Many years ago, I started my teaching career as a Spanish teacher. Communication was my focus as was the culture of the  Hispanic world.

Alan November at NECC on Wed advocated that our students communicate and work with people in other locations. I was amazed that although he talked about helping our students to develop another perspective, he used English only resources. If we are going to be global, then we have to begin to use another language.

My students used email to correspond in Spanish and to develop projects with students in Hispanic countries. They learned the views of Spanish speaking people (from Spain and Latin America) as well as the cultural values of these people. Were I teaching Spanish today, I would have my students interact through multiple technologies with Spanish speaking people.

How do your students become global citizens?



3 Responses to “Students Being Global Communicators -NECC”

  1. 1 Quentin Allen March 20, 2009 at 12:51 am

    I could not be more enthusiatic about your work. My grandson, Alex, loves the Spanish language, calculus and broadcasting with equal fervor. We have talked about the possibilities of students meeting via video conferencing, getting to know other people from other cultures and feeling/learning the common factor of their essential human strengthes and weaknesses. It is inspiring to know that there are those who become human linkages to a world beyond our own narrow confines. At my ripe age, thanks for your work to this generation of learners.

  2. 2 Carolina Rodriguez August 5, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Well, my case is the opposite but very similar to yours, indeed. I’m a Colombian English teacher teaching English to adults in Bogota (The capital City of Colombia). At the institution I work for we have grown very enthusiastic about helping our students to become global citizens. We think they are not just Colombian anymore, they need to be Citizens of the World and we are working hard for it.
    We teach them from very early stages of language instruction to be in touch with people online, to build communities, and to have an English persona. Besides, we have projects that gear towards students’ understanding of the world, its problems and its issues. Our students learn English through culture; and what’s more important, not only American culture.
    I was thrilled to read that someone is doing the same with Spanish. When students approach the learning of a language through the analysis of the culture where it is spoken, they become more aware and less close-minded. For example, our students now read more in English, talk to people outside through chat pages like or, but the most important: they have expanded their horizons and understand that English is not just a set of grammatical rules, but a way to understand and be part of the WORLD!
    Thanks for your work!

  3. 3 Gregory July 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    While not necessarily in another language my students had an rare opportunity to interact with Ukraine when four students and one teacher from that Eastern European country visited our school for two weeks. While it was a life changing experience for those Ukrainians it was at least as important an experience for the many, many students at my school who they came in contact with over those two weeks. Ukraine is now on the map for my school and even the broader community and we’ve got students who never thought of going abroad suddenly thinking about future travel. The Ukrainian language lessons during lunch were standing room only and if teenagers are willing to give up lunch, texting and flirting for a language class we’re definitely doing something right.

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