“A year ago we decided to set off searching for new projects and to enhance our knowledge about education and teaching languages abroad; this is why we joined the “Profesores Visitantes” program and ended up living and working in Maryland, USA.
Irene (Ms. G) is a Music, English and Spanish teacher from Toledo, Spain; and Rocio (Ms. M) an English and Spanish teacher from Málaga, Spain. We both love teaching and once we met this past August we clicked immediately because we had a big passion in common: our profession.
These past months have had a lot of ups and downs; settling in to a new culture, country and educational system, but thankfully we have had many help and have been sharing ideas and resources with each other.
As many people know, teaching a foreign language can be very challenging, there has to be a lot of visual, auditory and active learning because motivation is crucial in learning new languages.
In March, our lives, as many others, took a huge turn and suddenly the best part of the day was taken away: going to school to motivate and share with our students how exciting and important learning a new language is.
How are we going to motivate all of our students to keep learning without seeing them? Also, our age range is very wide (from Pre-k to 5th grade) and we wanted to try and meet all of their needs through our computers. So after many many conversations, frustrations, planning and research we came up with “GaMar Talk”. We decided we were going to create fun, visual and dynamic videos to help the youngest ones learn Spanish while we were apart. Our main focus was to make it feel like the students were continuing to interact with our “real” selves so we chose to create characters that looked like us and had our voices.
Then the next idea hit us! Why create it only for our schools, when the whole world was in the same situation? We didn’t want this COVID-19 to stop kids from enjoying their learning! This is why we began making videos in both languages, with easy vocabulary words about diverse topics, basic grammar structures and with a little fun story to it. They are short and adaptable to each age, able to catch and maintain the child’s attention, which we know is often very short.
We are now creating a new video each week, in both English and Spanish, which we upload to our YouTube channel, and advertise in all our Social Media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Telegram and Pinterest) and on our Website.
This is only the beginning of a project we hope will reach out to more and more people each day, to help as many students, teachers and/or parents along this learning process.
Our videos have been very supportive for our distance learning. They are great for introducing new vocabulary words, trying to give their learning a meaning and a purpose, making it practical for our students, as we create situations where the language is not only useful but fun to learn.
As we have been receiving many positive feedbacks from our new GaMar Talk community, we find ourselves sparked and excited about designing new stories for Ms. G and Ms. M and all her friends!
We can’t wait to get back to our classrooms, but in the meantime we will enjoy watching our virtual GaMar Talk family grow, while we interact and get to know so many other colleagues and new friends around the world, that, like us, are trying to contribute to improve our society.
So if you have made it to this point, and you have found our project interesting, we would love to invite you to join us on our platforms and become a part of our community!
We really hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and we are open to new ideas and constructive comments, we are learning from this situation all together, and hopefully we will also overcome it too.
Thank you very much,
Ms. G & Ms. M”