, Oman, China, Bulgaria, and Afghanistan.

It’s part of a U.S. State Department effort that brings international visitors to observe U.S. educational practices.

Hall High School was selected for part of the program by the State Department. It has 290 ESL students that are bused from around the Little Rock School District.

During the tour, the international visitors sat in on classes in both Math and English. 

“They're coming here to learn how here in the United States we teach non-native speakers," said Kathleen Madden, an organizer of the visit with Global Ties Arkansas.

Bing Xie is an education professor from China, who sat in on an Algebra class at the school. She said one positive difference she’s noticed in U.S. classrooms is more conversation and less lecturing.

"The teaching method is quite good, and the students are involved, highly involved in the classroom. I think this is what we Asian countries should learn," she said. 

Alternately, Xie said she believes Chinese teachers could offer U.S. educators a model of dedication to teaching, despite the difficulties of the job.

The group heads next to New Mexico.