MACUL 2008
Mar. 5, 6, 7
ITV Service-Learning
a Second Language
Roberto Garza,
Southwestern Academy,
Flint Community Schools, Flint, MI
Mar. 6, 2008 at 2:30
Lets define Service-Learning
The Foreign Language Exchange Program
A look at some research and data
Videos, pictures, students’ PowerPoints
A look at Interactive Television (ITV)
Combining Service-Learning & ITV
Addressing METS
Discussion & Reflections
Academic Service-Learning is:
• a teaching methodology, which utilizes
community service as a means of understanding
course objectives.
• Students work within their own community to
help it develop and prosper, and also to
enhance their own community pride.
• Students can benefit personally, socially, and
intellectually from preparing for, performing, and
reflecting on service.
(Flint Community Schools 2005-2006 Youth Projects Report p. 15)
• Identify a need
• Provide a service (or product), and
• Reflect during and after the
Topics of Concern
• How are the principles of service-learning
enhanced through technology?
• What were the issues and opportunities that
educators and students faced in Flint?
• How can a Service-Learning Second Language
program work effectively in an ITV setting?
• What outcomes did we expect of students?
• How does this experience change students’
skills, self perception, and cognitive pathway?
• How was technology used to revive a program?
A brief history
• Started in 1996, under the direction of
Connie Rau (Youth Projects), and was
known as The Foreign Language
Exchange Program (FLEP).
• In its last year (2005 – 2006), over 880
students and 28 teachers were
successfully involved.
• It was a student-centered project.
History (continued)
• Students gave service by sharing their
second language skills with third graders
for 8 weeks (once a week).
• Elementary students were bused to 5 high
schools for a 50 minute interaction
• Tutors developed a big sister/brother
relationship with 3rd graders.
World Languages represented:
American Sign
Program Analysis
• 10 years of successful development
• Students were motivated to participate
• A number of 3rd graders later enrolled in secondary
language courses and some became tutors themselves
• Documented on DVD and VHS video
• Presented at the:
• 2007 Urban Service Learning Institute, Detroit
• 2006 10th Annual Institute on Service-Learning
U of M-Flint
• 2005 9th Annual Institute Adrian College
• 2004 8th Annual Institute Grand Valley University
Analysis (continued)
• Limited access for secondary and elementary
• Limited by the number of participating secondary
and elementary teachers
• Limited program length
• Limited funding
• Limited expenses for busing
(1/19/04View Article: Starting Early Means Finishing Strong)
The proclamation is that second
language study works in dynamic ways
to help students achieve higher scores in
core courses and on standardized tests.
Linda Wacyk writes,
research shows that children who study a
foreign language in elementary schools:
• Score higher on standardized tests in
reading, language arts, and mathematics;
Research (continued)
• Show more mental flexibility, creativity,
divergent thinking and higher-order
thinking skills;
• Feel better about themselves and their
learning; and
• Learn more easily when they study foreign
languages in high school.
Youth Projects’ Connie Rau
Connie’s data
Some of the key findings of the old Foreign Language
Exchange Program regarding secondary students were:
a. Doing well in my school work.
b. Placing high value in helping others.
c. Developing leadership skills.
Some of the key findings of the Foreign Language
Exchange Program regarding elementary students were:
a. Attendance remained steady or slight increase.
b. Showed enthusiasm for learning a second language.
c. Many 3rd graders, reaching middle or high school,
entered second language courses.
(more data)
• The Foreign Language Exchange Program
concluded in Spring of 2006 with 10 elementary
and 5 secondary schools, and 880 students.
• Funded by Michigan Community Service
Commission, United Way, and Flint Community
Schools provided the human resources.
• Coordinated and assessed by Connie Rau. Last
teacher professional development occurred
December 15, 2004 at Flint’s Sarvis Center.
Community Resources
• United Way
• Michigan Commission on ServiceLearning
• Big Brothers Big Sisters and Reta Stanley
• International Institute (no longer exists)
• Cross Roads Village (Genesee Co. Parks)
Community Resources (continued)
• Community Foundation of Greater Flint
• Flint Classroom Support Fund (teacher grants
for supplies), and
• Flint Teachers and Students
FLEP worked as an exploratory mini-course.
Secondary students stepped up to the challenge and
provided an important service that Federal
funding, state funding, and local school funding
did not allow.
Although Flint Community Schools do provide a few
elementary schools with second language, the
approach is not consistent or systematic.
The program inspired elementary and secondary
students to engage in additional second language
FLEP addressed state and federal mandates (NCLB).
The Need
• The late Paul Simon, senator from Illinois and a
champion of foreign language learning, once called the
United States “linguistically malnourished”
compared with other nations (Simon, 1980). People
from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds have
always come together to season the American melting
pot, yet we have nevertheless held monolingualism in
English as the gold standard of U.S. citizenship for
immigrants, often at the expense of heritage languages.
Cutshall, S. (Jan. 2005). Why We Need “The Year
of the Languages.” Educational Leadership 62 (4).
Foreign language learning is not something that
happens overnight; it takes a commitment of
time and money. U.S. schools compound the
problem by waiting too long to start foreign
language instruction. According to ACTFL
Professional Programs Director Elvira Swender,
U.S. students often start learning foreign
languages at puberty, “an age at which their
brains are least receptive to language
learning.” Cutshall, S. (Jan. 2005). Why We
Need “The Year of the Languages.” Educational
Leadership 62 (4). 20-23.
Support (continued)
• Beyond being mandatory in countries like
Germany, Spain, Thailand, Canada, and
Australia, second language study is and
has been an integral part of their school’s
curriculum and accepted for generations.
The Foreign Language Exchange Program
helped address the need of second
language exposure in the critical years.
Video DVD
• The Foreign Language Exchange Program
at Flint Southwestern Academy Spring
• Discussion
A New Vision
• Service-Learning requires the collaboration of
students, teachers, parents, schools, district
resources, program coordinators, and public and
private organizations. This collaboration permits
a vision to become a reality.
• The Genesee Intermediate School District
(GISD) held the vital key for reviving and
expanding the original Foreign Language
Exchange Program by: “providing an
interactive telecommunications path to the
world for ALL learners in Genesee County” (GISD
• A proposal was made by Mr. Garza to the GISD
in March of 2005 to augment the FLEP. The
GISD’s vision statement underscores servicelearning philosophy.
• The design of the Foreign Exchange Language
program was limited to a specific number of
secondary tutors, elementary tutees, teachers,
instructional time, and program funding.
• Creating and implementing a plan of partnership
between GISD and the Foreign Language
Exchange concept would bridge the gap and
provide more service to more students across
the district.
GISD’s 2006-2007
Pioneer Teacher Program
• As a result of Mr. Garza’s Pioneer Teacher
involvement, and mandatory project
requirement, he renewed the old Foreign
Language Exchange Program. The
revived program would be driven by
technology while continuing the concept
of Service-Learning.
ITV Service-Learning
a Second Language Project April, May,
• Engaged in service-learning via GISD’s
GenNet system to serve urban elementary
• Establish a model for other languages and
other districts to duplicate.
• Meet National Foreign Language
(ITV continued)
• Meet high school and elementary school
• Meet Spanish course objectives and
goals, and
• Address Michigan Education Technology
Standards (METS):
METS (9th to 12th grade)
Basic Operations and Concepts:
• Students will be provided with the
opportunity to learn in a virtual
environment as a strategy to build 21st
century learning skills.
• Students demonstrate how to
import/export text, graphics, or audio files
METS (continued)
Technology Productivity Tools:
• Students complete at least one online credit, or
non-credit, course or online learning experience.
• Students use a variety of applications to plan,
create, and edit a multimedia product (e.g.,
model, webcast, presentation, publication, or
other creative work)
• Students have the opportunity to participate in
real-life experiences associated with technologyrelated careers
METS (continued)
Technology Communication Tools:
• Students use a variety of media and formats to design,
develop, publish, and present products (e.g.,
presentations, newsletters, web sites) to communicate
original ideas to multiple audiences.
• Students collaborate in content-related projects that
integrate a variety of media (e.g., print, audio, video,
graphic, simulations, and models) with presentation,
word processing, publishing, database, graphics design,
or spreadsheet applications.
• Students plan and implement a collaborative project
using telecommunications tools (e.g., groupware,
interactive web sites, videoconferencing).
METS (abbreviated 3rd grade)
• NCLB will “Assist every student in crossing
the digital divide by ensuring that every
student is technologically literate by the
time the student finishes the eighth grade,
regardless of the student’s race, ethnicity,
gender, family income, geographic
location, or disability.”
(METS 3rd grade continued)
• discuss ways technology has changed life
at school and at home
• manage and maintain files on a hard drive
or the network (access to Blackboard)
(METS 3rd grade continued)
• how information and communication
technology supports collaboration,
productivity, and lifelong learning
• explore various technology resources that
could assist in pursuing personal goals
• identify technology resources and describe
how those resources improve the ability to
(METS 3rd grade continued)
• use basic telecommunication tools (e.g., email, blogs, web conferencing) for
collaborative projects with other students
(METS 3rd grade continued)
• use information and communication
technology tools (e.g., videos, DVDs,
educational software) to collect, organize,
and evaluate information to assist with
solving real-life problems (personal or
Project Partners
• Pierce Creative Arts Elementary students
(3rd grade) and teacher Bridgette Shook
• Flint Southwestern Commencement
Academy (FSCA) and Spanish teacher
Roberto Garza
Project Partners
• Orientation started April 17. On May 31,
2007, we completed a project partnering
16 elementary and 13 secondary students
in second language learning via interactive
television through the Genesee
Intermediate School District (GISD).
Project Purpose:
• To serve a community need
• To address METS
• To enhance learning through 21st Century
technology and distance learning by the
interactive telecommunications systems at
the GISD.
• To meet objectives
• To reflect and gather data
SWA site, Pierce in the monitors
SWA site, Pierce in the monitors
SWA site
SWA site
Video (VHS)
• ITV Service-Learning Second Language
• Discussion
“I was a part of the tutoring project with the 3rd graders.
I thought it was very good for them to see teens trying to help
them, and taking time out to teach them something.
Personally, I liked it. I wish we could have met them for a
face to face session. We could have gotten more work done.
I would love to do the project again. For me, it’s like
helping them to realize that they’re good at something. It
allowed them to see that kids 7 years older than them can
also care about them. I know the kids had fun and they got
exposed to a second language”.
High school students shared their skills
and became:
tutors and mentors of 3rd grade language
technicians engaging children through
interactive and multi-medial lessons,
creators of audio/visual literacy, and
visionaries of educational change through
Service-Learning and technology.
GenNet Interactive Television
What is it?
• “A fiber optic network providing integrated
voice, video, and data communications to
all 21 public school districts and Genesee
Intermediate School District.”
• Delivers interactively between high
schools and middle schools.
• Students can attend GenNet classes in
their respective classrooms.
• Students can interact live, via voice, and
video communications.
• An opportunity to take classes that are not
offered at their school.
• GenNet ITV offers a wide selection of high
school courses.
• GenNet courses can interact with up to
three other ITV sites in other districts.
• GenNet rooms are equipped with
microphones, TV monitors, computers,
document camera, cameras, & audio.
• GenNet is a Data network:
– It’s 385 miles of fiber optics.
– It’s in 196 school buildings, a Security system,
– Connects 25 high school ITV rooms,
and 26 middle school ITV rooms,
– Elementary schools may be connected soon
– It’s 30,000 computers, and 5,000
Think of GenNet as:
• a state-of-the-art voice, video, and data
technology system,
• a Video Conferencing system.
GenNet Students
Like most distant learning classes, students
a. Self-Motivated, Self-Disciplined,
b. Committed,
c. Desire new experiences,
d. Good Communicators & Collaborators
Project Analysis of
pre & post tests
Dr. Anita M. Harrison
Literacy Support Teacher
Flint Community Schools
923 East Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48503
Dr. Anita M. Harrison
• 3rd graders
SWA site, Pierce in the monitors
• 3rd graders
• 3rd graders
• 3rd graders
SWA site, Pierce in the monitor
3rd grade population
• Average age: 8.8
• Female to male: 5:11 before, 8:7 after
• Did you learn about the culture?
Yes: 10
No: 6
• Do I have a computer at home?
Yes: 13
No: 2
High school Spanish skills
High school Attendance
High School Citizenship
High school population
Average age: 15.6
Female to male: 12:2 (before and after)
Average semesters studying Spanish: 3.6
Students as creators of
visual literacy: PowerPoints,
Word creations, big books
• Issues of the old program:
a. limited growth
b. limited funding
c. very popular
• The potential of using ITV:
a. unlimited growth
b. minimal funding
c. very popular
b. driven by technology
How can Service-Learning work more
effectively? Through:
a. addressing a critical need,
b. serving and discovering rewards,
c. support from community resources,
d. collaboration with students to achieve
academic and social goals, & by
e. integrating technology.
Image a high school counselor’s office in
Sept. 2008:
Counselor A: Ok Johnny, finally you need to
decide whether you want to take math or
science. As you know, you need two
years of one or the other to graduate.
Johnny: Ah, which one is easier?
Counselor A: (audience participation)
Counselor A: Well let me see, how does that
fit into our district’s strategic plan, our SIP,
your IEP, our global component? . . .
Does anyone at home speak science?
According to Hillary Chura,
•Conventional wisdom says it is never too early for
children to learn a foreign language
•(a outlay is needed) to retain a language as the child
•you create the pathway in the brain for them to learn
•Start training the ear - at best
•Linguists and scientists refer to the so-called critical
period, the tender years
Chura, H. “If It’s Tuesday, It Must be Spanish”
I remember the excitement my students felt on "Spanish
Day". They felt very special being taught by high school
students and the GenNet lab gave them a leg up on the
technology ladder. Parents have asked if we will have
the same opportunity this year.
As a teacher, I was very excited that elementary
students were given the chance to test this type of
technology. I firmly believe that children should learn a
foreign language from an early age. The GenNet lab
made that possible with minimum expense for our cash
strapped district. Thank you for this experience.
Bridgette Shook
In a letter to Roberto Garza, Martin Jenning Instructional
Technologist at the Genesee Intermediate School District
Flint, MI writes,
“The project was innovative because it
created an opportunity for students in a nontraditional way to provide a foreign language
experience for elementary students using
21st century technology and distance
learning. …
Human Resources
• Connie Rau:
• Reta Stanley:
• Bridgette Shook:
• Martin
• Anita Harrison:
• Roberto Garza:
• See (Technology
button) for the PowerPoint presentation
• See for detailed
lesson. Provided by MDE UDL Curriculum

4th Annual Urban Service