Sunday, April 14, 2013
Blog Post #12
Creating a blog post was a lot harder than I anticipated. When I first read the assignment, my mind exploded with all sorts of ideas! However, when I sat down and actually tried to write down my many ideas, I couldn’t figure out how to “assign” it. Either that or I couldn’t find anything legitimate to back up my ideas. Finally, I got an idea that I knew would have some sort of information to go along with it: Foreign Language.
As I’ve said many times throughout this semester, I plan on one day teaching a deaf classroom. In order to do that, I will have to learn a completely new language. I have always thought that everyone should learn a second language. Not only would it help daily interaction with the many immigrants here in the United States, it will also help with travelling, and it can even help you learn about yourself. Aside from that, it would be tons of fun to pretend you can’t speak English and listen to what others say about you (although, I’m not entirely sure that you would want to hear some of it.) Going along with my belief about foreign language, I tried very hard to master Spanish throughout high school. I was doing pretty well, and then just lost it all one year. Because I didn’t want to use up all my “elective” credits on Spanish, I gave up. Starting in the fall, I will begin learning ASL (American Sign Language) and this time I’m more dedicated than ever! :)
So that brings us to the assignment. As I said, I believe every person should learn a second language, but especially teachers. So I started there. I found a great post on edutopia.org discussing why people in general should learn a foreign language. Then, I found, on SMARTtech’s website about how the SMARTboard technology is being used by Disney in China to teach students English. Being a lover of anything and everything Disney, I flipped out! It’s amazing what they have been able to do using equipment we are being trained to use in everyday classrooms. That alone makes me want to learn all there is to know about the SMART technology!
Here is the assignment I created:
1) Read Why We Should Learn Other Languages by Owen Edwards.
2) Read SMART helps Disney teach English in China.
3) Write a post discussing why it is important for teachers to learn a second language. Also discuss ways you could incorporate a foreign language into your classroom routine in order to help the students learn a new language. In what ways could you use the SMART technology to further the students’ knowledge of the different worlds, cultures, customs, and languages? Follow the requirements in Writing A Quality Blog Post.
Teach By Example
“Being bilingual is becoming more of a necessity than anything else. Being able to speak another language is a gift that a lot of people wish they had… Being able to be involved in other people's culture helps build good relationships and therefore as a teacher you can receive a lot of support.” This is a direct quote from a comment left on Owen Edwards post Why We Should Learn Other Languages. I really liked this comment, because she included how it can help teachers specifically. Learning a new language does help your personal relationships. You can communicate with a broader spectrum of people. Successful communication is extremely important for teachers specifically. It is also important as a teacher to have support in the school and community. More and more immigrants are coming to the U.S. and although the children you teach may speak English, their parents may not speak it well or even at all. Learning a second language can help you to communicate with all students and parents you may encounter as a teacher.
Also, young students are in their prime for learning, it is a lot easier for children to learn a second language than it is for us older learners. In the No Child Left Behind Act, foreign languages have taken a back seat to the “more important things.” However, if a teacher is bilingual, he/she can bring the language into the classroom through the “normal” subjects allowing students to expand their knowledge to other worlds and cultures. Also, the SMARTboard has so much to offer. I don’t even know a lot about the SMART technology that I can’t even tell you all the ways it can be used. However, I do know that it can be greatly used not only to teach the “normal” subjects, but also new languages. Through interactive games and other learning tools, the children are engaged and want to learn.