Bilingual Technology Jessica Roberts Education… Evolved
Online Educational Assessment Program goes Bilingual Learning to Speak Math Chile Turns to Social Media to Expand English Literacy What’s Going On…
ONLINE EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM GOES BILINGUAL (SUMMARY) Click for Brainchild website Achiever! is an online educational assessment and instruction tool from an educational software company called Brainchild ; it is aligned to the educational standards of each state and it assess student performance (Aronowitz, 2010) It is now available in Spanish so that Spanish-speaking students learning English will not fall behind simply due to the language barrier
ONLINE EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM GOES BILINGUAL (SUMMARY) The new bilingual version of Achiever! will include all of the same tests, tutorials, on-screen animations and texts and audio narrations as the English version, only they will be presented in Spanish. Data gathered from the program can be shared between teachers, administrators and parents so that they can determine the best individualized study program for individual students (Aronowitz, 2010). It can also be utilized in response to intervention since it is aligned with the State’s standards.
ONLINE EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM GOES BILINGUAL (REFLECTION) <ul><li>A-ha moments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no accurate way to asses a non English-speaking student’s progress against English-speaking students with regard to State standards. The language barrier is a huge variable in these assessments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of course the parents need to be able to know what is expected from their children in their particular school district; how else will they know what they can do make sure their children are prepared? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This program needs to be implemented BEFORE intervention takes place. It seems like being proactive in the use of this software could prevent at least a small amount of the problem </li></ul></ul>The burden of scores obviously falls on the teacher and such tools like individualized lesson plans can help… unless you have a school with several thousands of students. This is where Achiever! Comes in handy. According to Geeta McMillan, principal of Cassville Elementary School in Sparta, TN: “ If we hand a teacher a report that tells what student needs to work on, she might be able to differentiate instruction for one or two students, but an RTI program is about doing this for every student. It is only possible to do this with a total package like Achiever! where the assessment automatically jumps the student into the activities they need.”
Learning to Speak Math (Summary) Click here for MATH Help website Click here for Brain X website There is an ever present problem in schools struggling to meet state standards that are assigned by No Child Left Behind and that problem is the Math scores for non-native English-speakers. This article explains how two schools, one in California and the other in Colorado, are using new bilingual software available to help bridge the gap that some students have due to a lack of academic vocabulary (Demski, 2009). MATH Help and Brain X have helped math teachers in these two states raise state standardized math testing scores noticeably within one year by giving the students instructions in their own language that help them to build their academic vocabulary in their own native language. This, coupled with one-on-one instruction from their teachers, helps them grasp the ideas better. Admittedly, some non English-speaking students have a command of conversational/ functional English; however, they lack basic mathematical vocabulary. Also, it is never clear how much education these students has before coming to the U.S. so these two programs help to level the playing field.
LEARNING TO SPEAK MATH (SUMMARY) While these two programs helped to get the students the tutorials that they needed so that they could understand the Math, the addition of someone who understands and can explain Math in the student’s native language is essential to the learning process. According to Judit Moschkovich, associate professor of mathematics education at the University of California-Santa Cruz: “ Any tool without a person who knows mathematics there to interact with it will not develop an English language learner’s understanding of complicated mathematical concepts. I firmly believe that it would be difficult for students to really, deeply understand a concept such as slope of a line-- what is the slope of a line? Where does it show up on a graph? Where does it appear in an equation?-- just by using a piece of software.” Without the instruction and dedication of these teachers and consultants, these students would be left to their own devices trying to teach themselves something that even English-speaking people have a very difficult time with.
LEARNING TO SPEAK MATH (REFLECTION) <ul><li>A-ha moments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Research has shown that using one’s first language supports a true understanding of mathematics.”- If I can’t even grasp Math instruction in my own native language… how am I supposed to understand what to do in a language that I am in the process of learning? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They give the tutorials for the math instruction in many different languages so that the student can pick the one who greets them. The programs also features tutors that students would recognize, such as actors or professional athletes.- What a great idea! I would have been more apt to learn Math better if I had been given instruction by Jude Law! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the consultants goes as far as visiting the parents so that they are aware of what is going on with their child.- Parents don’t know what needs to be done to help unless someone tells them. Parental involvement in the education process is key! </li></ul></ul>The best quote from this article came from one of the consultants named Jackie Sanchez, who came to the U.S. when she was 16 from Mexico: “ People don’t believe that you can do it. they have low expectations of you because you don’t know the language… they are smart, the have the skills and they can do it. I came here when I was 16 and I finished college. If I did it, you can do it.” How inspirational!
CHILE TURNS TO SOCIAL MEDIA… (SUMMARY) Click here for Mingoville website The government of Chile is trying to prepare their current students to be able to complete in a globalized market by ensuring that they are bilingual once they have finished school. To do this, they are enlisting the help of the Danish social media site called Mingoville.com. This site is named after flamingos and each student is represented by a flamingo avatar that they can personalize. This site allows students to visit virtual locales, watch cartoons, listen to songs, dram and animate pictures and play a variety of multiplayer games that allow them to interact and converse using their newly developed (and developing) language skills (Aronowitz, 2009)
CHILE TURNS TO SOCIAL MEDIA… (SUMMARY) Chile has taken this bilingualism very seriously since speaking English is a must in modern global business, as well as in many other fields such as linguistics, where the majority of work is done in the English language. They want their citizens to be able to compete and have gone as far as issuing public service announcements on network TV advertising a national sign-up campaign. While educating the students is a top priority, educating the teachers on how to use and utilize interactive media is of utmost importance. If the teachers don’t understand how this form of media works, they cannot show the students how to fully take advantage of everything the media is capable of. Most teachers have never used this method to instruct students before so the government had funded a program that teaches teachers how to use the media.
CHILE TURNS TO SOCIAL MEDIA… (REFLECTION) <ul><li>A-ha moments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chile wants its citizens to be able to compete in the global economy. – What better way than to make sure your students are finishing school with a proficiency in a language that most international business do their business in? Not only does learning English serve to help the students succeed in the global economy… learning a second language is just helpful in general. One learns to think differently… in a way that cannot be taught in books. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other countries force their school children to learn another language, why doesn’t the U.S.? It seems that for all that the U.S. claims to be doing to improve education, they would have noticed the impact a second language can have. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even though this story does not directly pertain to the U.S. educational system, it is important to know that globalization makes it so this WILL have an impact of the U.S. when their students are competing with these students that have to learn at least one other language than their native one. </li></ul></ul>
CONCLUSION The world is quickly becoming a smaller and smaller place. It is no longer a rarity to have students in a classroom that speak a variety of languages, none of them being English. The use of bilingual technology in the classroom is one of the most important things that we as teachers can do. Not only does it help students learn what they need to learn for state standardized tests, it also helps to give them confidence that they desperately need when challenged everyday because they don’t fully understand what is going on. As time goes on, it’s possible that the U.S. educational system will require students to learn a second language and then the gap will be even smaller for these students; in the mean time, there are wonderful pieces of software out there that allow these non English-speaking students to excel and flourish.
REFERENCES <ul><li>Aronowitz, S. (2010). Online educational assesment program goes bilingual. T.H.E Journal , Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2010/01/13/Online-Educational-Assessment-Program-Goes_bilingual </li></ul><ul><li>Aronowitz, S. (2009). Chile turns to social media to expand english literacy. T.H.E Journal , Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2009/10/01/Chile-Turns-to-Social-Media-to-Expand-English-Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Demski, J. (2009). Learning to speak math. T.H.E Journal, Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2009/09/09/English-Language-Learners.aspx?sc_lang=en&p=1 </li></ul>