Global Updates From World View
September 2009

Immigrant Populations
in North Carolina:

The World in Your Classroom

With over 200 million estimated international migrants in the world today, more than fifty countries from Spain and Costa Rica to Ireland, Canada, Jordan, and the United States have immigrant communities comprising 10% or more of their total population. The US Census Bureau estimates that North Carolina is home to over 600,000 foreign born immigrants: 6.8% of the Tar Heel State’s population. As the internet, television, and international business bring the world to North Carolina’s classrooms, so too do immigrant students bring a wealth of second language capabilities, cultural knowledge, and global connections.

This month’s Global Updates highlights the top ten countries of origin for the foreign born immigrants in North Carolina. The suggested websites, books, and activities will help us learn about and learn with our newest neighbors. Before using this information in your classroom, please read below the Tips for Using Cultural Knowledge in the Classroom.
I. Websites, Books, and Activities by Country of Origin for NC Immigrants and Their Classmates

39.3% of NC Immigrant Population, 2.7% of NC Population

Mexican Children in the Classroom
Educators’ manual describes the educational background of Mexican-born children and their American-born siblings, the Mexican educational system, the geography and history of Mexico, cultural differences between Mexico and the United States, and Mexican customs and traditions.

Going to Carolina del Norte
Presents the stories of Mexican immigrants living in Orange County, North Carolina and their families who remain in Celaya, Guanajuato.

Global Education in NC

Transitioning Students for Success in Guilford County

Each year immigrant and refugee families enter Guilford County from Burma, Vietnam, Iraq, Bhutan, and Mexico. Many of these immigrants are refugees escaping ethnic, religious, or political persecution. Although the families bring strength and determination to Guilford County, refugee children often arrive with interrupted or nonexistent experience in formal education.

In 2007, Guilford County established the Doris Henderson Newcomers School to effectively address these students’ unique needs: language acquisition, content learning, and social acclimation. Students in grades three through twelve spend up to one calendar year at the school before transitioning to other Guilford County schools. The eighty students transitioning this January have benefited from community fieldtrips, a school garden, and ongoing assessment resulting in adjustments to instruction. Principal Jake Henry believes his staff has been successful in preparing students for their new schools and is confident that the students have much to offer their non-immigrant peers: “The students reach across cultural lines to care for each other with very few conflicts; they know the value of education. There is so much non-immigrant students could learn from them.”

For more information:

Educator Fernando Solano teaches a lesson on nouns. Student suggestions for places include Congo and Mexico.


The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Resources
Recommended videos, resources, traveling exhibits, and culture kits for NC K-16 educators.

LANIC’s Resources for Primary and Secondary Education
Resources and lesson plans listed by country and topic.

Bridging Spanish Language Barriers in Southern Schools
Available through LEARN NC, a brief study of Mexican students entering NC schools including advice and resources.

Carolina Navigators Mexico Culture Kit
Resource for borrowing a culture kit for your classroom, suggested activities included.

4.3% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.3% of NC Population

TeachersFirst World Cultures and Geography Lessons
Compilation of 6-12 lesson plans and ideas to teach about India.

Asian Culture Brief
Cultural information for service providers, but also helpful information for educators.

Geet Bazaar Radio Program
NC South Asian Radio Program based on listeners’ requests, broadcast every Sunday from 10 am to 12 noon on WKNC 88.1 FM in Raleigh or live webstream at

University of Wisconsin Center for South Asia Outreach K-12 Lesson Plans
Multiple resources for teaching about India in all levels and several disciplines.

Carolina Navigators India Culture Kit
Resource for borrowing a culture kit for your classroom, suggested activities included.

Center for Diversity Education Roadshows
Two Roadshow programs bring elements of Indian culture into your classroom.

Asia Society Lesson Plans
Secondary level math lesson compares population density and food production in India and the American South.

El Salvador
3.3% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Embassy of El Salvador
Contains cultural and historical information.

Cultural Profile
Cultural information, including an education section, regarding immigrants to Canada. Much of the information applies to NC immigrants as well.

Center for Intercultural Learning
Information on communication styles, relationship building, and stereotypes.

New Mexico State University El Salvador Lesson Plans
K-12 lesson plans, several of which are for science classes, focusing on El Salvador.

3.1% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Don’t Be Afraid Gringo
A Honduran woman’s account of life in Honduras.

The True Cost of Coffee
6-12 grade students examine the economic, health, and environmental risks of a one-crop economy in the developing world.

NY Times Lesson Plans
6-12 grade students explore the effects of natural disasters by studying Hurricane Mitch in Honduras.

LEARN NC Lesson Plans
Several lesson plans teaching Honduras and comparative government, ecotourism, and Mayan culture.

3.0% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience
PBS series that explores Chinese American history through quizzes, timelines, and eyewitness accounts. Click here for an additional lesson plan to accompany this program.

Asia Society Lesson Plans
Numerous elementary and secondary level online lessons and lesson plans.

Museum of Chinese in America
Library of activities for classroom use as well as bibliographies of children’s literature.

Journey to a New Life. A Chinese Immigration Story
Learner-centered module following a Chinese immigrant’s story appropriate for English Language Learners, incorporates several disciplines.

Carolina Navigators China Culture Kit
Resource for borrowing a culture kit for your classroom, suggested activities included.

Center for Diversity Education Roadshows
Two Roadshow programs bring elements of Chinese culture into your classroom.

2.6% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Vietnamese Refugees in NC
Short summary of culture and characteristics of Vietnamese refugees in our state from the Center for New North Carolinians.

Montagnards in NC
The Center for New North Carolinians’ short summary of culture and characteristics of Montagnard immigrants in NC, an ethnic minority from Vietnam.

The Biculturation of the Vietnamese Student
Follows the adjustment of an immigrant student as they navigate and adapt to two cultures.

Immigration in America: The Vietnamese
National Public Radio feature following follows the Vietnamese-American community through different generations of immigration.

“Get Involved” and “Get School Ready” Information for Parents
These Vietnamese language audio files were originally created for Seattle Public Schools, but several of the topics are helpful for any immigrant parent.

Smithsonian Vietnamese American Curriculum
This curriculum aids teachers in incorporating Vietnamese American history and culture into their classes. It consists of four units and a timeline, which can be used separately or in a series.

Carolina Navigators Vietnam Culture Kit
Resource for borrowing a culture kit for your classroom, suggested activities included.

Asia Society Lesson Plans
Two elementary level lesson plans about Lunar New Year in Vietnam and the Vietnamese game Truyen-Truyen.

2.6% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Center for Intercultural Learning
Comparative resource for US and Canadian culture including communication styles, display of emotion, stereotypes, and suggested books.

K-12 Study Canada
Exhaustive list of lessons covering economics, culture, geography, and US relations.

Council of Ministers of Education
Includes links to education system information for each province or territory.

NY Times Lesson Plan
6-12 grade students examine the differences between the U.S. and Canada using graphic organizers.

2.4% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Central American Children Speak Out: Our Lives and Our Dreams
Winner of the Bronze Apple Award, this video shares fourth graders’ questions about their peers in Central America, available for purchase from the above website. Also available at the Appalachian State University Library and Forsyth County Public Libraries or check with World View.

Latin America: Our Neighbors at Home and to the South
K-12 lessons involve literature and math in the study of Guatemala.

Worldwise Schools Lesson Plans
Three lessons on Guatemala from the Peace Corps’ site for educators.

2.2% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.2% of NC Population

Americans and Germans: Close Encounters of the Crosscultural Kind
Online book of interviews regarding German and American culture from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Foreign Firms in Charlotte
Graph shows high number of German firms in Charlotte compared to other foreign firms.

German-American Teaching Resources and Units
List of lessons and resources maintained by the Max Kade German-American Center.

Carolina Navigators Germany Culture Kit
Resource for borrowing a culture kit for your classroom, suggested activities included.

2.0% of NC Immigrant Population, 0.1% of NC Population

Korean Immigrants in NC
Short summary of culture and characteristics of Korean immigrants in our state.

Arirang, An Interactive Classroom on the Korean American Experience
Lesson plans based on the PBS series exploring Asian American immigration, resistance to foreign oppression, the new migration and building a multi-cultural America.

The Korean Americans: A Century of Experience
Units for grades 6-8 based on the Korean American exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute.

Tips for Teachers
Short list of tips from a teacher of Korean students in Canada.

Other Countries or Ethnic Groups

If you would like information and resources regarding a NC immigrant population not represented in the above list, please contact World View. We may be able to refer you to resources and information regarding a special population in your classroom.

II. Tips for Using Cultural Knowledge in the Classroom

These are just a few resources related to the major immigrant groups in North Carolina. While learning about immigrant cultures provides valuable insight into the backgrounds and characteristics of our students, it is important to remember:

  • The above cultural information may not be representative of your individual student’s experience. When appropriate, ask what their individual preferences or experiences are rather than making assumptions.
  • Don’t put students on the spot. In utilizing lesson plans based on specific countries, it is best not to put a student in the difficult situation of serving as an all-knowing expert of facts concerning a country or culture. When possible, ask how their experience compares to the information given or discuss with them before the lesson how they would like to contribute.
  • If you can’t find resources regarding the particular culture of your students, keep looking, but don’t despair! Remember that the study of a student’s culture is not the only avenue to effective multi-cultural education. Development of cross-cultural communication skills, consistent assessment of student progress, and interest in each individual student’s background enable you to be an effective educator, no matter what cultures are in your classroom.
III. General Resources for Working with Immigrant Students

World View Partner Site Visits
World View can arrange for World View or University staff to visit your school or institution to address a range of topics from working with Latino immigrants to learning more about specific refugee populations.

Multilingual Letterhead
Letterhead developed by the Boise School System for teacher notes and announcements with the phrase “Please find someone to translate” written in several languages.

NC Migrant Education Program
Information about this program, resources for MEP staff, and resources for working with migrant students.

NC DPI Instructional Services: English as a Second Language
Links to the Standard Course of Study, frequently asked questions, instructional resources, and testing and accountability information.

The Center for New North Carolinians
Information on ethnic groups in NC, immigrant demographics of Guilford County, and contacts for staff supporting NC immigrant populations.

Make the Most of a Parent Teacher Conference
Washington State offers a series of pamphlets in several languages for immigrant parents.

Bilingual Education Glossaries
Reference guides for educators developed by the St. Paul, MN School District.

Earth Calendar
Calendars of celebrations from countries around the world.

Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature
Allows you to search multicultural literature by language, ethnicity, and nationality.

Check and compare the front pages of newspapers in 49 different countries.

Statistical Sources
“Global Estimates and Trends” International Organization for Migration. 30 Aug. 2009

International Migration 2006. Chart. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, 2006.

“North Carolina: Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2005-2007. American Community Survey.” American FactFinder. Bureau of the Census. Web. 30 Aug. 2009.

“SE:T136. Place of Birth For The Foreign-Born Population. Social Explorer American Community 2007” Social Explorer Professional. Web. 12 Aug. 2009.

Contributing Editor: Brianne Casey

Do you have information to share?

Do you have information that you would like to share with other educators across the state? You are welcome to submit interesting global education programs that are going on in your schools, announcements about global education seminars, new resources that others might find interesting, etc. Please email Julie at with your "update-worthy" items!

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World View at UNC-Chapel Hill provides information, resources, and announcements for educational purposes only. It does not represent an endorsement of organizations or point of view by World View or The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Register Now!

"21st Century Skills for the
Global Economy

Global Education Symposium

October 14-15, 2009
Registration Now Open

Co-sponsored by:
N.C. State Board of Education,
UNC School of Education, Maren Foundation, the Center for International Understanding, and CIBER

Today’s employers need graduates equipped with the skills necessary to compete in an increasingly global, knowledge-based economy. World View’s symposium offers educators from all subject areas and in all grade levels techniques for integrating 21st Century skills across the curriculum. There will be general sessions, concurrent sessions on both content and classroom applications, and support for school-based teams in creating an Action Plan for globalizing schools. CEU credits will be offered.

Cost (North Carolina Educators): Registration is $150 per person.  A team of 4 is $500 (save $100).  A team is comprised of 4 or more individuals from a school, college, or district.  Only $125 for each additional team member per seminar.

Cost (Out-of-State Educators): Registration is $250 per person.

OR please call 919/962-9264.


Each Room Tells a Story

New York City's Lower East Side Tenement Museum tells the stories of immigrant families through the restored apartments of previous residents. The National Historic Landmark and National Trust Historic Site was the home of an estimated 7,000 residents from over 20 nations from 1863-1935. The museum teaches a piece of American history through the everyday surroundings of its many residents.

The museum's Website holds several resources for teachers including K-12 lesson plans leading students in conducting oral histories, using primary sources, and teaching with objects. Students can also take a virtual tour of the museum.


Bridging Refugee Youth and
Children's Services

Each year the US State Department admits a certain number of political, religious, and ethnic refugees. Roughly 2,000 refugees resettled in North Carolina in 2008 from countries including Burma, Iraq, and Bhutan. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services is a national technical assistance program that provides information and encourages collaboration between educators, service providers, researchers, and policy makers.

Their Website serves as a clearinghouse of information and resources for educators with refugee youth in their classrooms. Articles and resources highlight various topics:

  • Welcoming and orienting newcomer students to U.S. Schools
  • Involving refugee parents in their children's education
  • Refugee students and the No Child Left Behind Act
  • Refugee Children in U.S. Schools: A Toolkit for Teachers and Service Providers


NCGA Resources and Newsletter

The mission of the North Carolina Geographic Alliance (NCGA) is to promote and improve geographic knowledge and understanding and enhance the teaching of geography in North Carolina classrooms. The organization supports NC teachers through workshops, institutes, the distribution of educational materials and annual programs such as Geography Awareness Week and the National Geographic Bee.

Their most recent newsletter includes a list of suggested Websites for global education as well as suggested activities for building students' prior knowledge at the beginning of the school year. This issue also provides a quiz on Europe and a lesson plan for studying the climate of Europe. To use these articles and resources see:



October 3, 2009
10 A.M. - 3 P.M.

What is the history of human rights in the modern world? The UNC Project for Historical Education hosts a workshop focusing on how educators can teach students about the history of human rights, the ways in which the meaning of "human rights" has evolved, and the arguments for limitations on the rights that human beings should possess. The free workshop will follow the concept of human rights from the eighteenth century to the modern movements for civil rights and the current responses to terrorism. The workshop will also provide materials for teaching about the expansion of human rights.

To register e-mail by September 28, 2009. For flyer and additional information, see:


Fulbright Programs Fund Teaching and Research Opportunities Abroad

The Fulbright Teacher exchange program enables K-12 teachers to participate in direct one-to-one classroom exchanges with their peers from other countries for a period of one semester or one academic year. Countries include the Czech Republic, France, Ghana, Hungary, India, Mexico, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The application deadline for the Fulbright Teacher Classroom Exchange Program is October 15, 2009.

The Distinguished Awards Program offers fellowships to highly accomplished teachers to study at a university, conduct research, teach classes and workshops, and develop a capstone project pertaining to their field of educational inquiry during a semester overseas. participating countries include Argentina, Finland, India, Israel, Singapore, and South Africa. The deadline to apply for the Distinguished Awards Program is January 15, 2010.

For more information and application materials see:


Take 2: The Student's
Point of View

Student Resources and Curriculum Development Opportunity

Each year, National Geographic filmmaker Karen Muller enables US K-12 students to actively share first-hand information about war zones and refugee camps. She spends three months collecting footage and in-depth stories about the local people. Once she returns to the United States, Take 2 creates supporting documents, summaries, modules, and background information. Take 2 then offers all of these resources, as well as the footage itself, to students. Students are able to use the footage to construct documentaries, shorts, and PSAs.

These student projects have been successful in engaging students in issues around the world. Karen explains the benefit to U.S. education, "Though our focus is on the people of Sudan, Cuba, and Gaza, it's ultimately America that benefits when our youth develop leadership skills, empathy, collaboration, and critical thinking." One public high school parent commented, "I can't get my daughter to do anything, but the energy she puts into this project just blows me away!"

Take 2 is also seeking a volunteer graduate student to create dynamic educational curriculum. The volunteer will help convert the full body of information into small, usable teaching curriculum. The curriculum would complement global studies or international relations courses. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact Karin Muller at

For information on how your students can get involved see:


Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad for Educators

This opportunity provides short-term study and travel seminars for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities. The seminars are four to six weeks long with fourteen to sixteen participants. The award includes round-trip airfare, room and board, tuition and fees, and program-related travel within the host country. Seminars this year include:

  • Brazil, Diversity in Education: Attempts at Bridging a Historical Gap
  • Egypt, 'A Chat on the Nile' with Egyptians!
  • Senegal, Exploring West Africa: Spotlight on Senegal
  • India, Indian School Education System: Trends and Challenges
  • Mexico, Inside Mexico: A Journey Through History and Society
  • Hungary and the Czech Republic, Educational Reforms in Central Europe
Application deadline is October 9, 2009. For application
information see:

The Silk Road Project is a cultural and educational organization founded in 1998 by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The Project uses the Silk Road trading route as a metaphor for multicultural and interdisciplinary exchange. The project has commissioned and performed over sixty musical works from different countries. Yo-Yo Ma explains, "You don't need a passport or a plane to visit someplace new. Music provides a shortcut, allowing you to be transported thousands of miles away and back."

Current educational initiatives include:

  • Along the Silk Road, an interactive curriculum
  • The Road to Beijing, A Silk Road Ensemble DVD with lesson plan
  • "The Silk Road a Musical Journey", an introduction to the instruments and music of the Silk Road Ensemble

To listen to music from the Silk Road and learn more about
the educational resources, see:

NC and AZ Study:
Latino Teens and Bicultural Families

A new study from UNC-Chapel Hill reports on a longitudinal study by the UNC-based Latino Acculturation and Health Project. Interviewers spoke with 281 Latino youths and parents in North Carolina and Arizona. Director Paul Smokowski, Ph.D. explains, "We found teens who maintain strong ties to their Latino cultures perform better academically and adjust more easily socially." He adds, “When we repeated the survey a year later, for every 1-point increase in involvement in their Latino cultures, we saw a 13 percent rise in self-esteem and a 12 to 13 percent decrease in hopelessness, social problems and aggressive behavior."

An article highlighting their findings will be published in The Journal of Primary Prevention.

For more information and a video of researchers explaining
their findings see: