OMS in China
Occupy Middle School and ISB are working towards supporting Chinese teachers and schools that aim to develop greater authentic literacy opportunities, innovative teaching frameworks, and critical thinking skills within China. Contact Serina Wu at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on opportunities to work with OMS educators.
In this video, as they prepare to co-teach the lesson, Chinese teachers Sherry, Fanny, and Elfie discuss plans in the Grade 8 EAL classroom, working with lesson objectives within the innovative planning framework.
Fanny and Austin highlight a powerful moment involving translanguaging. Here, Austin digs into the crux of a key chapter from The Last Book in the Universe in preparing for screenwriting. Notice how he and Fanny move between Mandarin and English in order to capture the knowledge necessary to attain the higher order, upcoming, authentic task of writing a screenplay.
For those more interested in translanguaging:
Translanguaging is the act performed by bilinguals of accessing different linguistic features or various modes of what are described as autonomous languages, in order to maximize communicative potential.
-- Ofelia García (2009: 140)
Translanguaging is about communication, not about language itself. There are times when we need to be language teachers, focusing on accuracy in English so that our learners can pass exams and be taken as proficient speakers in wider society. Much of the time, though, we are working with students to explore concepts, add to their knowledge, make connections between ideas and to help them make their voices heard by others. This is often about communicating, and this is where using all our language resources can be very valuable.
Sherry's reflections illuminate the positive energy from both facilitator and student in a classroom grounded in authentic, citizenship-based workshops linked explicitly to standards and community building, regardless of cultural background.
Below: Lesson planning becomes creatively interconnected in ways that are meaningful to both teachers and students.