Language teachers think outside the box

​Students from St Martin's Carina and Our Lady of Lourdes, Sunnybank, came together to celebrate all things Italian​

​ITALIAN language students at St Martin's School, Carina, and Our Lady of Lourdes School, Sunnybank, have taken their virtual language project to the next level with a personal meet and greet.  

The virtual language project, which began at the start of the year, allowed the students to practice their language skills through swapping stories between the schools via Teams.   

St Martin's Italian teacher Enza Camuglia and Our Lady of Lourdes Italian teacher Alfina Lofaro introduced the digital project in Term 1 with assistance from BCEO's Senior Service Management Officer – School Information Services, Marianne Ferguson.   

Through Teams, the students created digital 'All About Me' presentations to share information about themselves with their pen pals and shared their language skills.  

However, the students and teachers decided a school visit to meet their pen pals in person would further enhance the educational experience.   

Students from Our Lady of Lourdes jumped on a bus and arrived at St Martin's for a picnic in the ANZAC Garden where they enjoyed playing bocce and attempting an Italian Escape Room.  

They topped off the wonderful gathering with a delish Italian gelato - 'buonissimo'!   

St Martin's student Tilly said meeting her pen pals face-to-face was so much fun.  

“We got to do activities with our buddies using our knowledge of Italy and its language," she said.  

Ms Camuglia said as a language teacher, it was important to make learning relevant and realistic for students.  

“I strongly believe that this project did both of these," she said.  

“In languages classrooms, self-introductions and introductory units can be mundane, however, with the implementation of the TEAMS platform we were able to create a space where students were able to drop files to share in a safe environment.   

“Most students were able to effectively use the Teams platform with only minor issues."  

She said Marianne's IT expertise was fundamental in the setting up processes and initial stages.  

“This would have been very challenging for us teachers to select the correct permissions and locking systems," she said.  

Ms Camuglia said the students loved the face-to-face meet and greet so much they wanted to know when their next catch up would be. 

“It was a fabulous day which demonstrated language learning is so much better when taught in a meaningful context," she said.    

“I highly recommend language teachers to think outside the box and get involved in digital projects.   

“I'm looking forward to using the Teams platform in the future for many more different projects," she said.

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