Blended Learning at MTS

In our World Language Department students are able to supplement traditional learning with online, self-paced learning on the Languagenut website in a format known as “blended learning.”  Languagenut and the blended model encourages students to take charge of their learning using interactive games, songs and stories.  Our students have access to Spanish and Mandarin as well as 17 different languages. We even use Languagenut in Latin class, as we study French, Italian and Spanish to analyze derivatives, and to strengthen pronunciation and intonation. Native speakers do all recordings, ensuring students develop the correct pronunciation.

This online language resource relies on games, engaging students in simple, fun and effective learning activities. Students explore a set of words or phrases through the “start” feature, and then reinforce the language working across the key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. All resources are organized by topics and graded by difficulty, with each topic also offering a song and a story to practice key structures in a different way. The platform also offers the teachers an assessment of student performance on each topic.  We can also track and reward students’ progress through the activities whether they are completed in class or independently at home.

The greatest gift Languagenut gives to its users is time. While we continue to use many traditional classroom methods, requiring student and teacher together in a classroom, this blended learning platform provides an element of student control over time, place, path, and pace of learning. As we study the body in fifth grade, students are able to start online work at school, continuing to practice at home. Languagenut also allows a tremendous amount of differentiation for classwork and homework as all exercises can also be assigned to specific groups of students or individuals. Healthy competition is also encouraged via the “lingualympics” board, which displays the sign-in name of the top 10 students and 10 schools worldwide.  MTS is currently 10th in the world. In October, MTS students practiced 10,250 words. We also won 777 gold medals, 200 silver medals, and 97 bronze medals!

If you have any questions or comments, be sure to email me at gguarriello@mttam.org.

Gerry Guarriello
World Language Co-Chair, Spanish, Latin