This week, meet our Global Ambassador from Uruguay in South America! Flavia Núñez teaches English as a second language in several schools throughout her hometown of Montevideo.
How long have you been using PenPal Schools and what do you love most about it?
The first time I used the program was last year. I use PenPal Schools as a powerful resource for meaningful and successful learning opportunities. The multiple intelligences of my students are reached in every project: we have found ourselves singing, drawing, dancing, performing, writing a poem, collaborating with peers, as well as debating on relevant issues as we learn.
I love the videos that the program offers to introduce every stage, how the activities and the contents are carefully graded, the safety of the program, the resources the program provides teachers with and how attractive the projects are. Additionally, my students get really involved and motivated with the idea of global awareness and I've found in the program a source for happy learning situations.
How has learning with PenPals impacted your students?
I was looking for a way to improve the skills of reading and writing of my students, for a project proposed by the National Public School Department, and I couldn't believe how perfect this program was. Not only did my students improve their reading and written skills since they needed the language for responding, but the projects were an excuse for speaking and listening in class about the things they had found out and shared with their penpals. The outcome was actual practice in the 4 skills as an EFL teacher I aimed at. Besides, the learning that was taking place was meaningful.
What is your favorite PenPal Schools project?
Even though we are in our summer break, I look forward to trying as many projects as possible this year. Since in Uruguay every teacher works at least at 2 schools, there are opportunities for implementing different projects throughout the school year. In my case, I work at a public school with 3rd and 6th grade, at the American Language Institute delivering class for children, teenagers and adults, and helping several schools and high schools to improve their teaching staff, thus I had different fields and areas where I could suggest the program. Also, I presented PenPal Schools at a conference for teachers of the public school, and at a congress for private and public schools of the capital city.
There is no way I could pick a favorite project... but I will always cherish World Explorer, since it was the first project I took part in... and I loved the printable resources, the certificates my students received, the videos we recorded for the PenPal Fest kick off, the trivia game, the chances to share a poem of one of our most recognized writers, Eduardo Galeano, our customs and history, and the sympathy the PenPals in this specific project showed.
What other ways do you connect your students with the world?
I had used arcades, websites and my students had exchanged letters with peers inside Uruguay, but we had never gotten in touch with students outside our country.
What advice do you have for teachers that are new to PenPal Schools?
Once you and your students have picked a project, read the comments from other teachers who have tried it before, so that you can get the best from it. Exploit the material, help your students "reach for the stars," constantly reevaluate what you are doing, because that's what great teachers do! Trust and enjoy with them... Present PenPal Schools thinking that the English class could be the best part of your students' day…
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to travel to the [United] States again... I have been to California, but I would like to see more of those amazing landscapes and feel the North American vibe!
You can get in touch with Flavia in our global teacher forums, Facebook group for PenPal Schools Global Educators, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through her website for the American Language Institute at www.ali.edu.uy. Thanks Flavia for being a great Global Ambassador!
Are you an innovative global educator? Learn more about our Global Ambassador program here and apply today!