Wednesday, June 1, 2016

OMS Spanish Students Skype with Native Speakers from Colombia

As part of middle school Spanish teacher Alexa Finck's goal to help her students make global connections, 8th graders recently had the opportunity to Skype with different people from Colombia. One group had the challenge to find out information about our guest using spoken Spanish while communicating with someone who is hard-of-hearing (and speaks fluent Colombian Sign Language in addition to being able to read lips and speak Spanish). As preparation for the challenge, students worked on enunciating words and sentences in a way that people could read their lips and understand what they were saying. Students became curious about sign language and the deaf community, and asked in a follow-up session to learn an expression or vocabulary in ASL (American Sign Language) or any variation of sign language to teach it to their new friend, Francisco. Students chose some signs people may need when visiting the United States. Students did research and were ready to share their knowledge with our friend using spoken Spanish and Sign Language. This activity raised awareness about the importance of learning languages and using more than just words to convey a message. Moreover, some students went above and beyond the activity and explored more of their native languages and the sign language used as equivalent. It was an enriching experience for all participants.

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