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Becoming a Foreign Language Teacher by Elvira G. Deyamport

Elvira G. Deyamport

I am very fortunate to present Elvira’s new post, which she was so kind to write and surprised me so pleasantly with! Thank you so much, Elle.

Elvira G. Deyamport, Ed.S. is a Language Teacher, currently teaching elementary Spanish, with a K-12 ESL endorsement – interested in Web 2.0 Tools and technology integration in teaching language.

Six years ago, I started my career as a second grade teacher. Three years later, I switched districts and positions and became an elementary Spanish teacher. The transition from regular education to foreign language instruction was a difficult one at first.  During my first year as a language teacher, I was completing the final year of a federal grant for an FLES program. The activities I created and skills I assessed all centered on vocabulary acquisition. Most of my instruction was also done in English and reflected the English translation approach. I did not include opportunities for my students to practice using the language in context or use authentic materials.

 At this point in my career I knew that I needed more professional development in teaching a foreign language. Therefore, I decided to pursue a doctoral degree in gifted education and as part of my electives, I decided to enroll in graduate language courses offered by the MATL program at The University of Southern Mississippi. These courses offered me a different perspective on language acquisition as well as proven methods I was able to use in my classroom.

 Now I take a different approach to teaching a foreign language. Through authentic materials and thematic units, I am able to make learning more relevant for my students. Also, I make it a point to incorporate more speaking activities that allow my students to experience language in action. Reading and writing are also emphasized at all levels that I teach. Finally, I combine cultural components into each thematic unit so that students can experience the diversity among Spanish-speaking countries.

 Since joining Twitter, I have come across innovative approaches to teaching. I follow a myriad of language teachers along with educational technology specialists who have opened my eyes to new learning experiences for my students. For years, I had been thinking of connecting with a classroom abroad, and with the help of my Twitter contacts, that dream became a reality this last school year. My students Skyped with schools in Argentina and Spain.

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9 thoughts on “Becoming a Foreign Language Teacher by Elvira G. Deyamport”

  1. Vicky,

    Thanks again for the opportunity to share with you. It’s been quite an experience teaching language these past few years. I’ve been learning so much from you and the Twitter community. I’m thrilled to be a part of your PLN!

    Sincerely,

    Elle

    1. Hi Elle!

      You’re very welcome – I thank you so much for this wonderful post!

      I am so happy to have connected with you through Twitter – I have learned as well and continue learning from you. I hope that one day we will meet face to face!

      Many thanks,
      Vicky

  2. I’ve been looking for a class to skype with, I would love my students to talk to your students, I teach Spanish to 7th and 8th grade, Do you think we can do it with your class?

  3. Hola Diana!

    Our 6th graders would love to Skype with your classes. I can also try to get you set up with our middle school students in our district, if you’d like. Also, if you want to skype with other classes in the United States or in Spanish- speaking countries, I invite you to read my latest blog post, Finding Global Partners. Feel free to email me at edeyamport@aol.com so that we can plan the details.

    I look forward to working with you,

    Elle

  4. Βίκυ, πού… διακοπεύεις; Ήρθε Φθινόπωρο κι εσύ ακόμα να ενημέρωσεις το μπλογκ; Σε ανακαλώ στην τάξη, με όλη τη σημασία της λέξης! 😀

    Φιλιά από Ηράκλειο

  5. Elvira,

    thanks for the post and letting other teachers know about the power of twitter and finding things to invigorate our teaching and really motivate our students! Teaching, you can never stand still and your description of your own development shows that.

    Look forward to many examples and write ups of what you are doing with your classes this year.

    David

  6. David,

    Thanks for the comment! I have benefited from Twitter as a teacher and hope to build more relationships with other educators. Feel free to check out my blog for more examples of how to integrate literacy and technology in the Gifted and Spanish classroom.

    Elvira
    Blog: languagejourneys.blogspot.com

  7. Hi Elvira,

    I´m a Portuguese speaker and I want to become a teacher in U.S.
    Do you think it is hard for a foreign to teach in American schools?

    Thanks,

    Veronica

  8. Hi Veronica,

    I really don’t know how to answer your question. My best advice is to check with a university or state department of education in the state/city you wish to teach in.

    Good luck,

    Elvira

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