As students around the state are preparing to return to school in various formats, the Chattanooga School of Language seeks to provide distance learning opportunities for students in need of foreign language support this school year.
Virtual programs are offered this fall via Zoom at various times during the day and feature Spanish, German and French for elementary, middle and high school students at the beginning and intermediate levels. More languages are offered in private tutoring or customized requests as well as for adult learners.
“In the midst of so much that is unknown right now, there is one thing that seems pretty clear,” said Laurie Stevens, founder/director of the language school. “And that’s the need for distance learning options for students.”
She said that over the past few months, since Covid-19 hit, the CSL team has been training in best practices and preparing to expand their distance learning options to all students in a way that is just as interactive and effective as if students were sitting in the same classroom together, in person.
The programs are geared toward a variety of students, including, but not limited to:
• A homeschooling family launching into online instruction;
• A student who will now be attending school in person for some days of the week and having class virtually the other days;
• A teacher, caregiver or student who wants some additional support in foreign language during the upcoming semester and school year;
• A professional who is working from home;
• A caregiver who has recently added the job title of “school teacher" to your resume;
• A front-lines worker who is interested in communicating in another language but has limited time to attend an in-person class; or
• Someone who just wants to ... learn another language.
According to Debbie Ingle, mother of a CSL Spanish homeschool student, “At the Chattanooga School of Language, my daughter has done more than just checked off a box on our list of classes for her to take. She is actually acquiring a new language. I fully expect her to reach fluency. CSL is not drill and kill book work. The teacher and students speak to each other in the target language....just like parents teaching language to children at home. It really works."
When describing what distance learning looks like at CSL, Ms. Stevens highlights several key features of the school’s programs:
• Classes are held in real time.
Our classes are held on Zoom, an online video conferencing platform that allows students to be live with your teachers and fellow classmates, interacting and enjoying the language learning experience together. You will be connecting with them live, as if you’re in person! This lets you receive the personal interaction of an in-person class even though we’re online.
• Connecting with your teacher in real time means you can ask questions and connect with them in the moment.
• Additional In-Person Activities / A Hybrid Model of Learning
Some of our classes are going to offer in-person experiences in addition to our online distance learning model. Through the hybrid model of instruction, students can receive supplementary in-person additional experiences (select classes/languages will be offering this.) More details coming soon. All in-person activities will allow for proper social distancing and adhere to safety protocols.
• We are bringing our mission to you.
Distance learning provides many unique benefits:
o Convenience -- Who said you can't learn German in your PJs?!
o No commute -- Save money and time from having to drive to class. Take your class in the comfort of your own space, at a time that's convenient for you.
o Flexibility -- Classes are recorded so you can re-watch at your convenience and be sure you don't miss anything!
• Our focus is still on proficiency. Communication in the target language.
Our language classes are founded on the principles of Comprehensible Input, and our focus is language acquisition. Our activities are adapted for online distance learning platforms, so students still receive a classroom experience as if they're in person. Students will develop a connection and understanding of the target language and culture through storytelling, interaction and fun exercises that are designed for distance learning. Classes will be conducted primarily in the target language, and the students will be given the tools to develop their comprehension and communication skills.
To view more information on each program, visit the links below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org | 423-802-2040.
• Distance Learning/ Homeschool Program: https://chattanoogalanguage.com/homeschool-program/
• Distance Learning/ After-School Program: https://chattanoogalanguage.com/after-school-classes/
• Distance Learning/ Immersion Playgroup: https://chattanoogalanguage.com/immersion-playgroups/
• Distance Learning/ Language Classes for Adults: https://chattanoogalanguage.com/language-classes/