Global education is a personal passion. Tonight’s #globalclassroom twitter chat looked at “Scaffolding learning from class to world” – a fascinating topic that Laurie Renton in a blog post What is Global Taxonomy teased apart for us with a number of questions. One question that sticks out firmly in my mind is “Is there a progression of global collaboration?”
I experienced one step in that progression today – talking to a class of students through an interpreter. My friend, Lorraine Leo was the main presenter from Boston, USA and the class of students were in Japan. This was my first experience of working through an interpreter and an interesting one.
How it looked!
- Professor Yoshiro Miyata, who I met through Lorraine, and creator of the World Museum Project, invited me to speak to some students along with Lorraine, using skype or google hangout. However, google hangouts are heavy on bandwidth, so I asked for skype. Unfortunately, I could not use my video due to poor sound quality
- Lorraine shared her screen with Japan and talked about her use of Scratch with her class and beyond by sharing images. This included our collaboration recently on the World Dot Project.
- Lorraine would speak a few sentences and then pause for Yoshiro to interpret.
- Then, it was my turn. I spoke a little, paused and could hear Yoshiro interpret. When I felt he had finished I started speaking again. I have no knowledge of Japanese, so it was very much a guessing game, especially as I spoke to a blank screen.
Up until now, I have found always connected with classes where teachers have some grasp of the English language – at least enough to get by with simple communication. However, this was the first time that English was not generally spoken.
Teachers who are interested in genuine global collaboration, will need to learn how to work with an interpreter and how to do so in all situations – virtual and face to face! Another competency for us to work on!
Have you ever worked in a situation that as a teacher you required an interpreter? What challenges did you face? What advice would you give?