The first ever Khebrat group has accomplished its “Building Leadership for Change through School Immersion” program with the English Language Institute at Missouri State.
This 12-month program started on Feb 5, 2018. The 28 English teachers from Saudi Arabia experienced three phases in Springfield, which are English training at the ELI, leadership teacher training, immersion in local schools, and research capstone-Implementing educational change in Saudi Arabia. The last phase is to present the findings of their research in Saudi Arabia.
“Khebrat” in Arabia means “Experiences”. It perfectly described their program, which is full of experiences.
“I enjoy school immersion because I saw students working as youth leaders in their schools and community. Student’s voice is valued in school. All students are given opportunities to execute their decisions and be leaders and agents of change in the community. I think this will make a big difference in my schools at home”– Abdullah Alsultan, Khebrat Participant
“It has been a wonderful experience to work with the Khebrat teachers. I have enjoyed learning about the differences in our educational systems and the similarities in our professions and our students. Khebrat teachers were kind, interested in learning, and brought interesting ideas to our discussions. I think it is always beneficial for students (and teachers) to get to know people from other cultures and to see the similarities and differences in our lives.”– Immersion Site Teacher
Back in September, 20 Khebrat participants made presentations at the MIDTESOL (Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference. Their presentations were received with praise by conference attendees, with several presenters receiving a “perfect 1” feedback score in the conference app from other conference attendees.
“In MIDTESOL I felt that I was so happy especially the day before the conference, and when we presented I was so emotional because I talked about my beloved country which gave me chances I would never have dreamed about. I hope I presented my country well and made my voice reach to show how much I am very thankful and proud to my country Saudi Arabia.”- Huda Almutairi, Khebrat Participant
Khebrat participants were also highly involved in the local community. They participated Reading Buddy program at Rountree elementary school, toured local schools in Springfield, Republic, and Nixa school districts, made cultural presentations for Tour of the Globe and Saudi National Day at Missouri State, and participated in a culture fair at Lebanon High School.
“The greatest thing at Missouri State is the staff, plus the Springfield community.” – Khebrat Participant
The 2nd cohort of 14 teaches started in July 2018. The ELI is expecting a 3rd cohort in summer 2019.