by Fran Siracusa
One of the reasons my colleague and business partner Jennifer and I get along so well is our unified passion for connecting classrooms across the world. We are champions for student development of global competency, and wholeheartedly believe that educators must facilitate international relations between classrooms and students of the world. With much appreciation, we are both truly honored to receive the distinction of being placed on the Smart List 360 and stand in awe of the fellow global change-makers and innovators who strive to make a difference in the lives of students everywhere.
In the global context, World Language (WL) teachers, such as myself, ought to view their classroom as an extension of the great community in which all world citizens live and prosper. The digital natives (our students) are in tune with the fact that they are not isolated from the world, however may feel overwhelmed by its magnitude. Correspondingly, ACTFL "stresses the application of learning a world language beyond the instructional setting." By creating authentic situations to use language to speak with native speakers and cultivating effective partnerships with peers in worldwide classrooms, we magnify the effect of WL teaching practice & expand our reach globally. Our interest is the students' learning; therefore, one may pique their interest and find ways to connect them with global peers. Within global projects in the WL, English, or even Humanities classroom, individually and/or collaboratively, students' process of creative expression and later final production of digital artifacts force them to approach the WL material more affectively and reflectively.