Welcome, this is “Caio Falmouth,” the first
of four installments this year. I’m Pat Dipillo, the World Language Department
Chair for the Falmouth Public Schools grades seven through twelve and this is
a well it’s not a video vlog it’s a video newsletter that I’ve decided to
put together because I think the district and the community would like to
know what types of activities teachers and students and myself are involved in
and as you know this program is all about everything and anything that
applies to the study of a world language so to begin with I’d like to go all the
way back to April of 2018 later on you’re going to hear more and more that
I will say teachers and students are involved in proficiency so in April for
world language teachers from the Lawrence School were involved in
workshop in Wayland at Wayland High School called the creative language
classroom that there are two women who have spearheaded this movement they are
former world language teachers and had what they called Gen II D certifications
that means they were deemed generalists or non specific so they had to teach
Spanish and they came up with this methodology that nowadays we off we
always recognize as proficiency but it amazed me when I asked them that they
just automatically thought that this was the right way to teach and they have now
call a website called adios textbook and teachers in this district have
subscriptions to creative classroom and monthly they receive instruction on
units and things to teach with rubrics attached activities tasks that are very
modern and very authentic and that’s what we try to pro tray to our students
that we use authentic resources we put them in authentic situations because the
use of the target language to communicate or interact for proficiency
is exactly that it’s not learned it’s not memorized it’s exactly on the spot
you use of the language now it doesn’t mean that they don’t learn the language
and don’t use vocabulary and apply grammar and structure accents but it’s
not the focus that is subservient to the what students can do with the language
and what students can do with the language and I’ll talk about this a
little bit later is in their use of community the language to communicate
their ability to read and comprehend and their ability to do presentational
writing or presentational can also that mode can also indicate speaking so that
kicked off a series of professional development events that the next version
was my attendance at math was professional efficiency Academy in
Westfield during the month of July now this is my fourth year in attendance I
began in the novice strand and I have now graduated to the intermediate strand
and in the novice strand you learn the basics of proficiency what it looks like
how to you know develop a backward planning understanding by design what a
benchmark is what lesson planning looks like all kinds of things so in the
intermediate it really focuses in much more on assessment and grammar as a
concept and hot introduce vocabulary that is not
traditional non-traditional meaning we’re in a transformation in the
instructional practices that we use I mop the leg language teachers at
Lawrence were in attendance in July of 2017 but this summer I was there solo
but I bring back lots of materials and disseminate them throughout the year for
teachers to use and incorporate into their instruction
the next PD was attended by myself again and that is the math TLAs immersion
weekend at LaSalle college in Newton and Susan Schmitt from the FHS world
language department who teaches French and is responsible for the French
exchange was also in attendance immersion weekend means that Friday
Saturday and a portion of Sunday is devoted to French Spanish and Latin use
of the target language specifically so as a Latin teacher I participated in the
Latin strand and sure when little from I believe he’s from Indiana or Ohio
current president of the CLC is the main presenter and he reviews methods for
teaching Latin which are interpretive naturally that is the basis of the Latin
language and talks about the alehrer which is the actual Latin interpretive
reading assessment that’s the proficiency testing that we give
students our seniors in May or June or April whenever we give that we have our
would ceremony in May and it is on that basis coupled with M cast that students
receive the seal of by literacy and which I will talk about in a few
in a little while so Susan can talk more about the French strand that she was in
and I’m sure she’s using that in her French classes she has levels two four
and five AP that brings us to all cape day on October 5th now I work with the
collaborative to provide the presenters for that day and this year I was very
surprised that they chose two speakers Cathy Turner who is current president of
math law and she did a session for thirteen teachers on communicative
strategies and again Kara Packer and Megan Smith from creative classroom
hosted 23 teachers from Cape Cod and the islands and this time the basis for
their discussion was authentic resources how to use authentic resources in the
classroom so we learned a lot of tips and strategies and lots of websites and
things to use to present different thematic units to students in well in
our district and other districts as I said were there also in participated
just recently we and I say we four teachers from the junior high and I
attended math TLAs Fall Conference in Springfield Massachusetts language
teachers at Lawrence attended Gregg Duncan’s session on I believe he
probably incorporated vocabulary how to acquire vocabulary into his presentation
but they came away with knowledge of how to construct an integrated performance
assessment that is the basis of our portfolio collections this year that we
have begun and again I will about that in a little bit but they seem
to feel like that was the best way for them to learn how to put those three
modes interpretive presentational and interpersonal together as a thematic way
to assess students now all of this work that we do in proficiency is very
integrated and very complex it takes a lot of time and it takes teachers time
to put it together to give the assessments to grade the assessments but
as I go in and out of classrooms here at at Lawrence I see the value and the
results of their work because I see students meeting those challenges and
working harder to meet teacher expectations in this area and all of
that is going to culminate in increased proficiency for students in the
classroom I personally am putting together a data
report based on three years of our giving the stamp which is the standard
assessment for the measurement of proficiency in French and Spanish and
the alehrer which I’ve explained in Latin so that we can look at our
proficiency benchmarks and our goals we set them every year and we base our term
grades on them we look at our grading how we grade what weighting we give it
what how much weight we should give them and so we know that our seniors are
meeting their target benchmarks and leave the at the award ceremony in
graduation with the silver seal for meeting intermediate mid the gold seal
from meeting intermediate high and the Platinum seal for meeting advanced low
but we know we need to work on grade eight that achieves the certificate of
attainment and grade 10 who at the supposedly they
you know end of exit and I don’t want to say that this they’re exiting because we
want them to continue into levels four and five however if they have begun
French and Spanish at the junior high then they need two years of a
consecutive language here at FHS to meet that graduation requirement so
theoretically after four years of language study they should be at a solid
intermediate mid unfortunately they can keep that designation and receive the
distinction at graduation in grade 12 or they can continue in their language and
continue to take stamp and alehrer so that their level of benchmark would
increase and so with their level of award the commissioner has now specified
that there are only two levels of award as opposed to the pilot program that we
in falmouth participated in for the past three years that awarded three the
silver the gold and the platinum he’s decided to make it equitable with eld to
eliminate the bottom tier and just as a state award the gold and the platinum so
it’s a sealable literacy in the sila by literacy with distinction as I said in
the award ceremony we give the pins at graduation we note that in the per
eduation program I’ve just given Allen Khazaria and the official state seal of
Massachusetts to put on the diploma or the transcript and that indicates that
two colleges and employers that this student is bilingual based on the MCAS
passing MCAT score and achieving a target benchmark in the world language
so that’s the essence of what teachers hope to get out of anything that they PT
that they avail themselves is improved instruction and ways to get students to
their growth targets next week I’m headed to New Orleans for the actual
conference where I’ll be doing a presentation on intercultural competency
that is not separated from what we do in a world language it’s just bringing more
awareness of students to how to deal with the differences between one culture
and another and the only way to do that is by bridging the gaps and bringing
people closer together through exchange programs or any way students can
interact with native speakers in any culture that is diverse or different
than we are as Americans so mine session is titled pathways to global leadership
because as a an administrator or as a department chair
my role is how to implement these initiatives and it’s not just okay well
today we’re going to do this and tomorrow we’re going to do that it’s a
thoughtful process of how to unroll I’m not unravel but how to roll out this is
how I’m going to you know through bilingual immersion or through exchange
programs or through the cultural competency you know initiative I’m going
to talk about another a little bit so I’m excited to do that and I’m excited
to attend other sessions again that I will bring information back for teachers
to use in their classrooms this year we also launched a Spanish exchange program
a little bit you’re going to see students talk about their experiences
with having a host student in their home and how they interacted with them and
the kinds of things that they talked about formally and informally and about
Woods Hole and the marine biologists so I’m here today with deja Pina and Philip
guesses to students who recently participated in our film of high
school’s first ever Spanish exchange program the high schools just hosted
twelve students from Spain the Colegio Madrigal who were here and then took a
side trip to New York before they return to Madrid and both deja and Philip
hosted students and they will be here to tell you a little bit about their the
project that they’re involved in what kinds of things they did with their host
students and anything else they think the audience would like to know about
what their trip to Spain is gonna look like in April so welcomed Asia welcomed
Philip and thanks for being here so why don’t you each tell us a little bit
about what it was like to be part of this exchange program for me it was a
really big learning moment in my life I met some of the best friends that I’ll
keep for a really long time I learned a lot about the language and learned a lot
more than I could learn in a classroom and I think it was really eye-opening to
see just the different ways that our culture’s like combined when we were
together and how even though they’re from Spain were so similar but then we
all have these little differences that was really interesting to me yeah like
you really get to know your kid like the you spend like nine days with them like
24/7 you’re pretty much just always around them and so you get to know them
and you actually like me some pretty strong connections and then also when
you actually like hanging out with group of Spanish people they’re always
speaking Spanish to each other you kind of have to catch up at the end of the
actual exchange like my Spanish definitely one for link down here duck
here yeah it’s like now I can’t stop Todd I just want to speak in Spanish
every time and I just like I’ll be speaking and then I’ll think oh I could
say that in Spanish like that before I never knew how to say certain things in
Spanish and just just the two weeks that they were here I learned more than I
have learned in like this your school year yeah Spanish is awesome that is the
idea but why you’re learning Spanish yes that right so feel free whenever you see
me or anybody in the car attorneys be ugly happy to talk with you what was the
name of your host student my girl’s name was Miriam Miriam Kalon
come on yeah and Philip and Gonzalo Lopez it’s a
little bit yeah and what kinds of things did you do as part of the exchange in
other words can you talk a little bit about going to Woods Hole and going out
on a boat and working with the marine biologists and then we’ll get into what
kinds of things you did on the weekends yeah just hanging out with them
informally yeah yes so like a big part of this exchanges the fact that they
live in Madrid like around Madrid so it’s like a landlocked piece of land and
they haven’t been out to sea that much like I think my kids been like he’s
visited the ocean like two times in his life in Spain and you’re in Spain in
Europe yeah so he’s never like seen anything like this what was his reaction
to being on a sea coast right at the end seeing all the beaches and all the ocean
and just lying there all really fascinated because it’s not like when
you’re in Madrid it’s not really like you get the choice to just drive to a
beach I think a lot of us we drove around to the beach and even just going
on this effort it was like we got to go out on a boat and see see what Cape Cod
is like even though it was not that warm like at summertime but I think they all
really got to know what it’s like to live here and be right on the ocean
being able to have it right in your backyard from my experience speaking
with some of them they were so happy to be here
and they didn’t really want to leave they really liked it here and wanted to
stay longer so that’s also a good sign and that’s why you’re saying that you’re
making lifelong friends because you’ll have you know people to visit well
they’re these students will be part of the exchange that goes to Madrid in
April but aside from that whenever they travel outside of you know the realm of
you know being part of a program or a School District they’ll have friends you
know literally all over the world no real big plus in anyone’s life yeah like
another thing I want to add was they also came from like a really small
school I think they have like 50 people in their grade yeah so when they came
here they came here during spirit week when everybody’s like dressing up and
like really putting themselves out there so during the pep rally when like the
entire school was like chanting and like we had the cheerleaders and stuff a
couple of the girls were like actually crying because they thought they were in
a dream and that they thought they were like in an American movie yeah yeah it
was that’s awesome something that that’s a new experience for them they probably
do not have those kinds of things yeah yeah in the in the I believe that the
Colegio Madrigal is a private school yeah and it’s rights internet
international they speak like bilingual there yeah I think they’re really small
English like as soon as I get there yep kindergarten yes most of European most
Europeans know at least two languages if not three because they mandated that
they take them they take a second language as part of their curricular
list their studies anyway so most Europeans speak English you know have
that as their second and then if they’re in Spain they’re either learning Spanish
or Italian or French or yes something else but um I don’t I didn’t get that
far talking to them to know which language other than English they did
speak if they picked up a third but I did notice that
their English was very good yeah my girl um she was she’s been learning English
since she was really young she spoke four languages so she yeah so she spoke
English Spanish Arabic and French so she and she was like fluent in English yeah
it was it was really amazing to me she was so fluent in English if any of the
kids had any questions about how to say something like me especially if I wanted
to talk in Spanish I could ask her and she could help me and it was it was
amazing I loved it I learned so much honestly yeah yeah my kid wasn’t like
very fluent in English like he couldn’t speak English but we still managed to
somehow communicate well you Spanish yeah you are that was a help to you as a
student of Spanish and he was trying to learn more English I’m sure by coming
here because no matter where you are in the world once you immerse yourself in
someone else’s language and culture you automatically pick it up even for
teachers when we travel it’s gotten to the point for me or a did get to the
point for me where if I landed in friends in France
I immediately you know was comfortable transitioning to French if I landed in
Spain same thing only in Spanish if I landed in Italy it was Italian
I must say I’m not sure I ever took a flight that landed in Germany or
anywhere what German was spoken that’s one that I never studied so for me I I
know enough just to get by mm-hmm and that’s it but it’s the comfortableness
it’s like oh I know what to do here when I get here and because you hear it you
see it on signs if you’re you know and you’re in your hotel room you’re you’re
got TV on with the language being spoken you’re listening to it on the radio so
the total immersion it’s like anything else you pick up word here and they say
oh I remember hearing that or I know that or now I understand what the gist
is and you know you just keep building on
it the longer you’re there the more so them being here in the United States for
two weeks let’s say nine days here and then the rest of the ton New York they
you know probably picked up new words and yeah all kinds of things that you
know they didn’t necessarily because remember they’re learning English from
about a textbook but they’re probably they’re teachers are British or that’s
usually but and just as you’re learning Spanish that’s formalized it’s not until
you get out into the in you know countries where this in the places or
it’s spoken that you really pick up the nuances and the slut not the snot the
slang words but the words that are specific to different cities in
different countries they all have their different ways of saying things so if
you’re not there if you’re learning from a textbook or learning from a teacher
it’s one thing unless you have a native speaker who can you know bring you
through you know the the vocabulary and things that are specific to with it from
but so I imagine you two are looking forward to April when you’ll be having
to neither one neither – Andrew Philip has traveled to Spain before and just as
the students from the Collegium either girl came here and were amazed by you
know the coastline and Falmouth being you know beaches and everything else and
they will be going to a city a capital city that’s a higher altitude and smack
dab in the middle of the country and as Philip I think mentioned Spain isn’t
landlocked but you really in order to get to a beach of the AU or the
coastline of the it’d take you at least you know two or three hours each either
way if you’re going to you know let’s see yeah that’s one thing if you’re
going to the south of Spain to the Costa del Sol it’s a whole that’s a whole
other you know things so what kinds of things
do you look forward to I’m excited for the food my food is gonna be amazing I’m
really excited to see all the architecture because a lot of their
buildings are very different from how they are here and the way that this the
city is run I think it’s going to be completely different I think here is
kind of almost not chaotic but lots of people I think it’s going to be a
different type of lots of people completely different I’m really excited
I’ve never been out of the country so that’ll be Italy yeah that’s good what
about you I almost ly don’t know what they expect but I’m excited to go to
Spain just as Madrid mmm yes well it’s I’ve heard a lot of things about Madrid
like a lot of good things it’s not like what that it I we’re probably not going
to be there for it but like the Running of the Bulls that’s right right yeah I’d
want to see like actual people not sure that goes on yeah but okay well I don’t
know I’m just excited to go out at the country and just don’t brood
I hope mr. Mach and the group takes you to protein which is a famous famous
restaurant in Madrid and specializes in Paia and you know the specialties that
are Spanish specialties that are you know customary for that area or Spain
well that’s that’s great now you guys have excursions planned you know what
your people will you be right in Spain Madrid all the time or you be travelling
to different parts or do you know yet yeah so I think for the first week we
stay with the actual Spanish kids they leaving like this Spanish suburbs in
Madrid suburbs in a small town it’s called Barranca it’s like I think they
have 4,000 people in it or something like that that’s not yeah and then we’re
gonna there for a week or like for half a time
and then for the other rest of the half I think we’re just going gonna go to
Madrid right and we’re gonna stay in a hotel and just okay I think we might be
going to Toledo and we’re going to some museums I forget what else we’re doing
but we have a whole week’s worth of stuff to do in the first week we’re
gonna be spending it in the classroom with this but I was my next question
what amount of time do you spend with your student in their actual classrooms
yeah the entire first week so actually the week that we go is is like the
Easter holiday week so school is kind of optional but the first five days it’s
we’re gonna be spending it with them most kids will go but it’s not going to
be like their normal class setting because most people will go to their
little villages on the coast and spend Easter there so my Spanish exchange
student we might be going with her to where she’s going for Easter talk a
little bit about European teenagers what would they like as teenagers when they
like you or when they different or what did you did you trade stories about
different experiences you know just a little bit about similarities and
differences um I would say they’re a lot like us but they’re a lot more open yeah
I guess yeah they’re definitely legs up like they’re just really loud loud and
loud really full of energy yeah yes when um when you travel in Europe and you
know certain nationalities you know the Germans are very staid and so are the
British when you get to the southern climes like the Italians the Greeks the
Spaniards the expression is getting a government they like to their your
lively there yeah it was awesome yes very good it was but in terms of being
like a teenager I think that they were almost all of the same as like if they
were to be living in America they would fit right in a lot of their same goals
in life are the same that we had what they wanted to do
they’re the things that they thought were fun a lot of it was the same even
though we’re from like the opposite sides of the world and I thought that
was so interesting that even though we’re so far apart and we separated by
this ocean like we share all these common yeah things that we like to do
that’s the importance knowing another’s culture you get to know you had to form
relationships you get to see similarities to yourself and that nobody
is that much different even though you may not speak the same native language
that you know people are people and hmm did you talk to them about movies and
music and the things that teenagers you know spend their time doing music yeah
there wasn’t though out of the same stuff we didn’t you know that turns out
American music is everywhere around the world
yeah thanks to the internet and satellite radio and all the kinds of you
know things the social media that bring the world closer together and some and
some aspects as we you know read the newspapers it’s not so good but in other
aspects it’s great because it brings people together and they can share the
same interests and tastes and music and movies and sports made you talk about
sports at all yeah I didn’t participate in the sports
rap pep rallies oh yeah he did did they they play soccer I’m sure right Mike
Rugg didn’t play soccer she was a dancer so we kind of bonded over that I used to
dance um but one of the girls grace McKnight’s Spanish exchange girl aitana
she was amazing at football well yeah yeah so she played with the vamos girls
here on the soccer team and a lot of a lot of the boys like soccer so a lot of
them bonded over that they really like that
so yeah that’s great yeah it’s great anything else you want to share us at
ours that I didn’t ask or something you want to mention
that not really no no no no I want to thank you for being here and for sharing
your experiences and I’m glad you had a great time with them and will be excited
to have you come back and talk about your experiences in Spain when you
return in April yeah thank you thank you but those are great ways and we have a
French exchange program those are great ways for to bring different cultures
together and have students interact with their counterparts on European soil both
in France and Spain to you know create better global understanding for one
thing and to have students practice speaking the target language with one
another Europeans speak at least two or if not three languages but it is
mandated in Europe it is not in the United States no matter what state you
live in and who has the sale of by literacy law as we do have the look act
in Massachusetts it is not anywhere mandated so we just have to hope that
our enthusiasm and our passion for teaching and learning a language
translates in into students who are interested and want to continue so that
brings me to my intercultural competency initiative luckily and fortunately for
me last year I had an idea based on some discussion with the then elementary
director of curriculum Zachary what occur and a meeting that I had with the
elementary principals that I would like to provide the district with some kind
of intercultural competency and I began this year with having the owners of clip
Cod the ship Barbies come as a matter of fact last Monday to Lawrence to talk
about their background in France and in Morocco and the importance of
learning of a language and travel and what’s a francophone country and then
they mentioned a little bit about the method called a raclette which is cheese
that the French use specific cheese that the French years in preparation for
meals not a fondue this is a different process but they talked about the
different types of clip they have at clip cod the savory which is meat and
the dessert and how they’re prepared and that Friday evenings they have special
parties where they do use the harlot and they spoke French with the students and
in one classroom the teacher created maps so students could visualize what
countries they were talking about and certain expressions that they used and
some songs for example I particularly like the French expression arms Tom come
piqué piqué colleague Tom boo hey boo a haka Tom arms Tom come and that’s the
way teachers in French used to say okay count off by threes or in some way try
to you know make selections it’s and it serves a dual purpose because you get to
practice the arms Tom Tom the pronunciation of the French ah and uh
and things like that so it was it’s great to hear native speakers use the
language because they’re you know have beautiful accents and their vocabulary
is some kind sometimes different a mug Alicia Barbie comes from an island off
the coast of France in Brittany I believe and Monsieur Bobby comes from
Morocco so we’re foods and and accents and some vocabulary are different so it
it was great having them I believe they will return in the spring sometime to do
cup with the students at Lawrence as they have done here and I just think
that’s a fabulous way to connect with the community and bring
the community within to the school also fortunately for me Krista Hennessy at
Lawrence sent me an email in beginning of the school year and I believe I
probably was swamped with other things but we have reconnected over the past
couple of weeks she has now connected me to Linda Collins at the library and
Falmouth because there’s a reading group that is doing Liberty class and there’s
also a group at the library that meets once a month I believe or every other
month that reads in French so I plan on attending my first meeting tomorrow and
I was invited to attend the committee meeting for the Liberty class ideally I
would like to have a production of Liberty class put on someplace in the
district and I believe the library was interested in having or thought that I’d
the idea of having part of this committee group read to the children in
the elementary was a great idea which then again there’s another example of
intercultural competency the community participating in the schools and the
schools welcoming them community using that those resources to provide
authentic experiences and resources for students that’s another byproduct of
learning a world language we are fortunate this year I mentioned
exchanges we have fortunate to have an exchange student for ken-kun
who was placed with a temporary host family and now will be spending the rest
of the year we hope with a former superintendent Nancy Taylor so that is a
big plus again the community is participating in the work of the schools
and we’re welcoming them into the schools in any way that we can I just
want to wrap up with a little bit of explanation on the portfolios that
teachers are currently in the process of creating
as I mentioned before we need to do some work here at FHS and in grade 8 at
Lawrence in our meeting our target benchmark and so by having teachers
create a portfolio with IPA assessments in them to to each of interpretive
presentational and interpersonal per term where they provided students with
written feedback and I give teachers feedback on their feedback we hope to
gear instruction more toward the proficiency oriented methods and so that
translates into better outcomes on the stamp not and alehrer possibly although
our results usually are well into the intermediate mid and the past couple of
years at the intermediate high and the advanced low but that is the senior
level we’re trying to promote the same level of proficiency under the four
students in grade eight whom have a certificate of attainment at their award
ceremony and grade 10 when students conceivably can exit the program
although as I said previously we don’t want them to leave we want them to
continue and that all leads to as I also mentioned the seal which is the official
document of the official that the official insignia I guess that’s put on
the diploma or the transcript and you know the awarding of the pins and the
I’d like to get cords for the seniors at graduation this year so that brings me
and you up to date on all world language activities that have occurred probably
since I saw you last and so until the next time
probably a couple two or three months from now when the next install I’ll have
another installment of Chow falmouth so for now I just like to say ciao Falmouth