Learn About NSLI-Y

Educators can help students develop the language skills and cultural competence needed to be successful in a rapidly globalizing world by using the NSLI-Y Interactive website to incorporate virtual exchange into their classroom. Virtual exchange makes authentic culture and language practice more available to students—those in U.S. classrooms as well as those studying abroad. Use the links below for suggestions on using NSLI-Y Interactive in the classroom:

Virtual Events

NSLI-Y Interactive hosts virtual events during the academic year. Individual students and/or entire classrooms can join our video conferences to communicate directly with NSLI-Y students currently studying abroad, as well as hear about cross-cultural experiences from NSLI-Y Alumni. These virtual connections will focus on daily life abroad, culture, language learning, and local histories of the host countries.


Thank you all so much for this wonderful experience. My students and I had an awesome interactive experience practicing speaking Chinese in front of a live audience across the globe. Watching NSLI-Y students’ live presentation and their authentic everyday learning experience in Taiwan opened another invaluable window for my students and I into the thinking and self reflection process regarding the real life application of learning Chinese languages and cultures… Today’s virtual experience gave my students and I a realistic global perspective with high hope for freedom, democracy and American education for Chinese language pedagogy.
– Shan-Lee, Chinese Language Teacher, Boston, M.A.

NSLI-Y Interactive Activities

NSLI-Y Interactive is a hub for student-created media such as on-program videos, reflections, photos, blogs, and chats. These media sources can be used to support and enhance classroom activities or personal language learning.

NSLI-Y participants study language in an immersion environment, but also gain insights into the culture, history, and everyday lives of people in the host country. The following are three types of media that can be found on NSLI-Y Interactive and ideas for utilizing the media for classroom use or personal language learning:

Interviews as a Language Learning Resource

Student Media Snapshot: Through the Eyes of a Host Family

How to Use Story Series: This series is particularly useful for Korean language teachers and students. A NSLI-Y student conducted interviews in Korean with several host family members on their hosting experience, and created a five part series transcribing the interviews into both Korean and English. This series is a great resource to help students practice interviewing in a foreign language and sharing opinions.

Alexi and host sister read a letter together.Language Curriculum Topics: Daily Routines, Family Life

Activity Ideas:

  • Students can practice their reading skills with the story series on NSLI-Y Interactive that includes both Korean and English;
  • Interview each other in Korean; and/or
  • Write a letter to a host family.

Exploring Cultural Sites through Documentary Production

Student Media Snapshot: Video Tour of TangierMorocco Tangier

How to Use Documentary: This video touches on some important facts about Morocco’s history and strategic location, and can spark students’ interest in another part of the world. History or World Cultures teachers can integrate this video as an introduction to a lesson on Tangier, Morocco or sea routes, such as the Strait of Gibraltar.

Curriculum Topics: Geography (Morocco, Strait of Gibraltar, trade routes), History (Morocco, European Imperialism, colonization, pirates), Culture (Moroccan food culture – mint tea), Art History (Matisse & Window at Tangiers)

Activity Ideas:

  • Students can create a video or photo tour of their city, including cultural facts, important historical sites, and local geographic features;
  • Explore geography by choosing one of the locations shown in the Morocco video, researching it online, and creating a photo-tour; and/or
  • Delve deeper into the history of Morocco by creating a timeline to illustrate the different periods of rule and discussing how colonization impacts present-day Morocco.

Photo Essays of Cultural Sites and Heritage

Student Media Snapshot: Russian Photography Journal

Russia folk dance

How to Use Photo Essay: In this post, NSLI-Y students in Russia describe some of their favorite local places using both English and Russian. Language teachers could use the dual languages in this post to teach descriptions, places, or seasonal vocabulary. They could print the photos in the post and ask students to match the Russian description with the English description and the correct photo. An art history teacher could also use this post to show photographic examples of Russian Orthodox Church architecture, or a geography teacher could utilize this post in a lesson about Russia and Kazan.

Language Curriculum Topics: Descriptions, Places, Seasons

Other Curriculum Topics: Geography or History (Russia), Art History (Russian architecture)

Activity Ideas:

  • Language students can take a photo of their favorite place in their own city and then write about it in both English and Russian.
  • Art history students can create sketches from the photographs and label the facets of architecture that are indicative of Russian Orthodox Church architecture.