by University of Hartford Communications Intern Samantha Urban
For over a decade, four Venezuelan students, typically seventh graders, visit Watkinson School. The 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 curricularly and included things like where they are from and what they like to do for fun. At 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.