How can virtual exchange and classroom connections enrich student learning? Each year, Participate Learning’s ambassador teachers bring their cultural heritage to classrooms and complete an exchange with students in another part of the world. Hear from them about how these exchanges impact their students and discover resources to start your own connection!
“I could not help but be struck by how engaged and enthused the students were, even as they experienced shock, while learning about the culture of some schools around the world.” — Jhaneille Downer, second grade teacher at Pinkston Street Elementary School
“I think the impact of a single exchange activity is amazing for my kindergarten students. Now they are more motivated to speak in Spanish so they can communicate with the Spanish-speaking population around the world. They are eager to learn Peruvian dances and more about Peruvian culture and typical food. I received feedback from Mrs. Angelica Quispe, the Peruvian teacher who collaborated with me on this project. She said that now her Peruvian students and families feel more proud of their Peruvian traditions and culture, which I find fascinating.” — Vanessa Arellano, kindergarten Spanish immersion teacher at Fred Wilson Elementary
“Students from Colombia and the United States told one another about their communities, daily routines in school and about the places they live. The students could recognize the differences between both learning environments as well as their communities. Immersion students had the opportunity to experience how different communities, cultures and schools are, and they realize other ways of teaching and learning.” — Jose Duitama, third grade teacher at Unionville Elementary School
“The participants were my second grade students at River Oaks Elementary School in Virginia and second grade students at Woburn Lawn All-Age School in Jamaica. The teacher in Jamaica reported that her second grade students were thrilled and showed great enthusiasm in doing a project on the United States. She said doing the project had a positive impact on them and they expressed their desires of coming to America one day. My second grade students were elated and excited as well to do a project on Jamaica. They too expressed their desires to visit Jamaica one day in the future.” — Lorna Edwards, second grade teacher at River Oaks Elementary
“In our social studies global class, we have been talking about how there are many countries that speak Spanish at school and learn other languages such as English. I explained to them that in Honduras, children learn English as a second language, the same as they learn Spanish as a second language here in United States. We had a Skype call with a school called Sunshine in La Lima, Cortes, Honduras. Children from Honduras could see them and talk to them in Spanish so my children here in North Carolina could communicate with them. Their reactions were amazing! They were very excited to see children speaking Spanish and learning English. There were some children with their same names and they were very happy to know there are children with the same names in other countries! They want to do more Skype calls with other children more often.” — Elsy Sibrian, kindergarten dual language teacher at Sand Ridge Elementary
To start your own virtual exchange and bring the world to your students, check out these resources: