Episode 37: World Languages, World Cultures! Part 3 "The HOW"

building culture global cultures podcast Mar 15, 2023

YAY for Part 3! I'm so happy you're here for this part of the podcast series I'm doing on introducing and talking about global cultures in our world language classrooms.

Links Mentioned

La Familia Loca PLC

Dr. Christopher Emdin part 1

Dr. Christopher Emdin  part 2

Brain Break Pikachu

YouTube Pikachu

Profe Bennett Instagram

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La Maestra Loca 

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 maestra loca. And I'm an educator just like you, and inspiring teachers is what I do.


Hi there, teacher and welcome to episode 37 of teaching la vida loca. And I'm so happy you're here for part three of this podcast series I'm doing on introducing and talking about global cultures in our world language classrooms. I'm super happy you're here. Like I said, I think that this is so very important. And I really believe that we have a responsibility as World Language educators to be exposing our students to global cultures, not just our target language cultures. And I really do believe that it will have an impact on them becoming truly culturally competent and curious individuals as they go out and become hopefully global citizens that are making a difference in the world. So in Episode 35, I mentioned Dr. Christopher Emdin, who is an amazing author and educator. If you don't know who he is definitely look him up, I will link to him in the show notes. And in his actual keynote speech, he said that our instinct is to reject what is foreign, and students’ instincts are to reject what is foreign. So, in order to really connect with them, you have to start with them. Right. That was what podcast episode 35 was about. And then 36, I talked about some of the what, what you can teach as far as when it comes to global cultures. 

The “How”

And now I want to talk to you about the how I want to talk to you about a couple different ways that you can use the what, what you want to teach, because a lot of you already emailed me and told me oh my gosh, I am not using any of the things you talked about. But you reminded me and inspired me to talk about this thing that I learned about when I was traveling abroad, or this that is from my grandmother's culture. And I think that students will really connect to it and gravitate to it. And it's not something that I had ever even thought about teaching in my classroom. I love hearing your thoughts and your ideas. And it means even more to me that you are taking the time to reach out to me by email or through DMs and letting me know that the podcast is impacting you in your classrooms that that's what that's what really is making my heart sing.

Picture Talk 

So, let's talk about the how I think the first way that I want to talk to you about is through picture talk. Picture talk was actually my first introduction to the realization that I didn't have to take time, in my weeks or months to do a whole day of teaching culture in English. I had always thought that like, well, if I want to dig deep, like, that's just what it's going to have to take because my students, you know, are novices. And even though we speak 90 to 95% in the target language all the time, I don't think they have the language to be able to talk about this cultural celebration or festival that I want to talk about. And then it dawned on me that oh my god, I'm just trying too hard. They have so much language, all I have to do is find a window in which to introduce it to them. So, I started with a picture series called children or I can't even remember what it was called, pause, hold please. Found it. There was a photojournalist out of Italy, who did an amazing picture or photojournalism project of children around the world surrounded by their most precious things. And his name, or their name, I'm not sure was Gabriele Galimberti. And anyways, these images are really impactful and really powerful. And it's just showing children's joy all around the world surrounded by their favorite toys or their favorite things. And this photographer said that as they traveled, they realized that there's one thing that remained consistent everywhere and that is the the joy that children feel when they are playing. And so I started by just showing photos of children and each day I would show a new one. And we would talk for five minutes, some classes, some classes, we would talk for 30 minutes about what we saw in the photo. I see cars, what colors? Do you see how many cars? Do you see? Do you like cars? When you were a child? Did you play with cars? And when I did this with elementary, it was super relatable. This was years ago now, nine years, 10 years ago. And they were so into telling me what their favorite toys were in and comparing it to the students or the children in the photo. And what was really cool, it was a very easy way to find connections between these children and the children I was teaching. So that was really, really neat.

Let Them Ask Questions

So, I started with that, and then it just kind of spiraled, like I realized I could pull up a photo of LaMattina festival in Spain, where they're throwing tomatoes at each other. And we just talk about it. Some of the things that I recommend doing, if you're new to this, is, if you pull up the photo, sync in advance about what sort of language what high frequency language that you've already been working around, will be supportive to the students when they're looking at this image? What can you, what structures and supports can you provide so that they can talk about what they're seeing? Right? That might look like doing a word wall on the slide around it. Think about when we were Virtual Teaching virtual sorry, I know that that time, but I constantly had virtual word walls around me think about creating a word wall around the image that is providing scaffolding to kids to be able to say, Yo, Medo, yo, veio, I see, I'm looking at right ways for them to be able to communicate about what they're seeing. And then you're able to take what they're saying and expand upon it and ask those questions. That's one of the things that I'm working on right now at my school have been observed formally, three times so far this year, it's so wonderful to receive feedback and observation coming from many, many, many years where it was minimal. I had one year right in the middle, my, my coach was Caitlyn, and she was amazing. But that was just one year in the middle of a long period of time, where I'd felt like I was a babysitter. And what I did didn't really matter, because nobody ever observed me or cared to give me any kind of feedback, whether it was positive or negative. But one of the things that I'm being pushed on this year is like how much students are asking questions. And my push back on that has been? Well, asking questions is really, really, really, really, really high level. If you look at the actual standards, students being able to ask those questions in the target language that is not a novice level or even. Yeah, it's not even not as high. It's got to be way higher than that. That's a really challenging thing to push kids to do. But I've been pushing myself to leave time at the end of class, to let them ask the questions that they still have in English and talk to each other about it. I work at an IB school. So, we have our key concept questions like form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility chain, change that area, so that one so we have our key concept questions. And like prepping my third and fourth graders for their big fifth grade exhibition and for middle school, those middle years programs in the IB programs, really pushing them to think about key concept questions in Spanish classes powerful to how does this work? Why is this as it is, how is it transforming? How is it linked to other things, you know, those are all those key concept questions that really push kids thinking and help us to dig deeper as well. So, picture talk is really a good starting point. I think it might be time for a little brain break.

Brain Break 

Okay, so a few years ago, God it was more than a few years ago, I'm just realizing more like six years ago, I blogged about a brain break called Pikachu I will link it in the chat. I will also link a video a YouTube video of my students playing this. I had a senior in high school who was a exchange student from Honduras, come and visit my class and introduce a new brain break to them called Pikachu. My students quickly wanted to learn, and it was a hot mess because it says basically you say the words Pikachu, Pikachu Pikachu. And you played rock paper scissors at the end. Now that all that middle stuff like, all the way up into the side and all those things, they just kind of mumbled and it was hysterical. But it's a brain break, remember is not to like go crazy on them about the language that they may not be saying, right. But it was a really cool way to teach that language. I just had the brain breaks slide up. And eventually, over time over three months, all of a sudden, everybody was saying all of it, right. And then they were making connections in the middle of the lessons like when I would say al aldo, oh my god, like in our Pikachu brain break. Oh, and so it's another powerful reminder that brain breaks are a way to integrate and teach vocabulary without giving vocab lists. And those connections that students make to their vocabulary then, is far more powerful. Because they're like, Oh, my God, it's more sticky for them. Because they're the ones doing the work. They're the ones making those realizations. So, I will go ahead, there's no way to like teach this to you, you're gonna have to either read the blog or watch the video or both. But gosh, it's a fun one. And I loved that again, culturally, this was something that was introduced by a student from another culture from another country, and students really latched on to it. In fact, I think I'm going to teach my elementary kids today. That's inspiring. I'm inspiring myself ya'll. Yay.

Social Media 

Okay, so I want to give you another How I think it's really powerful. To use social media in the classroom. I've talked about this a lot. With many of you. I've talked about this in other episodes, I know, Episode Five, I think or three, it might be episode three of this podcast was about student buy in and the power of using social media for student buy in my friend profe Bennett talks about this a lot. Her most recent posts on Instagram is great, go and check it out. I'll link to it my podcast. But it really helps with buy in.


Now imagine being a high school student, and your teacher coming into the classroom with a screen recorded because I learned that from Morgan to always screen record the social media that you want to show because you can't control the comments, right? With a screen recorded video of a festival in Japan that you didn't know about. A Tik Tok. It's a Tik Tok. How much more engaging, and immediately thought provoking, and intriguing is a Tik Tok video, then some slide and your teacher talking about it. Same thing that I talked about with the picture talk surrounding this clip with words and target language that scaffold and support your students being able to talk about what they're seeing is really, really powerful. I've learned so much about the power of buy in through social media, by just taking a leap and getting started. I know that profe is going to be at school with me next week. So, if you have more questions about it, I would definitely ask her. But there's power and like finding things on social media and then using it. Another thing is, if you're not really sure about looking up Tik Tok, or you you don't have Instagram, go to YouTube, see what you can find, that still really powerful. And then those short clips, turn them into the ability to talk about whatever it is you listened to in Episode 36 that inspired you find those clips and talk about it in the target language with your students. I promise you it's going to open up a world of curiosity and connection. And that's so powerful and we need those moments of like, I'm really inspiring kids.

La Familia Loca PLC

Before I go, I wanted to tell you that these are things that I've been talking about the last two months in La Familia loca PLC. We've had whole workshops in both January and February to talk about lots, all the ways that you can incorporate global cultures in your classroom. La Familia loca PLC is a community where I work to enhance and develop your skills when it comes to acquisition driven instruction, in a supportive and in a community that's unlike any any other group. Really truly like a family to unlock unprecedented joy for you and your students. The doors to La Familia loca PLC are open right now until Friday the 17th at midnight and prior to the 17th of March at midnight. If it's past that, Email me if it's close enough, I might be able to squeeze you in if not, then the waitlist is already open. I open this community two times a year, so not very frequently. And that's because I want to be really intentional about serving the teachers inside of it. And every month, we come up with a theme of the month. And we really work to push ourselves to take risks, and actually implement the things that I'm sharing and teaching. So, we can get better together and we can improve. And I am so, every month, inspired by the people inside this community, they actually take what they're learning, they applied in their classroom, they come back, they share what went well. And then they tell me what felt hard. That's why I started this community. It's so hard to share at conferences and workshops, and never hear from you about how it went. Because so often, something felt really challenging and tricky and sticky. And then teachers feel like they just failed, and they never let me know until the following summer. And they're like, oh, I tried that thing. But it didn't really work. And it turns out it was something I could have absolutely helped them with. It was just one small tweak. And in this community, they're able to do that they're able to come back and say Annabelle, this did not work like you said it would or Annabelle, this worked so well, I'm so pumped on how it went. And in those moments, I'm able to be a cheerleader for them and celebrate with them. But when it is tricky, I'm able to work through that with them. This community is full of members who are passionate about what they do, but also honest and authentic about how challenging the work we do is.

What Members Say 

One of my members, Caroline said this has been the most beneficial professional development of my life. And I haven't even got to use a lot of what we discuss mostly watch the recordings after they happen because of my schedule. And it's still amazing. I love it here. I remember Alanna, who does a lot of the French translations for me, says I don't know if I would have made it through this year without la famila loca and your support and encouragement. It has been such a life changing community to be a part of. And perhaps my favorite testimonial to date comes from my member named Shane, who joined I think, last year. And Shane in Virginia said, I love this familia so much it has saved me on days that I feel like I'm failing horribly as a teacher. It gives me hope when I have little. It strengthens me when I feel what strengthens me when I feel strong or weak. I love logging into all the meetings and activities. This has changed my personal and professional life. So if you're looking for a community to uplift you on those hard days and celebrate you on your great days, consider joining us in La Familia loca PLC there are seven monthly benefits everything from coaching calls and group coaching calls and workshops to resources that will save you time and support you in whatever you're doing in the classroom.

Thank You! 

To learn more, just visit tinyurl.com forward slash la familia loca PLC, or visit the link inside the shownotes. Again, that's tinyurl.com forward slash la familia loca PLLC you can also email me if you're looking for a letter to ask for funding from your department or your admin and I can get you a letter that's already ready for you to turn into them. You just need to fill in your name and perhaps an information about why you think this would be so impactful or beneficial to you. I look forward to supporting you in this podcast through my emails, through my resources and hopefully one day through la familia loca PLC as well. Take care teacher bye bye. I was so excited to share about La Familia loca I forgot to sign off correctly. Until next time. I'll be teaching la vida loca and I'm sure you will be too. Take care.

Please Share!

Okay, so if you are a familia loca member listening to this, do me a favor and share this podcast or share a familia loca link with somebody and tell them how our community has impacted you in your career. You know what a special place it is. And if you know somebody in your teaching world who would benefit and be a great fit for our community, spread the word, let them know and thank you for being part of my life. I'm so grateful for you.

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