Team #PhysEd Learns Spanish!
by Joey Feith
It’s summer time which means that – as teachers – we all have a little more time to unwind, rest up, and catch up on things we’ve been meaning to do all year.
For years now, I’ve been wanting to learn a new language. As a kid, I learned French in school. My parents, believing that it was essential for me to learn the language since we lived on the south shore of Montreal, sent me to the French school that was down the road from our house. It was tough. I remember being so confused and scared for most of those early years, not to mention the fact that I was constantly picked on for being different (especially in 1995). However, over time things got easier. I became more confident, was able to lose most of my Anglo accent, and found myself excelling in French (as a first language) even when my classmates struggled.
I never really appreciated my parents’ early brilliance until I graduated University and started looking for a job. Suddenly, thanks to my bilingualism, I was able to apply to twice as many school boards as my single-language peers (not that that mattered, I didn’t get hired anyway!) Since then, I’ve taught PE in both French and English schools. I love surprising my students by switching to French when I visit them in French class or during Francophonie week. In so many ways, speaking an additional language has helped me build better relationships with my students. Heck, I’d even go as far to say that learning a second language has helped me live a better life!
My experience learning French left me with a deeper interest and confidence for learning languages. That said, I’m ready for a new challenge and I’d love to invite you to join me as I take it on.
I want to learn Spanish. Here’s my plan:
If you’ve never heard of Duolingo, it’s an amazing app that gamifies learning a language. You earn points, level up, and unlock new challenges as you progress throughout the lessons. Best of all, it’s free!
I’ve used the app on-and-off for years now but have had a difficult time seeing a course through. Although part of this is definitely due to my short attention span, another part is the fact that I’ve never had anyone to learn with. Even as a kid learning French, the social support (e.g. teachers, friends, family) was so important when it came to putting in the practice in order to master the language.
Last year, Duolingo introduces Clubs: a feature that allows users to create groups and invite friends and family to learn along with them within the app. With summer finally being here I thought this would be the perfect time to create a “Spanish for #PhysEd Teachers” club in Duolingo for us to learn together! Here’s how you can be a part of this club and learn Spanish with some fellow physical educators:
1. Download the Duolingo app to your iOS or Android device.
2. Launch the app and create your account.
3. From the language course options, select “Spanish for English Speakers”.
4. Once in your Spanish course, select the Clubs tab from the bottom menu options.
5. From the Clubs page, select “Enter Club Code” and enter the code XVMQ5C
Congrats! You’re in the club!
Ok, so a few things you should know:
- This is the first time I’m organizing a Duolingo club and will be learning along the way with all of you.
- Duolingo clubs are limited to 15 people, so it might fill up fast! If that’s the case, let me know in the comments and we can try to coordinate additional “Spanish for #PhysEd Teachers” clubs.
- If we do wind up with multiple clubs, I’d suggest that we create a “#spanish” channel in the Team #PhysEd Slack (which I’m bringing back in a big way this Fall).
¡Eso es todo por ahora! I’m really looking forward to learning with all of you and (hopefully) checking “Learn Spanish” off of my bucket list. If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and happy teaching!
August 20, 2019
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