We have learned a great deal about our Trinity families lately. As part of the Family Pictures Unit in World Languages, our students indulge us with little tid bits about their families. We are well versed in their parents’ hair color, eye color, height, and general disposition. J Beyond learning more about each other’s families, I am noticing an increase in confidence and language production every day. Our students look for opportunities to share their thoughts, and I love to see them playing with language.
On a personal note, I have enjoyed awesome opportunities for professional development over the past month. Westminster School hosted the Unconference on World Language Education where more than 100 language teachers and administrators from the Atlanta area gathered to discuss assessment, share materials, and exchanged some ideas for curriculum. Before Thanksgiving break, I also attended the NADSFL meeting and ACTFL (@actfl) convention with Janet Parks. What an experience! Along with teachers and administrators from all over the nation, we attended hundreds sessions that varied on content from language portfolios to cultural awareness in Haiti. The experience was both inspiring and humbling as we were in the company of so many language experts.
The most exciting take away from the ACTFL convention was the “Can Do” statements that some of the leaders in the language education field determined after years of research and development. Having these learning goals helps us as language educators to target our instruction, and it helps parents and students to have appropriate expectations as they progress in the journey of language learning. Something I would like to suggest to parents is the book Raising Global Children by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan and Marshall S. Berdan. Here is the description of the book from the ACTFL website:
Today’s children need to develop a global mindset — an indispensable tool for success.
Together, as parents and educators, we must instill in our children an interest to learn about the world early on. Raising Global Children provides the rationale and concrete steps you can take to open up the world to young people. Packed with practical information, hundreds of tips and dozens of real-life stories, this comprehensive book has something for every parent and teacher. It is a combination parenting-advocacy book that is the first of its kind to detail why global awareness is important, what raising global children means, and how to develop a global mindset.
Raising global children doesn’t have to cost much money, and it’s for every family. The authors make a strong case for the importance of both small and big ways that adults can influence and shape the development of a global mindset in children, including:
- Encouraging curiosity, empathy, flexibility and independence
- Supporting foreign language learning as early as possible
- Exploring culture through books, food, music and friends
- Expanding a child’s world through travel at home and abroad
- Helping teens hone their global mindedness
- Advocating for teaching global education in schools
Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals, the down-to-earth, inspiring advice makes raising global children a fun and engaging experience for the whole family.
Stacie Nevadomski Berdan is an international careers expert and award-winning author. Based on her work in more than 50 countries, she counsels companies on global issues, and speaks frequently on college campuses.
Marshall S. Berdan is a freelance travel writer who has traveled to more than 70 countries. He is a former high school English teacher and business journalist who has lived and worked in Stockholm and Hong Kong.
Coming up in Spanish class, we have some fun cultural traditions to consider. Our students will learn about La leyenda de la flor de la noche buena (The legend of the Poinsettia) as well as the Las uvas de suerte (The lucky grapes). Both traditions are very fun, but I personally am looking forward to eating the 12 grapes (in one minute) to represent the 12 months of the year as part of the New Years celebration.
Please see the WL December Newsletter for more from our department.
Julia Kuipers, Spanish Teacher