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About the USA - Virtual Classroom
Newsletter for English Teachers

June 2007 | Current issue
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Current Issue:
Marshall Plan – 60th Anniversary
World Environment Day - June 5 Jamestown Anniversary
Native Americans - Stereotypes and Realities
Teaching Literature: Folklife & Tall Tales
This Month: World Refugee Day – June 20
Die schönsten Franzosen kommen aus New York - French Paintings from the Met in Berlin
Web Chat Station: Internet Tools & Curriculum Design for Young Learners of English
Talking About Media:American Studies Journal

Marshall Plan – 60th Anniversary
Is the
Marshall Plan, proposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall in June 1947 the definitive model of how to organize and run a successful international aid program? It.offered massive American financial aid if war-torn European governments could cooperate to spend the money for the benefit of the entire region -- and provide matching funds. “Recovery,” Larry I. Bland, senior director of the George C. Marshall Foundation, said, was the key word in the European Recovery Program – the formal name of the Marshall Plan. The goal was not to develop trade and expertise where none had existed, but to help restore Europe to its former wealth. Western Europe already had a working legal system, respect for private property and ownership, and centuries of evolution toward democratic governance."...

World Environment Day - June 5
World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The World Environment Day slogan selected for 2007 is Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?

Jamestown Anniversary
In 1607, 13 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, a group of 104 English men and boys began a settlement on the banks of Virginia's James River. They were sponsored by the Virginia Company of London, whose stockholders hoped to make a profit from the resources of the New World. The community suffered terrible hardships in its early years, but managed to endure, earning the distinction of being America's first permanent English colony.
Although Jamestown settlement was launched as a commercial venture by London shareholders, it quickly evolved into the English New World’s first laboratory for representative government...

Native Americans - Stereotypes and Realities
“To counter flawed representations found throughout popular culture and the media, the author draws on her identity as a woman from the Nambe Pueblo to help teachers select children's books that are realistic in their presentation of Native peoples, as well as factually, historically, and culturally accurate.”
From: Proceed with Caution: Using Native American Folktales in the Classroom Debbie Reese, Language Arts, Jan 2007, v84, #3, pp245

Teaching Literature: Folktales
Folktales interpret the experience of tellers and audience. While motifs endure from century to century and culture to culture, details and emphases vary with group experience and individual talent. The art of the tale is to adapt the traditional motif to particular circumstances..

This Month: World Refugee Day – June 20
In 2000, a special UN General Assembly Resolution was unanimously adopted which designated 20 June every year as World Refugee Day. Since World War II, more refugees have found permanent homes in the U.S. than in any other country. The U.S. is also the largest single donor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), making it a global leader in refugee protection and assistance...

Die schönsten Franzosen kommen aus New York - French Paintings from the Met in Berlin
"It sounds like a paradox, but it is a very simple truth, that when today we look for 'American art' we find it mainly in Paris.” Henry James, 1887
Paris was the art capital of the 19th century. While Americans had a strong “New World” vision of the United Sates, “Old World” culture was still the yardstick for aesthetic refinement and the prestige that came with it. With their technological know-how and their economy growing at a fast pace, Americans wanted some of that prestige which meant creating -- and collecting -- art on European terms...

Web Chat Station: Internet Tools & Curriculum Design for Young Learners of English
How can technology enhance English-language instruction for young learners? Join ESL expert Judie Haynes to discuss ways to motivate students and make language learning fun!

Talking About Media: American Studies Journal
The American Studies Journal has been re-launched and turned into an electronic publication.



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Updated: May 2007