In the early days of the Academy, we held a languages feedback session with the students. "Do you want to learn foreign languages?", we asked. Their answer was a resounding 'Yes!' We started to explore which languages and the discussion became very animated. "Spanish is a world-wide language - the whole of South America speaks it," declared a student.
The Spanish Teacher
Mr Fuller has worked with schools, publishers and advisory agencies in England and Spain, focusing on creativity in language teaching. "The Principal of Route 39 has given me a fantastic brief - innovate, push the students forward in a way that makes them think and in turn be creative themselves. Just my cup of tea." he commented.
The Ingredients of Creative Language Teaching
1. Engaging Subject Matter
Take, for instance, the project on Mexico, coinciding with a wider school project on Immigration. Students explore a character who lives just over the border from San Diego. They have to decide his future. Does he risk crossing the border in search of a different life..?
2. The Language of Debate
Students develop a Spanish vocabulary that allows them to argue, justify and consider other viewpoints. It enables them to express genuine opinions and communicate together in a dynamic and interesting way. A project on Climate Change provides an excellent opportunity for this.
3. Flipping the Classroom
The exact opposite of a traditional class-homework arrangement! Students are given learning materials in advance of a lesson. They digest new information and skills in their independent study time. Lessons become an opportunity to practice these skills with fellow students.
This promotes independent research and gets maximum use out of being together as a group.
4. Inspiring Interactions
As soon as possible, the students start communicating for real. Our students take part annually in the I-Pad challenge in Exeter where they make a film in Spanish - a fantastic experience! On-line educational forums link students with real classes all over the world. Having a 'pen-pal' has entered the age of the worldwide web - so much more interactive and fun.
5. Kinesthetic Learning
Driven by economic imperatives, the Spanish government are so keen to produce able linguists that they are introducing language teaching into PE lessons. Why not do this here? Mr Luxa and Mr Fuller are working closely together to help students learn in this very 'active' way. For more on this, click here.
6. Involving Parents
Parents play a pivotal role in their child's learning. There is an annual Spanish evening at the Academy with tapas and drinks, fun and games. Click here for ways to support language learning at home.
For more information contact Chris Fuller: firstname.lastname@example.org