Teaching our Languages

Introduction

First of all, thanks for showing interest in this project. Elementary school ELLs (English Language Learners) will have a chance to share a few sentences from their first language(s) via Flipgrid. They will create a maximum 90 second video teaching a phrase, preferably also using some papers or card to explain it. Then, they, the “language teachers”, and any other student or teacher involved, can practice what has been taught by creating a reply video to another language.

The goal is to have more than 50 languages taught. After all there are more than 6000 living languages spoken on Earth! “Teachers” can teach languages they may not be completely fluent in and even languages or dialects that have no written script. In this case, the “teachers” will have to make-do with their own English version. For languages not listed, I have created an “unlisted language” grid where the student can record the language. I would personally love to hear some Navajo, Xhosa, Pitjantjatjara, a Quechan dialect, Tok Piksin, and Chuvash!

We’ll try to keep track of any student who has successfully repeated back any of the phrases taught. Special kudos to the one who can do the most languages!

Steps

Visit flipgrid.com/teachingourlanguages. You can also download the app for Android or iOS. You (or your students) will be asked for a password. Message me via Twitter and/or the form below, and I’ll give you the password to the grid. Once in, you’ll see the grid with labels of any of the languages we have so far.

After you login, it will look something like the picture below.

Students follow the same process, only you just need to tell them the grid password. (They will need to login with either a Gmail or Microsoft address to participate in the grid.) Get your students to click the plus sign to add a video of their language teaching. They can record within Flipgrid or upload a video they’ve already recorded. Please note, it can only be a maximum of 90 seconds. After the video has been recorded or uploaded, make sure the student gives it a “title”. The title will be the phrase that the student has taught. For example, if a student taught in Italian “Come stai?” they would write “How are you?” in the Title. Look at the following video for an example of the process.

Here are some instructions on how to upload the videos.

Students should be able to browse some videos that have already been uploaded to get a sense of what they can do. I’d encourage them to put a bit of thought into teaching an unused phrase and think of how their teaching could be more effective. Encourage the students to participate by replying to some of the videos in the languages taught.

If your students only speak English, encourage them to learn some of the other phrases. Message me on Twitter or contact through me through the form below if you have any more questions or suggestions.