Jan 15 St. Michael Students Use Technology to Access the World - Free Resources for Spanish Teachers
January 05, 2013 6:58 pm • By Carmen McCollum firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Townsend, Kelly Orze and Suzie Frankovich, all St. Michael School eighth-graders, broadcast the news every Friday to the entire school through the St. Michael School news station. The anchors share international news from their ePALS.
SCHERERVILLE | Students at St. Michael School are reaching out to others across the world through a pen pal program, sharing their respective cultures.
Technology coordinator Brenda Tovsen established the program this school year. She said the ePALS program connects 4.5 million students and teachers in 191 countries for teacher-designed cross-cultural and interactive projects.
Classrooms use monitored email, language translation, discussion boards, maps and more to work and learn together.
Tovsen said, "We find a partner classroom and collaborate on school projects, practice foreign language skills and establish international friendships."
She said eighth-graders correspond with epals in Norway. The students talked about the presidential election and immigration to the United States and to Norway. "Some discussions were quite interesting," Tovsen said.
The ACTFL standards are an excellent guide for us to be sure to teach what we should and to give some consistency of teaching throughout the country. They are thoughtful standards when compared to those in other disciplines. They are broad enough to cover all kinds of information, skills, and activities. The Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons are easy enough and can be met frequently and meaningfully. But that Communities C…that can be a tricky one to meet on a regular basis. I’m referring to the strand that says use the language beyond the school setting. The other part of that strand says within the school setting, that’s relatively easy. But how can we provide opportunities for our kids to use Spanish beyond the four walls of the classroom AND be meaningful AND know that it is happening?
Every year, Americans around the nation get together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th through October 15th. The contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the United States are endless and inspiring, and they have had a profound and positive impact on our county.
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