Episode 36: World Languages, World Cultures! Part 2 "The What"

building culture global cultures podcast Mar 07, 2023

Welcome to part 2 of this podcast series on introducing and inspiring our students with Global Cultures in our World Language classrooms! I am STOKED to talk to you about the "what" in this episode and stay tuned for the "how" in part 3!

Cécile Lainé
 the tree analogy is from Zaretta Hammond.  Here is the link to learn more! 
Quebec winter festival
Leadville Skijoring
- Florida's underwater music festival
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Welcome to Teaching la vida loca, a podcast for World Language Teachers seeking inspiration, unapologetic authenticity and guidance in centering joy, and facilitating language acquisition for the people who matter most our students, I'm your host, Annabelle. Most people call me la vida loca. And I'm an educator just like you and inspiring teachers is what I do.

Part 2 

Welcome to podcast number 36 of teaching la vida loca. So happier here as usual. As always, thank you for supporting me. I'm really excited because this is part two of my podcast series on how to introduce and teach global cultures in your world language classroom. As I said, in my first episode, I really believe as World Language teachers, we have an obligation to expose our students and inspire our students with global cultures and not just target language cultures, it can be awfully tempting to stick with Spanish speaking countries, because there's so many of them. And even French there are so many countries that speak French around the world. But it is so important and powerful, impactful to expose our students to cultures from everywhere. And really watch what kind of curiosity and enthusiasm and excitement and wonder it sparks in them. 

The “What”

So today, I want to talk to you about the "what". Last episode, I talked to you a lot about the why it's so important. And I also talk to you about how to get started. And now I'm going to talk to you about the “what” and next episode will be part three of this. I'm going to talk to you about how Okay, so as far as the “what” goes, what global cultures do you teach? What about the culture do you teach? How on earth do you begin to choose? Well, the answer lies within my dear. I know that sounds so cheesy, but what culture are you excited about? What do you want to share with kids? Because if you've done the steps that I mentioned in podcast 35 If you didn't go Listen, go listen, then you should be ready to jump in and dive in and talk to them about a culture that you're really excited about. Last month, our theme of the month in La Familia loca was festivals. And we talked about festivals from all around the world. And in January, I had a special guest named Cecile Linney. If you do not know her, she is sunshine. That's what I call her. She's a fierce advocate for all students in her classroom, really make sure that all identities feel celebrated and valued in her space. She's also an incredible coach and mentor to World Language teachers around the world. And she joined our community to talk about culture. And she says the same thing as me, it has to start with the students. And then it goes to communities. And when you start introducing, introducing global cultures, it's okay to start with the leaves. Now, I've never heard this analogy before her, but I like it so much more than the iceberg for some reason.

Iceberg Analogy

If you've never heard of the cultural iceberg analogy, I'll go ahead and share a link with this episode. But the idea of the cultural iceberg is culture is huge. Culture is not just festivals and food and clothing, and language, it is deeply, deeply rooted it is how a community views themselves, how they view other people, it is religious beliefs, it is their beliefs around identity and around education. Culture is a giant iceberg. And really the surface level you only see, you know, a little bit you see the festivals, right? You see the the clothing, you see the food, but what you don't see is so much bigger underneath, right? What I loved about Cecille's description was the leaves of a tree are the cultural elements that we can see that are very tangible, that are very easy to, you know, use to delve into another culture. And then the trunk is where, you know, you're starting to get into those deeper elements and then the roots are often things that unless you're part of that culture, you won't understand it's unseen, right? So, I just loved that analogy so much. I thought it was really beautiful. So what she said which I loved was it's okay to start with the leaves. Start with the leaves, that is the perfect way to hook your students, and to introduce them and expose them to a new people, a new culture, right?

Start with the Leaves 

So, one of the favorite leaves that you can, my favorite leaves that you can use, are festivals. When you think about okay, I've started with my students, and now I'm moving on to my communities. What, what festivals Do you have within your local communities that you can start with before you go global? What is something that happens every single year in your state or in a part of your country that everybody knows about? And oftentimes, people travel there for it, or kids have a hope to travel there to see it at some point. Right? For me, it's Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is everything to them, right. So that's a very easy window. And another thing is crawfish, crawfish festival. I mean, it's crawfish season right now. And people are talking, kids are coming in and we are talking about the boils they had over the weekend, right. Crawfish races are a big part of these boils that they have. Right. So, they're I know for. For people who aren't familiar. I was like, watch the first time I saw it. My husband actually said that he knew he fell in love with me the moment he saw me, okay, okay, so romantic and mushy. Okay, whatever, dude. But he said that he knew I was the woman for him like to marry. He knew I wanted, he wanted to marry me. The first time he took me to a crawfish boil. Because all I remember from the boil was being like, so alarmed that people were like racing these poor creatures, and then throwing them in a pot. And then remembering that my husband like would pick two up and put them in his gauges like they would hang off of his gauges like giant earrings. Oh, my God, I was like horrified. What he remembers from my first boil was, I have traveled all over the world. If I'm coming into a new place, and a new culture, and a new community, and you tell me, this is how you do something, I know that the respectful thing to do is do it just like that. And I also love that I want to learn about other cultures and other people. So, he took me to this boil, and they dumped out the first pot. And he said, Okay, you grab a crawfish. So, I grabbed it. And he said, you pinch the head, twist. You suck. And then you put your tooth like this, and you pinch it, pinch it out. And so, I did it. I sucked the head; I sucked the juices out of the head. I pinched as best I could. And I pulled it out. I said, Oh my God, that's delicious. And he just stared at me with wonder and awe. Like I actually did it and wasn't grossed out and wasn't freaking out. But again, like, that's me, coming into his culture, and respecting it enough and respecting his presentation of it to me enough to do whatever like the custom is, right? So, crawfish is a big thing right now for my kids. There are crawfish festivals everywhere. To be honest, there's a different festival every single week in New Orleans, so I could go with any of them to like really connect with my kids. But if you're not here, I am sure there's a festival by you, near you that you can talk about. If you're in Canada, that really super wicked cool. ice sculpture festival thing. Do you know what I'm talking about? It's got like, crazy ice everywhere. Let's get into this. Let's get into this. 

World Festivals

Let me tell you about some of the festivals around the world that you should definitely look up because it would be so freakin fun to talk to your kids about Okay. These are some of the festivals that I talked about with familia loca last month, the Quebec Winter Carnival that's what it is. And go just go just Google, Oh my God. In fact, I'll drop a link for you. Holy guacamole Quebec Winter Festival. I mean, these sculptures out of snow and ice are like ahh. I almost want to go and see. But you know how I feel about the cold. So, I probably want but oh my gosh, so freaking cool. And for students who don't live in the snow. That's a really incredible festival to talk about. For students who do, that'd be a really cool thing to relate to and then connect, find ways to connect right? Because if you know enough about them and their communities, it's easier to help them find those connections. Right? In Florida, there's a festival that's an underwater Music Festival. Y'all it's to raise awareness about like being more sensitive to the coral reef and aware and like raising awareness about safe scuba diving and safe snorkeling, but you should see these rock stars using real instruments and some of them Fake that just are shaped like coral reef underwater. It's so freakin cool. Like that is really cool. There is a festival in Thailand that's my favorite. I actually have a resource coming out for you very soon. It was a resource I shared last month with my community on Songkran. Songkran is my favorite festival in the world. It is a festival where people literally are celebrating the Thai New Year by throwing buckets of water on each other and buying squirt guns and running around and just dousing each other all day for three days. It also has a lot of more beautiful, deeper cultural meanings. But dang, that's a really powerful hook to hook my students with images of Songkran and people running around the streets of Thailand and Chiang Mai. Oh my god with buckets of water. It's so fan. Fantastic. If you don't want to create that resource, be on the lookout in your emails. If you're not on my email list, get on my email list. I'll be sending out some info on that resource very soon. The celebration is in April, so you still have some time. Another festival that would be super fun to show kids. My neighbor. When I was growing up, I didn't know how huge this was. My neighbor invented a sport called ski joring. Now, ski joring originally came from like Finland or Sweden or Norway and I can't remember where but it was just like a way for people to get around a horse pulled the skier, but my neighbor invented a sport that is now played worldwide. And it still happens every year in my hometown, the first weekend of March. And basically, the horse the whole of Main Street is blocked off. The horse runs down Main Street pulling a skier behind them. The skier has to hook rings on their arm and jump off a huge jump made of snow. It is freaking awesome. In Wales, where my daddy is from my daddy grew up in Wales and I have tons of my family in Wales. There is a festival where people swim through the bogs. Like they swim through the marsh and the bogs, y'all, there are so many festivals around the world to be explored, to be celebrated. And I don't want to keep sharing all of my favorites because I know that there are many of you who have traveled abroad who have experienced these festivals firsthand.

Share with Students 

I guarantee you probably have images of yourself at these celebrations, at these festivals that you can share with your students, what a powerful way to connect with them. And introduce them to it, now there might be festivals, you might not have traveled very much. But there might be something that you're like, oh, I've seen pictures of this in Japan and I've always wanted to do this right? I really want you to think about what am I passionate about? What do I want to share with my kids and get excited to do so?

A Free Workshop 

If you're totally like, I have no idea how Okay, now I'm super inspired Annabelle. I want to know how, excuse me, I'm gonna give you a couple different ideas. First of all, if it is before my workshop, which is happening this March 12 at 3pm. It's a Sunday 3pm Central Standard Time. One of the things that I'm sharing is a tip on how to incorporate culture in a way that is inspiring for your students. So definitely sign up for that free workshop. That's one of the five tips I'll be sharing for motivating you for more memorable and meaningful March. The link is tinyurl.com forward slash laloca motivates I will also link that in the show notes. If you missed it. And it's past that go ahead and email me anyways. I plan on trying to record parts of it. So, I might be able to send you the culture part. So if this is you know, if it's September 2024, and you're interested, email me and I can send you that that section. Outside of that, listen to my next podcast, subscribe to this podcast because episode 37 is going to be all about the how the different ways of how you can use these different cultures, or festivals or foods or whatever from around the globe. How do you then present it in a meaningful way in the target language with your students? Now I've done two-day workshops on how to teach culture in the target language. My podcast episodes are 15 to 20 minutes long. I will not be able to delve as deeply as I'd like but I want to give you some tips tricks and ideas on how to like really dive in with in a meaningful way, using the target language, because we really do want to be able to do this, using the Spanish that they already know using the French that they already know, using the German that they already know using that Chinese right. I'm super excited to connect with you in the next episode. I hope to see you at my event this Sunday. And I am so grateful for you and what you do every day. Until next time, I will be teaching la vida loca. And I am sure you will be too. Take his teacher. Bye bye.

Thank you! 

hey, hey, do me a favor really quick. Take a picture of yourself if you're comfortable. I mean, if you're in your jammies and your hairs, it's a complete disaster. I want the selfie even more. But if not, that's totally fine. Take a picture or a screenshot of your phone even of you listening to this, share it on your social and if you don't have social, could you do me a favor and forward this episode to somebody who you think would be wildly inspired by the idea of sharing global class cultures in their classroom. Your impact on my podcast is great. And I am well aware that that is the only reason it has grown is you sharing it? And you talking about it with people and letting people know that it's inspiring to you or helping you. Thank you for everything you do. I'm so grateful for you teacher, and I'll talk to you real soon. Bye bye.


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