by University of Hartford Communications Intern Samantha Urban
For over a decade, four Venezuelan students, typically seventh graders, visit Watkinson School. The new private middle school students will be immersed right into the everyday activities of a typical Watkinson student: going to classes, eating lunch, participating in advisory and extracurriculars, you name it.
With their visit scheduled for February 5, 2020, this year, Spanish teacher Marcy Webb devised a way to connect with these visiting students. Using Flipgrid, an online audio platform that allows students to record audio and video, the sixteen students in her 7th grade Spanish I class created mini-bios of themselves, all in Spanish, to share with the Venezuelan students before they arrived.
The mini-bios worked perfectly with where her students are curricular and included things like where they are from and what they like to do for fun. In the end, students posed a question to their Venezuelan counterparts.
“We thought it was a nice, real-world use of the students’ language skills, which, unfortunately, they don’t always get a chance to demonstrate”, said Webb. She said that students had a fun time crafting their own bios and were excited to see how the Venezuelan students would respond.
Low and behold, the Venezuelan students have already responded and our seventh-grade language students are looking forward to seeing what they had to say. The receiving of these videos provides the students a chance to use their listening skills in trying to comprehend the Venezuelan responses.