We've talked about what's missing in the classroom in our opinion here and we demonstrated that in our opinion #one_to_many classroom setting is not conducive to developing ability to speak in a foreign language here. In this post we will talk about our vision of what should be happening in the classroom.
The recipe is very straightforward and it's about CONNECTING students in your classroom with their peers from another country. For example if you are teaching Spanish in your classroom then the students from any Spanish speaking country who are learning English will be a great choice. They say Colombian pronunciation is the most authentic, please read here a funny story that took place in Barcelona between Vladimir - our founder, and Concepcio - a Catalan woman, who didn't take it very well the analogy that Castallano is just as superfluous as British English.
But let's get back to the details of the changes that we propose to make in the classroom.
Once a week, let's say on Monday, using FREE video conferencing, a student from a U.S. high school calls a student in Colombia who is learning English and teaches him English. Let's say on Thursday they connect again and this time the student from Colombia teaches Spanish to a student in the U.S.
We don't want to limit the topics. Teenagers across the world have a lot in common and their natural curiosity will take over. That's how the learn when they #study_abroad. They won't even notice how fast the time will fly. The student teacher will still be able to set the tone for discussion and even promote certain discussion points.
Stop it, kids can't teach?
This is where our platform will be most helpful. It won't replace a four year degree of an actual teacher, but what it will give you an insight into the conversational ability of the students. They merely need to transcribe what the learner is saying word for word into our platform. Then they make corrections the same way they would have said the same thing. The #platform will identify the correction and help them explain it. Don't worry, we will teach you first so you can teach them. By the way, you may want to share the transcripts with English teacher showing how well they did when making corrections in English.
The mistakes that were made during the lesson are transformed by the platform into fill in the blank and multiple choice exercises. The learner will focus only on those mistakes that he/she made during the class. For homework, they will write a sentence with those words added.
Lesson-by-Lesson progress reports
Progress is tracked on a lesson-by-lesson basis. We can see how fast the student spoke during the lesson (counting amount of words said) and their error percentage. This graphs show whether they are improving or not. If they speak faster and while making fewer mistakes, it's a good sign of improvement. They no longer trying to translate. Visualizing their mistakes will help them get rid of them faster.
This is the most important part. You will have a transcript showing you how your students are understood in a natural language environment. You will be able to see what they learned and what gaps still remain. It will give you detailed insight to help plans lessons during the rest of the week.