World language department teachers embrace educational technology in lessons

World language teachers are using new technology to help students become more engaged in learning. Websites like Pear Deck include tools which enable students to communicate better, interact with others, and retain language basics.

A student can “increase the potential for interaction in the language which is what we are trying to do in 56 minutes,” said Mr. James Buoye, district supervisor of world languages.

One technological tool  used by teachers is Pear Deck. Pear Deck is an interactive learning tool used to actively involve students in individual and collective learning. This program utilizes slide presentations in combination with interactive questions.

Mrs. Magdalene Rabelo, Spanish teacher  is going on her third year using Pear Deck as an interactive component. She uses Pear Deck because “it allows me to continue with the communicative aspect of my class, … conversing in the Spanish language.”  She said “before we use any technology, especially in a world language class, we always ask ourselves “Is this tool going to help us reach our goals?”  One of our goals is interpersonal communication (talking to each other in the target language). This tool allows students to work in cooperative groups, talk face to face and then share their responses with the rest of the class. ”

Another technological tool available to assist students who take a language class is a function that is available on MacBooks called Keyboard Shortcuts. This utility can read articles written in other languages out loud. Buoye said, “[i]f you have a student that struggles reading… [he/she] can listen to the same article everybody else reads”.