“The more you know, the more you need to know”: Learning Gaelic and Ojibwe online during the pandemic (by Paul Meighan-Chiblow)

This week’s blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

Aaniin, Boozhoo. Paul ndizhnikaaz. Alba indoonjibaa. Tkaronto ndidaa. N’gichinendam. Nimiigwechiwendam.

Hello, my name is Paul. I come from Alba (Scotland) and live in Toronto. I am happy. I am grateful.

‘S e Gàidheal a th’annam. Tha mi à Glaschu. Tha mi ag ionnsachadh Anishinaabemowin agus Gàidhlig. ‘S math ur coinneachadh.

I’m a Gael from Glasgow. I’m learning Anishinaabemowin and Gaidhlig. It’s nice to meet you.

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Caring for Students During Covid – My Five Top Tips! (by April Passi)

Many language teachers have been struggling to transfer communicative and interactive language classes to rigid online realities, with varying degrees of success, myself included. Teaching to 30 black squares on Zoom with the occasional thumbs-up emoji or a few students who do have cameras on does not really seem like the ideal environment for learning a language, let alone anything else. Back in March, I wrote a post about why in-person learning is so important, and while I have come to see that teaching online certainly has some benefits for both students and teachers, I am still staunchly “for” a return to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so. Now more than ever, I understand the importance of the classroom as a social space where students and teachers connect and create a sense of belonging. I teach college level students on a semester basis, so the relationships I build with my students are of a short duration, but they are important to me nonetheless – and, I believe, to my students. These days, as I peer curiously into the little black Zoom squares, I have a growing concern about the emotional and mental states of the kids behind the cameras.

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In Defense of the Physical Classroom (by April Passi)

Several months ago, I had thought about writing a post in defense of the physical classroom. It seems that right now is the perfect time to write this post. We are all practicing social-distancing and many governments have closed schools. As administrators, teachers, and students grapple with moving their classrooms to the virtual realm, we might like to reflect on how this (temporary?) relocation will change our perspectives on what a classroom really is. 

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