Cultural Immersion in the Virtual Classroom: Teaching 5th Graders About Other Cultures Online Posted by Transparent Language on Jul 30, 2014 in For Educators
We’ve all heard of the 4 core language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. When it comes to learning a foreign language, a fifth skill must be considered—cultural competency. But how does an instructor go about teaching culture from a classroom, hundreds or thousands of miles away from the target country? Add on one more layer of difficulty and consider how an instructor would teach culture in a virtual classroom! Our Transparent Connect virtual instructors were up to the challenge, and boy did they knock it out of the proverbial park.
Through Transparent Connect, we provide language courses to the students at East Kingston Elementary School in East Kingston, NH. Each week, students use Transparent Language Online to acquire vocabulary and grammar, and meet in a virtual classroom for speaking practice with a native-speaking instructor. This year, to amplify the cultural portion of the course, our instructors infused blended learning activities using Google Docs. Students used the internet (with supervision, of course!) to research different French- and Spanish-speaking regions around the world. After putting together their research, each student gave a presentation in a live session with their instructor. (Even cooler—our instructors live in some of the countries our students were presenting about!) The project provided an unparalleled opportunity for our students to learn about another country and introduce it to their peers while strengthening their language and computer skills.
We’re quite proud of our fifth graders at EKES, so we want to invite you to take a look at just one example of the many wonderful cultural projects they put together this year.
If your school, university, business, or organization (or even you personally), are interested in our Transparent Connect instruction and tutoring service, we host open houses every Thursday. Join us to learn more and get started!