Thursday, September 1, 2011

Early Foreign Language Education: Research: 02

American Child, 8 years old, Emma
-What is your favorite subject in school and why is it your favorite?

"Math. It's easy."

-Why do you enjoy learning about that subject?
", uh. Because it's "plus" (addition) sometimes, some of it is hard though."

-What do you like to read?
"I like to read "I don't care" a story from my reading book today."

-When did you start using the computer and what do you use it for (games, school work)?
"I don't remember. Sometimes I play games on it. No school."

-What kind of computer games do you play?
"Well, there's one game, I think it's called the Bubble game. There are bubbles on different colors and you try to get as many as you can get."

-What do you enjoy doing after school?

-Do you have siblings?
"Yeah. Lots."

-Do you help your siblings or classmates with schoolwork?
sometimes. Today, my older brother had a question on his math and I couldn't get it. I forgot what it was."

-Do you have extracurricular activities?
"Dance and piano."

-If you could learn another language to speak what would it be and why?
"French, because, I don't know, it seems easy. I count to six in spanish though."

American Elementary School Teacher, 51 years old
-Why do you feel like foreign language education is important?
"Development of language, exposure to other culture, discipline of thinking through phonics."

-What is the biggest challenge in teaching foreign language in Elementary schools?
"That they would take it seriously. Also, pronunciation because they aren't actually in the culture."

-In general, what is the biggest challenge you face as a teacher in your classroom?
"As a teacher, the biggest challenge is to keep them motivated to move forward."

-What other subjects could facilitate foreign language learning?
"Definitely the arts. They help anything. Also, having a strong mother tongue, an understanding of their own culture and language they speak."

-In your opinion, what are a few of the gaps found in public education, specifically regarding foreign language?
"There are gaps in all forms of education. One of the biggest gaps that we forget about is that everyone has a self will. We don't allow a child to find it for themselves sometimes and try to teach them in our own way."

-In your opinion, at what age should foreign language education begin and why?
"If you want them to have a foreign language it should start at the very beginning. Fourth or fifth graders would probably work well. I think they should learn the basics of their own language first."

-What are a few barriers of students that know a second language versus those that speak one? What are the social effects of this in the classroom?
"Not a full understanding of one language--always crossing over and mixing.

American Child, 10 years old, Abby
-What is your favorite subject in school and why is it your favorite?

"Reading and English, because I get to read stories all the time and I like to read."

-Why do you enjoy learning about that subject?
"I don't know, I like to read. In English I learned about a time in Italy where there was a volcano covered a city in the and you can still see the mountain but three-fourths of the city is still covered."

-What do you like to read?
"Mandy and the Secret Tunnel and I just started the second book."

-When did you start using the computer and what do you use it for (games, school work)?
"I don't remember. I don't really do anything on it except skype when Mom lets me."

-What kind of computer games do you play?
"I don't play any."

-What do you enjoy doing after school?
"I like to swim, listen to the records that I have in my room, and I like to ride bikes."

-Do you have siblings?
"Yes, 5."

-Do you help your siblings or classmates with schoolwork?
"Yes, a lot

-Do you have extracurricular activities?
"I go to dance on Tuesday and I go to piano on Wednesday. Oh, and I am going to be in a spelling bee."

-If you could learn another language what would it be and why?
"Spanish. Because I tried to learn it a while ago and I haven't gotten back to."

Community Poster (vertical)
"This community is made up of participants in the elementary, public education system and responds to the shared value of building social skills through foreign language in direct, peer interaction across multiple cultures."
1. Basic description of the community
This community appreciates those that care about the youth on a personal level. This includes the parents, teachers, principles, and mentors of elementary children.

2. Activity information such as physical boundaries/setting, what's/who's involved, equipment, etc
Time difference
Accessed through public education in the classroom
Occurs online and in the classroom
Occurs across countries with appropriate technology
Specific countries (US, Middle East, China, Europe)
Attention Span
Practicing regularly
A certain level of understanding the first language, and making sure the other understands their language as well. Like spelling or vocabulary
With younger children they have a short attention span. 2-3 minutes. Also taking into consideration boys verses girls.
Verbal/ and most likely writing as well
The availability of technology in multiple cultures
Children knowing how to work the computer/ application

3. Shared values of the group
Cross-culture communication (Ex/Nurses, doctors, police officers, journalists, politicians, etc)
bi/multilingual communities
Better understanding of own language
Better business
Connecting with other cultures/learning about and from others
Social skills and structure

4. How influence works (provide an example)
Influence works by providing something that is both educational and fun to learn. For example//playing a game to learn how to count.

5. How shared emotional connection happens (provide examples)
Shared emotional connections occur when you connect with a previous experience or feeling. For example//allowing a child to share something about their family (a specific person like Mom or Dad) allows them to share about their lives and feelings as opposed to something that they have learned. It is a natural occurrence.

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