How to use TED-Ed Clubs in a foreign language classroom

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In the year since the launch of TED-Ed Clubs, we’ve had a few international schools use their club experience as a tool to help students learn to speak better English. Co-facilitators Angela Mitchell and Conway Brackett from The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, flipped this idea on its head when they decided to use TED-Ed Clubs in their high school Spanish VI Honors class to help strengthen their students’ Spanish language skills.

Since 2012, The Lovett School has hosted the Southeastern Google Summit for educators. Facilitator Angela Mitchell was attending a workshop about YouTube when she stumbled upon TED-Ed Clubs. She says, “I started reading about [the] platform and immediately thought this was the perfect project for my Spanish VI-Honors class because I had more flexibility in my curriculum since these students had already completed two levels of AP Spanish. I was looking for a platform that would enhance passion-driven interests, self-directed learning, and independent thinking in my classroom.”

Mitchell wrapped the program into her curriculum for the fall semester.  Her eleven students presented on topics that ranged from superstition to overfishing. Because TED-Ed Club Members are currently asked to give their presentations in English, Mitchell opted to have her students give their presentations in English with Spanish subtitles, but all classwork, design thinking, blogging, and communication was done in Spanish within the class.  Mitchell’s student Bryn McCarthy said of the process, “I am honestly so pleased with my video and everything that I have learned along the way, and I know that my entire class would agree. The skills that I have learned throughout this process will help me later in life. My public speaking skills, technological skills, research skills, and Spanish skills have all improved, and I could not be happier with the final product.”

Mitchell says, “When I asked the students to discuss their passions, they stated that they never had an opportunity to discover, question or communicate their passion to others and then wrap it into an academic class. Students who used to struggle with content on written tests and presentations in my class were able to shine in this project because these projects were personal. The whole process was magical.”

Check out a few of Mitchell’s students’ presentations below. Interested in starting a TED-Ed Club at your school? Get involved here. >>

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