Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

Making World Languages Engaging and Relevant

July 31, 2020

World languages 1000w

What's the key to success in world language instruction? Engagement and relevancy, say South Carolina Milken Educators Kimberly Freeman and Vanessa Torres. They share some of their strategies in the videos below.

Kimberly Freeman (SC '15)

During the decade-plus that 2015 South Carolina Milken Educator Kimberly taught Latin in Lexington County School District One, she went the extra mile to connect what her middle school students were learning in class to the modern world around them. Using popular books like the Harry Potter series, as well as original ancient texts, Kimberly pointed both linguistic and thematic similarities between our world and that of the ancient Romans and Greeks. "My understanding of ancient language makes me a better student of English," says Kimberly. "I'm thankful for being a part of making sure that we provide those same opportunities for students in generations to come."

Vanessa Torres (SC '16)

Successful world language instruction means teaching the way kids learn language naturally, says Vanessa, who teaches Spanish at Nursery Road Elementary School in Columbia. "We don't give babies vocabulary lists or make them do verb conjugations," she points out. Vanessa shares the cooperative learning techniques that make her second language instruction engaging, comprehensible and fun.


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