One of the biggest barriers to global connections can be language! Students from different countries may be very shy and reluctant to communicate when they do they either do not speak the language at all or only minimally. Here is an idea, games or activity that can be fun to use in Skype and may be well suited for those classes connecting who speak a different language.
- Collect 10 objects and place them in a bag or box (eg scissors, newspaper, mug, ruler, flag, cultural objects, food etc)
- Remove objects from the bag, one at a time, share the object over the webcamera to the distant class using videoconferencing eg skype
- Say the name of the object, hold a sign up to show how it is spelt
- Hide the objects back in the bag
- Students have to come up to the webcam, name each of the 10 objects in their language and then the language of the initiating class.
- The other class repeats.
Extending the learning – use skype translator, signs in the written language, google or bing translator or use one of the teachers as a translator etc.
Imagine if you connected with a class from a country
- that speaks the second language taught at your school!
- does not speak English at all!
What could the students learn from this? Why should we even try do this?
There could be a number of variations on this game. What other games could we play when a common language is a barrier?