I imagine you all have students engaging in interpersonal conversation on a regular basis in your classrooms; however, sometimes students need to experience something outside of the norm to actually believe that they are using language for a meaningful purpose.
About a week ago I got an email from Amanda Haaji at LHS stating...
My regular level 3 students at LHS LOVED our new virtual exchange using the SeeSaw app with Ms. Groza's French class at Gilbert! We were fortunate enough to teach the same level in the same block of time so we could have an exchange "real time". Students were getting excited sharing what their "exchange student" was telling them with the rest of the class. They were encouraged because their peer understood what they were saying, even if it wasn't perfect French. They were working together for meaning, WANTING to know new vocabulary. When I wouldn't tell them what the "unrecognizable" word was that they came across in their discussion with their exchange student, they would follow up and ask their peer to explain what it meant. Students were truly interested in discussing their childhood, exchanging information (and pictures) from bell to bell (80 minutes of communication!). They even asked if we could keep the exchange going. Ms. Groza and I decided that from the amount of excitement, we will continue the exchange throughout the semester. Needless to say, what a great morning!
Amelia Groza from GHS added, "And what a morning! I feel so energized! I too loved that my students got so involved in the discussions, learning new words and putting 2 and 2 together and having AHA moments!"
I asked Amanda and Amelia if I could share this story on the blog and this week I received this reply:
"We have unexpectedly started a kind of movement, which is exciting...Since both of us don't have the exact same schedule we have reached out to other schools as well. I emailed last week and now have White Knoll on board to be pen pals with my other French 3 class and am working on convincing Riverbluff French 3s to join too so my class can have a real time exchange as well (RB schedule is quite different from ours so it is a bit harder to set up).
Amelia just sent out an email also trying to get her French 1s a partner, so hopefully that will get another high school in and we can have representation of all schools in the district. A happy Lexington One French student community :)."
THIS makes my heart happy!
World Language Teacher Support Specialist (and Language Enthusiast)