World Language teachers! Are you trying to encourage your Intermediate students to transition from being an educated tourist to becoming an empathetic global citizen? If so, the Peace Corps have a wonderful (free) program for you: World Wise Schools Global Connections.
This past year, I had the great joy of connecting my French 3 classes with an amazing Peace Corps Volunteer located in the Tambacounda region, Senegal. Her name is Evelyn. My students, Evelyn, and her group of girls exchanged on a private shared blog for a few months about familiar topics such as their daily lives and less familiar topics such as underage marriage and standards of beauty.
Interested? Here is what to do, it is very easy and so rewarding:
1.Make a request on the World Wise site. You can ask for specific countries and specific spoken languages: I asked for a West African francophone country and French as the spoken language. There is also an open section where you can enter other criteria: I asked for Person of Color, and a female. I wanted to be extra mindful of not perpetuating the White Savior Complex, and wished to show a woman of color empowering other people of color.
2. Connect with your PCV. You will receive an email from him/her and you can start planning! The Peace Corps has a ton of resources you can use. Evelyn showed me some examples of how she could connect with my classes, and we decided to create a shared blog on Edublogs.org. I protected the blog with a password so we could share pictures. We had also planned a Skype after having exchanged on the blog for a while, but due to events beyond our control, it did not happen by the time the school year ended.
3. Start exchanging! I helped my students read and comprehend Evelyn’s posts, and asked them to respond as appropriate. I also let my students choose what they wanted to blog about in small groups. Some wrote about their religion, some about their daily lives, etc.
Evelyn kindly gave me her permission to share our blog with her amazing articles and pictures with you, and I removed pictures from my students for privacy reasons.
http://evelynatgps.edublogs.org/ password: French
Other useful resources:
I hope you will take advantage of this great resource!