Ways to: Step up your language class

By | 2017-09-11T21:53:46+00:00 June 29th, 2017|For teachers|0 Comments

Teaching young students is not without its problems, but teaching languages can have its own unique set. Most commonly, teachers find that students become dependent on lectures and have a hard time speaking in front of the class. In groups, students may hide in their comfort zones and revert back to speaking their native languages. The biggest hurdle still, is that students may become detached if the lesson or activity is too challenging, they feel anxious, or they are simply not interested. As a language teacher, you have to adapt to your students’ needs by recognizing their pace and what motivates them.

But how can you attend to each student’s needs when you’ve got a room full of them?

Use Creatubbles to motivate language students

A great way to get students interested in a lesson is to give them the freedom to choose the material that they want to engage with. On Creatubbles, students can choose which types of creations they want to visit and in what ways they want to interact with it.

For example, if your student particularly likes anime, they can find various types of anime creations on Creatubbles. According to the goal of their assignment, they could write the creator in the language they are learning, ask to collaborate, and invite the creator to see some of their own pieces. Creatubbles relieves the anxiety of speaking in front of the class (or even with their peers) and allows students to engage with topics that most interest them.

Animation of a boy

“Anime” was made by creator SELİN2001, in Turkey, at 13 years old. Language students can explore Creatubbles to find creations that they are inspired by and start a dialogue with the creator.

With millions of creations uploaded onto Creatubbles from students in over 50 countries, your class will never run out of material to work with. Creations range from visual art, to short film and animation, to musical recordings. Creatubbles’ flexibility allows teachers to assign projects with strict guidelines or gives students free range to learn and discover on their own.

To get you started, we took a look at some fun ways that language students can use Creatubbles. They can:

Make a movie

Students can make their own short film or animation to share on Creatubbles. This can be done as a class project or in groups. Students can use free apps, like Scratch, Tellagami, Animoto Video Maker, or Puppet Pals HD to create their videos. Once done, they can upload their videos to a gallery and/or their own profiles. They can also take a look at other video shared on Creatubbles, Bubble (Like) them and ask other creators to take a look at their own.

Start using Creatubbles

Collaborate with other students

Students can collaborate with peers in their classrooms, other classes or with any other students from around the world. Teachers can create galleries just for their own students to contribute to, or open ones for students worldwide.

For example, teacher MiniMatisse created an amazing global trading card swap gallery that had 60 creations shared with them! Students then had the chance to create and describe their own trading cards, interact with students who made their favorite cards, and digitally “swap” their favorites with students across the world.

trading cards from an 8th grade class

“Global artist trading card swap” was shared by teacher patermir in Italy. It was created by 8th grade students and featured in MiniMatisse’s Global Trading Card Swap gallery on Creatubbles.
Language students are invited and encouraged to join any open collaborative projects on Creatubbles. Teachers can also start their own global projects and task students to describe, collaborate, give positive feedback, ask questions and communicate in the language students are studying.

Language teachers are encouraged to run these types of collaborative activities over Creatubbles — and even set guidelines to interact only in the language that their students are learning.

Curate their creations

Students can practice their new language by curating their own work. For example, language students might have read a factsheet about Pablo Picasso. Teachers could then ask their students to draw and color their own creation in the style of Picasso. The activity might task students to explain what they’ve created, why they’ve chosen that subject and to describe the features that are similar to Picasso’s work. Once completed, students can upload their creations to Creatubbles and add their artist statement (or description) and title.

Start a dialogue with other students

As we mentioned before, your students can engage with any creations uploaded to Creatubbles and even interact with the creator. They can give them positive feedback, ask about the story behind the creations or the techniques used, and even ask to collaborate.

For example, if your language class is learning about animals, you might ask your students to find their favorite animal creations on Creatubbles. A student interested in insects could reach out to the person who made this bee creation and ask what materials they used, whether they also are interested in insects and perhaps what kinds of insects are native to that part of the world. This, in turn, could spark an engaging dialogue and future creative collaboration between the two students.

mosaic-style painting of a bee

“タイトルなし” was made by creator 朝日学生新聞社, in Japan. This creation was shared in the ミツバチの一枚画コンクール(2016)gallery on Creatubbles. This gallery features many bee creations from creators of various styles and ages.
Language teachers can create their own galleries, focused on topics their students are learning. Likewise, students can share their language creations with any open galleries that share the same theme.

Join any of the Creatubbles Challenges

Creatubbles routinely runs challenges on Creatubbles, like the Strawbees Hovercraft Challenge or the Creatubbles Weekly Challenge. Depending on the language your students are learning and the skill level, you can ask them to read the directions (English, Italian and Japanese) on the blog, design and make a creation for the challenge and upload it to the correct gallery. Teachers can also feel free to translate the directions in the language their students are learning.

Creatubbles is an encouraging space for students to learn, inspire and grow creatively, no matter the subject they are studying. Teachers can feel free to use the platform to not only save and share their students creations, but to assign engaging tasks for their students to develop skills with. If you have any creative ideas that your students can have fun with on Creatubbles, leave them in the comments section below.

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Tish Seabrook. Copywriter at Creatubbles. Writer and former university lecturer. Interests: edtech, STEAM, arts integration. https://ctbl.es/tishseabrook