For this weeks class, we had the amazing opportunity of being able to meet with fellow elementary students who live and go to school in Mexico! The most I seen the zoom participant list get up to was 56 but there were a couple of classrooms who joined the call as one big group. These students have Spanish as their first language and learn English as their second language in school. We were put into smaller breakout rooms where we were to have conversations with them to help them with their English.
In our group, there was two of us from ELNG 200 and two of them as well as their principal had joined us. We had one boy who was not shy at all and had known how to put some words together to make and carry on a conversation. With the help of his parents and principal we were able to ask him questions, in which he answered, and he was able to even ask us some questions like what time it was where we lived, our favourite colour, subject, etc.
We also got grouped with a girl who was a little more shy than the boy. She did not speak as good of English but she tried her best and her principal helped to interpret some of the questions for both her and us. I was also lucky to have my partner as she spoke Spanish and could help to translate my question or her question so I could follow along. Eventually they had a conversation in Spanish but my partner did an amazing job saying the question in English, then she would repeat it in Spanish, the girl would reply in Spanish, but then my partner would get her to say some of her reply or answer in English which was fantastic. Once she got more comfortable with us, our conversations with her went smoothly.
Overall, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to experience an activity like this one. Having them come in and talk with us reminded me how hard and frustrating it could be for the students and ourselves trying to communicate back and forth but all it takes is time and patience. This also played a part in my language profile as I have very little interaction with Spanish speaking people so I have made myself aware of having to work on that and maybe be able to add it to my profile one day! In the future, I would love to be able to do something like this with one of my classes so they get to have the same experience I did.