As students walk into my classroom, they enter the Language Lab. Students master and lead daily Spanish sound drills with unique rhythm & beats they create.
Although lively and cultural, my students have not learned how language and culture are global and accessible through technology.
My students are very special!
They are full of creativity and stories! Luckily, through language, we get to explicitly explore their cultures. Diverse by race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background and ability, my students truly represent the urban fabrics of New York City. Our school consists of over 40% students with special education needs. Our school is completely inclusive changing the dynamics of every classroom and every lesson plan. From teaching at a school with so many students with so many needs, I have learned the intense loyalty students bestow upon their teachers. As teachers in our school, we do not only teach academic content areas. We also wear a second hat as ‘Crew Leaders’-advisors to a cohort of advisees. We not only teach, but also mentor our students to become "crew, not passengers." Teaching into our core values has inspired students and adults alike to be: persistent, courageous, kind, collaborative, responsible and open-minded.
After my first year of teaching, I learned how vital technology is and can be in my Spanish Language Lab. I have created a vibrant space full of words, sounds, colors and cultures from around the world. As I prepare for my second year of teaching, I hope to immerse my students in a learning world full of technology to teach them how global and powerful culture and language are. Please help me create a space conducive to creating and sharing digital work to inspire the love of language.
The materials requested for this project have all been selected based on need. A laptop to plan and project daily work would empower visual and tactile learners. A printer would help to digitize work. Flip cameras would offer a practice technique as students develop their conversation skills. Having a speaker would allow us to share authentic language and cultural sounds found and created. A reading chair would allow for readers to take lead as we grow our love for reading Spanish literature.
As I build my Spanish Language Lab, technology will be an amazing tool to change how people view language and language learning.
Through this project, language will not only become accessible, but also applicable to real life. Students will know how to engage in interviews, communicate across cultures, understand how technology can aid learning and how language can be shared! Language is useless without an audience. Technology offers a platform for sharing the learning experience.
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