Teaching Tips for World Language Week:  Susan Dromey-Heeter - (Download this helpful hint as a PDF)

World Language Week 2012 - An amazing journey!

Do you need some ideas for celebrating World Language Week?  The following amazing events marked magically the week of March 5th - March 9th at Saint Mary Academy in Dover, NH.  All Guest Speakers were either parents of children at Saint Mary Academy or friends I have connected with here on the Seacoast.  People were thrilled to share their stories, their languages, their travel experiences - not one complained about coming in! And not ONE student fell asleep - especially with the African Drumming!

And for me? If I could press "Play - rewind, Play, re-wind, Play - re-wind" I would.  It is worth every bit of orchestration to have parents and friends come in and share their experiences. It also is a wonderful way to celebrate your own local community and its resources.

World Language Week 2012 was an amazing journey at Saint Mary Academy in Dover, NH! On Monday, 7th Grade students "travelled" with Denis and Isabella Barbini to Italy; Monday and Tuesday, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th grade students visited Guinea-Bissau and learned about volunteering with the Peace Corps from Molly Wade; yesterday 5th, 6th and 8th Grade students heard from native Guinean Alhassane and his wife, Liz (Guinea is located in West Africa).  If you heard drumming, yes, it was coming from the Spanish room.  And then the most wonderful Kristina Kalowski arrived with sushi, mango, artifacts and information about Hawaii, Japan and Guam.  Whew! I'm jet lagged! Thanks to all who have helped make this week truly international, truly exciting and truly educational.  We have an amazing community here at SMA, here in NH, here in New England, here in our World...

Also, Sue Tatten, a Senior Rule of Law Advisor from the United Nations, spoke of her experiences in Africa with the 7th Graders on Friday and finally, Jamie Wood of our neighbor to the north (oui, Canada) shared the value of being bilingual, sports as a unifying force in our multi-dimensional world, and information about Canada.

Another hugely popular event during World Language Week is to have a student speak a language over the intercom during morning announcements. All students are invited to "Guess the Language" and one winner is chosen at the end of the day.  I also invite Faculty and Staff to play as well. ( Students speak the language - generally, four or five sentences in whatever language they would like. They do not have to be fluent, they simply can go home, ask parents and grandparents for help, use the internet, go to a neighbor, whatever.)  During the week, it begins with one student, then, word spreads and everyone wants to speak a language over the intercom!  On Thursday of World Language Week, I had one student speak Spanish, another Dutch, one Greek, one Japanese and one French. One day a student even sang a song from Guam! It's a great way to promote enthusiasm. Prizes are a Toblerone bar. Fun, really, is had by all.  Enjoy!

You're Communicate!

Susan Dromey Heeter

ps - The Toblerones and large boxes of chocolates (for presenters) were the only expenses for this week. Really. Check out your resources; there are plenty!

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