Hilda Smolash is a dynamic English Literacy teacher who works at the High School of Montreal Adult Centre, EMSB. Hilda and I have a long history of developing many interesting technology related projects together. This school year, Hilda approached me as she was looking for a new way to help her Literacy level students (Building Foundations, ENG-B122-4) practice oral pronunciation and intonation. Our goal was to find an approach that would not only make the learning more interesting for her students, but would also provide them with more feedback along the way. After discussing many options, we decided that an activity using tablets would be our best bet.
Our biggest challenge was that Hilda’s students do not yet have access to the school’s wifi and there were no school owned iPads or tablets available. While Hilda could have borrowed RECIT equipment, our aim was to develop a sustainable activity that Hilda could repeat throughout the year without having to borrow equipment or book the school’s computer lab. In the end, we developed an amazingly simple (yet effective!) speaking activity that utilized student owned mobile devices (BYOD) and did not require any Internet access. Our approach helped individualize student learning and there were almost ZERO technical glitches since the students were familiar with their own technology. As we did not have to troubleshoot technical problems, Hilda had much more time to walk around the classroom and provide each student with personalized pedagogical feedback. To find out more about our activity, please watch the three minute video below:
Michelda, one of Hilda’s students has generously provided us with her audio recording and written prep as an example of student work. If you are an FGA teacher who would like help in developing a similar activity in your own Literacy, English or FSL classroom, please let me know!