The LTSIG was contacted recently by Mariella Sorrentino, who wanted to share a couple of podcasts recorded during the major lockdown which happened in many cities and countries around the world earlier this year.
As she states: “The podcast is the final product of the etwinning project “Language, media and communication” which engaged three schools one from Italy, which I coordinated, one from Serbia (teacher, Biljana Pipovic) , and a Spanish one (teacher Isabel Canal Gomez). To make the podcast I used ‘spreaker‘ so the two episodes are available on spreaker with the title “Voices from around the world”. I think it’s an interesting testimony of the period we were living and in part we are still living these days. We wanted to show how teaching online can help improve students’ communicative competence if you bring the world inside your online class.”
She continues, “The podcast is one of the final product of this vital creative hub; in the first episode students interview teachers from different European countries trying to provide an overview of governments’ restrictions and how people were living their quarantine. Students give voice to the teachers who, despite school closures, continued being active and doing their best to carry out effective online lessons. They also had the pleasure to interview John Peter Sloane and Russell Stannard.”
“Voices from around the world” gives voice to teachers around the world.
Etwinning has been helping European schools to shift to online teaching implementing a project-based didactics . Mariella Sorrentino has been an active etwinner for years and she has carried out successful projects ; the last one “LANGUAGE, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION ” was done in collaboration with the Serbian teacher Biljana Pipovic and the Spanish one Isabel Canal Gomez during the lockdown and has just got three national quality labels.
As Mariella says: “The etwinning project – Language, media and communication – permitted to set up a comfortable online learning environment which turned to be a creative lab where students could share ideas, create stories using collaborative tools , make motivational videos to support each other, interview people around the world.”Listen to “”Voices from around the world” gives voice to teachers around the world.” on Spreaker.
“Voices from around the world: let teenagers speak”
Mariella continues: “Covid 19 has forced teenagers to stay at home and closed schools. Let’s listen to teenagers telling how they feel and how they are spending their quarantine. In the second episode students from about 10 countries, including USA, share feelings, emotions and talk about their passions and interests during their forced stay at home.”
“We had the necessity to make our students use the language in real
communicative situations with a task which could be engaging and
meaningful. We realized that making a podcast can be a valuable activity
in an English lesson. It helps students improve their speaking and
listening skills and if you choose the right topics, their engagement is
guaranteed. It’s an exciting experience ; even the choice of the name, the
theme song and the creation of the intro can be captivating activities to
boost students’ motivation. Creating a podcast is quite easy , you don’t need to be a computer wizard. I used Spreaker which offers the apps you need to create podcasts for free. Its use is quite intuitive and straightforward” affirms Mariella.
Mariella Sorrentino has been an English teacher for about 20 years. She has a degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures and she is specialized in digital competences and IT didatics applied to language teaching . She has planned and coordinated Comenius projects successfully .As a coordinator of etwinning projects, she has the possibility to collaborate with colleagues from all over Europe increasing her skills and sharing experiences with them. She is committed to training teachers taking part in national and international in person and online meet-ups.
Isabel Canal Gomez is an Economics, Maths and English teacher. She grew up in Sydney, Australia but completed her studies at the University of Oviedo, in Spain. She has a Business Administration and Management degree and a Master’s Degree in Secondary School Education. Although she has worked in the business and banking industry in the last 11 years she has focused on education, teaching adolescents and is currently employed at ‘Jesuitinas Pamplona’. In recent years she has also held the position of Internationalization Coordinator, successfully obtaining and coordinating Erasmus+ projects, student exchange programmes and etwinning projects. She is also an active etwinning ambassador, training teachers in key competences, Project Based Learning and digital skills. In her free time she enjoys travelling.
Biljana Pipovic is an English teacher, born in Leskovac, Serbia, who studied in Nis and is employed at Gimnazija ’Stevan Jakovljevic’ in Vlasotince with working experience of 23 years. She has been a mentor to talented students, the members of the Regional Center for Talented Youth in Vranje and ten times award winner at the Republic Competition for Talented Youth. She is the author and a teacher trainer of seven seminars recognized as a form of professional development by the Ministry of Education in Serbia trying to make teachers change their approach to teaching, showing them that variety is the spice of ELT. Her present interests include teaching FCE, CAE and CPE exam classes, using project -based learning to develop students’ key competences, international school projects, eTwinning projects, and working with gifted students in a mixed-ability classroom; also interested in voluntary work and organizing charity events. When not teaching, Biljana enjoys reading books and researching where next to travel.
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