Flipping Around the World

Teachers often find themselves having to be in two places at once.

In fact, it was this very dilemma that inspired Emilia Carrillo, a foreign language teacher, to turn her style of teaching upside down.

Two years ago, while teaching in Ukraine, Emilia Carrillo faced the difficult task of simultaneously teaching two different levels of Spanish in two different classrooms. In fact, she often found herself running back and forth between the two—she literally had to be in two places at once.

This was a new challenge for a teacher whose career has taken her around the globe. For the past seven years, the native Colombian has been venturing out internationally to teach Spanish to children in many different countries. So far, she has taught Spanish in Belgium, Jordan, Ukraine, and, most recently, Uganda.

Benefiting Students

To solve the challenge she faced in Ukraine, Emilia discovered a technological tool—Jing—that today lies at the heart of the way she teaches her foreign language classes.

In the classroom, Emilia uses Jing almost every day, asking her students to record their presentations with it. By recording their own audio, students are able to practice their Spanish-speaking abilities and instantly hear how they are doing. Emilia then uses these recordings to assess the students’ progress and provide feedback that will help them improve their language skills.

Not only does this technology help Emilia teach Spanish and engage her students, but using Jing also helps her with global projects. For example, through the power of Jing, her classroom in Uganda— which is comprised of students from Italy, South Africa, Uganda, the United States, India, and Belgium—is able to connect and collaborate with students from all over the world. Most recently, Emilia had her class create a story about a trip to a Spanish-speaking country and share it with a classroom in New York.

Helping Teachers

And there’s even more to Emilia’s story. Not only has she enhanced the skills of her students by remaining on the cutting edge of technology, she also shares her knowledge with others in the education field. Her websites and blogs are continually updated with information that other teachers from around the world can apply to their own classroom challenges. To learn more, visit her website, http://spanish4teachers.org/ or her technology blog, Foreign language begins with T, which includes great tips for teachers.

To learn more about how Emilia is flipping her classroom, read her blog, Reflipping the flipped.

You can also find her on Twitter, which she views as not only as a forum to hear what others are doing, but to learn. You can find her there at @spanish4teacher.