Judy Emerson, an English Language Fellow in Mongolia, splits her time between the American Corner program in Ulaanbaatar and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology in Darkhan. As part of her fellowship, she creates unique activities for both the multi-age American Corner program and the University students in Darkhan. This fall, Emerson celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with both groups through innovative lessons on American culture and customs.
Emerson coordinated an American Corner program for thirty-five university and high school students on November 23rd to discuss the purpose of Thanksgiving. The group also learned the songs “Over the River and Through the Woods” and the “Thanksgiving Song” by Mary Chapin Carpenter.
In Darkhan, University students majoring in Technical Translation invited faculty and their fellow students to a Thanksgiving celebration on November 30th. Students presented information on the holiday, including Thanksgiving traditions, food, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Black Friday, and American football. Emerson and Peace Corps Volunteer William Schlaack provided pumpkin cupcakes for the gathering while students served buttered bread, lettuce with chicken, Sea Buckthorn juice, and candy. Emerson has found that students are increasingly interested in American holidays and culture as they learn more English, which was emphasized by participants from the English Language and Russian departments, the Conversation Club, and friends and the students.