Students who are linguistically gifted may enjoy centers based on foreign language materials. There are several magazines and other resources available.
A foreign language center makes a great classroom center for enrichment students. Teachers do not need to know how to speak different languages. Students can use online resources (such as Google Translate), books and CD to learn words and phrases in different languages. Introducing students to foreign language materials will not mean that students can become fluent enough to run away to another country, but they will see connections between English and other languages.
Use Scholastic Magazines to Make Classroom Center for Foreign Language
Scholastic offers foreign language magazines that come with a teacher’s guide if you order 10 or more copies. The magazines have interesting articles with helpful pictures that act as context clues while students read the articles.Scholastic has French, German, and Spanish magazines for students.
The French magazines are typical of the Spanish and German magazines. Allons-y, Bonjour, Ca Va?, and Chez Nous are French magazines for secondary students, and they are progressively more difficult. Allons-y is the level one magazine. If you order a set for a class (of 10 or more), you will get CDs and online access to digital resources. Teachers can “look inside” a sample of the teacher’s guide to the magazine at the online Scholastic magazine store.
Collect Foreign Language Books for Students
From How The Grinch Stole Christmas in Latin to Harry Potter appearing in about 70 different languages, it is easy to find a lot of different books that students can use to explore foreign languages. Sesame Street and other early childhood series are fun for kids to read because they have some familiarity but also some new characters, and the stories are easy to untangle due to the help provided by images in books.
Ask parents who travel to bring home books, magazines, and newspapers from different countries to build a library for students to explore. Even simple objects such as brochures found in hotels will give students something to look at and word puzzles to unravel.
Offer Foriegn Language CDs and and Books Instruction
You do not need to get complicated software to introduce students to different languages.French for Children and Spanish for Children by Catherine Bruzzone have fun songs, CDs, and workbooks that students can use to learn basics such as introductions, counting ,and phrases. Ana Lomba’s Play and Learn Spanish and Play and Learn French books and CDs are especially good for students who have had an introduction to the language and want to discover more words and more grammatical structures.
One of the mistakes that new gifted education teachers make is thinking that we need to know everything we teach. It doesn’t take much time in the gifted classroom to realizes that the collective knowledge and, more significantly, the collective curiosity of students will make it impossible for one teacher to have all the answers. We can create centers of discovery so that students can ask questions and we can help them refine their inquires and discover answers.
You can offer foreign language centers without speaking different languages yourself – but don’t be surprised if you pick up a lot of words when you hear students sprinkle them in classroom conversations.