iEARN-USA Implements Virtual Summer Intensive NSLI-Y Programming


In response to COVID-19, and with the safety of students in mind, programming for the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), a merit-based scholarship exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State for high schoolers to learn critical languages which iEARN-USA helps implement, went virtual for its summer session. 

The NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive (VSI) program is a virtual alternative to NSLI-Y's standard summer programming. As the name implies, VSI aims to provide an intensive virtual language learning experience to substitute for NSLI-Y's in-person summer programs, running for five weeks from July 6 - August 7, 2020. iEARN-USA is implementing NSLI-Y VSI programs in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, and Korean. iEARN-USA Grants Program staff have risen to the occasion to provide an educational, engaging, and meaningful virtual experience for NSLI-Y summer students. 

Below are some highlights of iEARN-USA's NSLI-Y Virtual Programming thus far.


NSLI-Y VSI Arabic Students Virtually Tour Rabat

On July 7, NSLI-Y VSI Arabic students participated in a virtual tour of Rabat with their language partners. The virtual tour was organized through a website that enabled the students to have a panoramic view of the city and all of its cultural and historical sites. Their language partners guided the students on their virtual tour, sharing the history of the city and important monuments, as well as giving the students a glimpse into the typical lifestyle of Moroccan families. On July 10, the students were able to share what they learned from their virtual tour and practice their Arabic with a guest speaker.


NSLI-Y VSI Chinese Students Connect with Alumni  

On July 10, NSLI-Y VSI Chinese students connected with Chance Leuphold, an alumnus from the 2018-2019 Academic Year program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan who received a scholarship to study at National Taiwan University after completing his program. Chance discussed his NSLI-Y and college experiences learning Chinese in Taiwan, and shared additional language learning resources with the students. The students also asked him about how he applied for the scholarship he received, his favorite Taiwanese foods, and his experience navigating culture shock. The students then discussed the topics covered in Chance’s presentation with their teachers and each other in Chinese.  


NSLI-Y VSI Hindi Students Practice Yoga

On July 10, NSLI-Y VSI Hindi students received a guest speaker who talked about the history and practice of yoga. The guest speaker discussed and demonstrated several yoga poses. The students then had the opportunity to practice each of the poses demonstrated by the guest speaker after following his instructions.


NSLI-Y VSI Korean Students Learn from Alumni

On July 9, NSLI-Y VSI Korean students heard from Shada Malone, an alumna from the 2018-2019 Academic Year program in Seoul, South Korea. Shada returned to Korea after her NSLI-Y program to attend college, and was interviewed in person by Better World staff. The interview, conducted entirely in Korean, provided VSI students with specific information about life in South Korea, and Shada’s experiences with NSLI-Y and in college. In the event that students are able to visit Korea in the future, they will be able to build upon what they learned from Shada as they form their own experiences.