Over the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to co-plan and teach with Beverley Bunker, Adjunct Teaching Professor and SEL cohort coordinator. We shared some activities in LLED 352, Teaching and Learning French as a Second Language to help spark discussion about the possibilities and considerations when incorporating digital technologies in a language learning context. I was impressed by the level of critical thinking teacher candidates were demonstrating as they participated.
We started by having students look at ‘code’ and ‘coding’ in relation to learning language. Students recognized that the term ‘code’ represents various languages of instruction to a computer and that, by playing with symbols, visual coding blocks and commands, students might build their french vocabulary as they develop computational and algorithmic thinking. It was motivating to see students recognize the potential benefits and the issues involved in coding commands as potentially poor models of grammar in the target language yet being able to see where such activities and language might ‘fit’. We used ‘little codr’ cards for a dance party game and a set of translated simple command cards. Bev shared some ways she incorporates ‘coding’ in her own teaching and provided an example to students that integrated simple directional commands and a mapping activity. In addition, we looked at a set of scratch visual coding blocks translated into french and shared on the CODE BC website. An English language and editable version of scratch coding blocks can be found at STEM learning (free sign up required).
Following our active, whole body engagement in coding, we spent time creating multi-lingual stories using Scribjab and Storybird and considered how oral sharing of wordless stories or the use of Voicethread might help students share stories in the target language or in their home language depending on student needs and learning objectives.
Slides that helped shape our session: FSL Tech Integration_Bev Bunker_March 2018