Category Archives: International Mindedness

Multilingual environments promote (authentic) international-mindedness. – IN CONCLUSION

Wow! What a time we’ve had exploring the title of this post!
A big thank you to my inquiry group – @andymccallum, @chelseamwoods, @mclouter, @maudeboyer and @tinamoyale – for giving me another positive, group work and collaboration experience for the books! 🙂

Hard at work! :)
Hard at work in ‘our spot’! 🙂

We really pulled it together as a team to have a look at what ISPP is doing to cater to our multilingual population, why we think we should be promoting multilingualism in our teaching and learning spaces, where and how we see room for improvement as well as coming up with (using resources shared on SPELTAC/other PD @ ISPP) ideas and activities that can help you create a multilingual OR language neutral learning environment.  We shared one of these activities by having participants in our session complete it and the rest of our workshop showed a compilation video of our efforts. I will link this here soon, but for now, here’s the slideshow – including resources and links – that might be applicable to your classroom and promote multilingualism:

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 7.27.14 PMhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9j6anD8uUzHRmxZanlKSS1IcDQ/view

And here’s the link to our full presentation video:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5q2nmrXicfsY2x5eGJWMHdCU2c/view

Staff participants took turns drawing body parts, not knowing what the bit above theirs looked like!
Staff participants took turns drawing body parts, not knowing what the bit above theirs looked like!

OH, I also learned what lingual meant and made some good connections so I’ll always think of other ways to be multilingual other than speaking!
LINGUAL DEFINITION

I also picked up a lot of new learning! From the text type activity I did with @mthoutermangmail-com and @tinamoyale and @catherinelaing, I gained a bigger picture, hands-on experience look at how I can be introducing ‘audience’ to my writers.

SPELTAC GROUP

I attended another session that challenged my group’s inquiry and ideas by suggesting maybe the multilingual bit doesn’t have to be so visual for it to be there. They even had some student support to back-it-up which challenged me to think of how we can find a balance and meet everyone’s needs and desires…if we can! I mean, that’s the goal! 🙂

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These guys started with a cool quiz and offered an alternative point of view on multilingualism.

I also enjoyed my other sessions, the TED talks and the conversation and interactions surrounding the success of day and complimenting Marcelle on a job well done! 🙂

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Rachel’s presentation got me in the zone…both of ’em!

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to following through (or continuing to do so) with some of my group’s ideas and suggestions and I look forward to trying out some new ideas in my classroom tomorrow!

Thanks for the inspiration, everyone! AND thanks for the awesome feedback! 🙂
SPELTAC Feedback 1 SPELTAC Feedback 2

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#awesome #SPELTAC #thanks

 

The Language of Gratitude as an Academic Language in Kindergarten

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but kept putting it on the back burner. Finally, I’m putting pen to paper!

As part of my inquiry group, I’ve investigated multilingualism and what it looks like in different environments around ISPP. I’ve come to believe that multilingualism comes in many different forms and academic language is one of its dimensions.

What is academic language?
Hrmmm…? Math and other Language specific subjects – physics, chemistry, genre related writing, subject specific text, etc.
There’s a lot of academic language…but…

What is academic language in Kindergarten?
Well, I believe it’s very student-constructed…but I also believe there’s a hidden academic for Kindergarten students…but also for EVERYONE! The language of gratitude.

Yes, the idea of gratitude (and simple manners, really) as a language is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about as we inquire into academic language as part of Course 4.

The language of gratitude:
Is it a language? Well, no, but it shouldn’t it be a taught part of any language/curriculum? I feel it is often forgotten or overlooked. This is why I’ve been putting so much thought into it…I’ve been SHOCKED on numerous occasions about how many students (and parents and even staff) lack manners when speaking to and with other community members. Below, you’ll see a series of photos from our own cafeteria in this video:

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Perhaps the video is misleading of the general community’s lack of gratitude, but I fear it’s not. There doesn’t appear to be ANY exchange of words here…certainly not a thank you! I’m not trying to call out this particular student, either! Maybe she usually says thank you but was nervous on camera or was having a bad day – it happens. But when I’m in the café, and in monitoring my students at lunch, the lack of manners is consistent. It’s definitely a source of frustration for me.

What’s next?
I need to further analyze what academic language looks like in Kindergarten, but I will also continue to teach and enforce respect and manners in my classroom. But I want to do more to make this common practice at home for my students, across Kindergarten and hopefully beyond.

I want to design an orientation program – in conjunction with epicure, the cleaning companies and our Khmer teaching  and office staff – to implement a please and thank you program within Kindergarten. If, culturally, these manners are not expected in Cambodia by Khmer people, it’s our duty to prepare our students for future situations where they are expected. A little respect and appreciation goes a long way…and it can be done with a simple please and thank you.

Post SPELTAC inquiry group presentations, I will update with my action plan to educate and implement a manners expectation for our community. #schoolgoals #teachinggoals #whatgoesaroundcomesaround #respect

Empathy vs. Sympathy

I just stumbled across this video that discusses on sympathy vs. empathy.

Up until a very short time ago, I was under the impression that it was impossible to have empathy if you don’t have first-hand experience. I could have all the sympathy in the world, but not empathy. I eventually learned, as I did with ‘perspective’, there are other ways to experience the ‘unknown’ without doing it first hand. I really do find ways to connect and have empathy for all of my students so that I can better cater to their learning…and perhaps this is a good visual to share for teaching this learner attitude.

This video does a great job of showing this whilst tying in connectivism and real life scenarios with creative graphics. Thanks for this new #perspective, @BrenéBrown! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-9-07-17-pmhttps://youtu.be/1Evwgu369Jw

 

But how can we communicate #perspective?

I just watched a video that inspired me to want to write about a word – a topic – a state of being (or have been): perspective. I think about perspective a lot. I wonder is it possible to have perspective if you’ve not experienced something first hand? I mean, I can’t truly know what it’s like to be a learner of English as an additional language, so how can I have true perspective about what it’s like to be one of my students who is? I really ponder this a lot and tend to lean more towards that perspective IS linked to life experiences…

HOWEVER…

Every once in a while, I’ll see a video that just…gives me perspective. Somehow, seeing a special video that was made by someone (or involves someone/something) that has experienced something I’ve not,  can just give me a solid feeling of understanding; I feel like it shows me success in perspective-giving. And that’s a powerful thing.

http://www.upworthy.com/a-moving-short-film-explores-what-its-really-like-to-live-with-adhd?c=reccon3

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Now, while being an English as an additional language learner is not the same as having Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (or another learning ‘disability’), it is another thing I didn’t really feel I had ‘perspective’ of…until watching this video.

Now, the wheels are turning.

IF a video can portray such powerful perspective for me, what can I be doing to get that same powerful perspective of my students and what it’s like to be them?

If we could all have more perspective about what it’s like to be our students, wouldn’t we be better teachers?

Added as an after thought:
There’s an ABC television show called “Switched at Birth” that is based on just what the title states and it just so happens that one of the children switched at birth is deaf. A great deal of the show is done in silence with only ASL and subtitles to show communication. It’s a weird watch for someone, I suppose, but I appreciate the show because it gives me a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have into a world of silence.

“What do we mean by environment?” -@mclouter

How many times have you wished, in a moment, that you could speak the same language to (better) communicate with someone? Me? Probably about a million times…

A number of things can help or hinder our ability to effectively communicate with another person/people and my inquiry group will dive into the exploration of how multilingualism environments promote international mindedness. Before delving too deep, though, we’ll first be answering the question – “What do we mean by ‘environment’?” -M. Clouter

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll each look at different learning environments and then report back at our next meeting as well as each writing a blog post that shares our discoveries… stay tuned!

I will be taking a closer look at what single subject learning environments look like in the elementary school. I’ll be furthering my thinking whilst making observations and wondering what multilingualism looks like in these environments and comparably to my own teaching environment. In terms of what I’ve been observing elsewhere so far, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen and appreciate the open doors! 🙂

Interested? Want to learn more about multilingualism and its impact on the learning environment? This is a good supporting document for our central idea:
Multilingual environments promote (authentic) international mindedness.

Until next time…

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/multilingual-environments-enrich-our-understanding-others