At SCHS, all of our level 2-4 students just wrapped up their two day attendance at the virtual Global Y Cred conference. Hosted by the Global Seal of Biliteracy, this conference is designed for students (and their teachers). We were impressed with the variety of sessions available and the 4 pillars of the conference: Level Up, Link, Leverage, and Listen & Learn.
Honoring students with the Global (or state) Seal of Biliteracy is one of my favorite parts of their upper level language classes. The sessions we attended at Global Y Cred were designed to help them set their eye on a goal with their language learning, and go after it! For many, that will be earning some micro-credentials like the Seals of Biliteracy.
Some takeaways from our two days:
- The Global Seal is an INTERNATIONAL award. In a session about filling out the common app, Linda Egnatz mentioned that state seals are wonderful, but they are state level awards. Giving Global Seals allows students to highlight an international accomplishment.
- Use a word cloud to select key vocabulary for a unit. In Maria Carriera’s session, she mentioned that she puts articles into a word cloud generator to see what the most frequently used words are topic by topic. Ex. If I plan to create a unit about engineering, I might take one of the articles I’ve found about the engineering field and create a word cloud. The biggest words are the key words for my vocabulary list.
- Also regarding frequency, she said we can’t memorize 10,000 new vocabulary words, but we can look at a frequency list and find out what the top 500 are… and then the top 1000. I was shocked that, in the first 500 words, there are SO MANY “little words”. I think this adds a lot of value to my Little Word Wall (Spanish) (French) and the space it takes up in my room! She also recommended going to Wictionary.com to find the frequencies of many different languages.
- Maria also talked about how the majority of new vocabulary is acquired from repeated exposure to the words in context. It makes it so important for us to continue surrounding our students with input they UNDERSTAND. (She quoted a statistic that readings need to be 95-98% comprehensible to yield growth.)
- Ed Hirsch research quote: A large vocabulary results not from memorizing word lists, but from acquiring knowledge about the social and natural worlds.
- Lamar Shambley had an AMAZING presentation about being a language student of color and his organization TOCA that helps connect students of color with opportunities to study language and travel abroad.
I just can’t say enough about how much my students (especially the level 3 and 4 groups) and I enjoyed this FREE event! Thank you, Avant and Global Seal for putting this on. Can’t wait to see what this year’s groups can do with language when we test in the spring!