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Cultural ExchangeFellowLanguage TeachingSouth and Central AsiaSri Lanka

Discovering American Culture through S’mores and Campfire Songs

English Language Fellow Ivy Silverman recently traveled to the Battwatta Tamil Vidayalayam School, near the village of Madulsima in Sri Lanka to hold an American Culture workshop for students who are the children of 9th and 10th generation tea plantation workers. These students live on the tea plantation in a remote area of the country, and have limited exposure to English. This was the first time a native English speaking instructor had ever visited the school.

Ivy started out by leading the students in reading and listening to a story about the origins of s’mores. They then practiced the new vocabulary and grammar structures while toasting marshmallows. They sang songs around the campfire and wrote out the instructions to make s’mores on recipe cards.

Then, the students used their English skills to describe the food, games, and cultural activities involved in the Tamil New Year celebration. They played Activate board games and then created their own board games about topics relevant to their interests. The students had a fun and unique experience engaging with American Culture, and sharing their own culture through this workshop.

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This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Georgetown University, Center for Intercultural Education and Development.

All decisions related to participant terms (including candidate review, selection, funding, suspension, revocation, and termination) and all criteria related thereto are made and established by the U.S. Department of State.