Community Spotlight: Empowering English Learners πŸ’ͺ

The following post is written by Flipgrid Educator Innovation Lead Jess Boyce and inspired by discussions with Katie Toppel and Sarah Said, creators of the #Flipgrid4ELs Twitter Chat.

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A few months ago we started seeing educators use the hashtag #Flipgrid4ELs as they tweeted how they were using Flipgrid to help English Learners share their voice. What started as a Twitter chat quickly became a movement. Creators Katie Toppel and Sarah Said sparked an important conversation: how can we as educators do more to empower our English language learners?

Here are some ideas from Katie, Sarah, and the inspiring #Flipgrid4ELs community!

😎Boost Confidence: Speaking aloud in the classroom can be intimidating for ELs. Flipgrid provides a space for students to share their thoughts and ideas without feeling as if all eyes are on them dissecting mistakes.

⌚Allow for Wait Time and Repetition: Students can practice without penalty - they have the opportunity to think through responses and come up with a plan before recording. They can record as many times as they want until they are satisfied with their pronunciation and the points they are working to get across.

πŸ“Test Preparation: Many language exams take place on computers. Flipgrid allows students to practice in ways that mimic these exams. Set the Video Response Length to reflect the length of time students have to record on the exam. BONUS: Check out the handbook put together by educator Lydia Croupe on using Flipgrid to assist in preparing students for the TELPAS Exam.

πŸ—£ Practice Speaking and Listening Skills:  Students can use the Student-to-Student Replies feature to respond to one another, giving them additional conversational practice. Use Mix Tapes to curate a student portfolio, allowing students to see their oral language growth over time.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘§ Increase Family Engagement: Guest Mode is a super simple way for families to hop into a Flipgrid Topic and view/reply to their scholars! Families can record at home together, bridging the gap and potential language barrier between home and school. BONUS: families that speak a different primary language can use Immersive Reader to translate content!

🌍 Connect with Students Worldwide using #GridPals:  Flatten the walls of your classroom and increase global empathy with #GridPals! Students will make connections, converse with peers in another city/state/country, and broaden their perspectives! What a great way to enrich the learning experience of ALL your students.

If you have other mic drop ideas for implementing Flipgrid in the classroom, especially with EL students, we would love to hear them. Share on Twitter using #FlipgridFever and #Flipgrid4ELs! And if you want to learn more about Katie and Sarah’s Twitter chat, check out their blog post here.

See you on the grid! πŸš€

πŸ’• Jess

PS: Keep scrolling to check out some of the amazing ways the #Flipgrid4ELs community is empowering their learners. I’ve also included an epic Sketchnote from the incredible Omar Lopez!


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