A question is how to bring that experience and its benefits to an online community? What technology
can be used? The experience is not just bringing the food but it encompasses tasting the food and having
discussions around it.
Using Bloom’s Taxonomy, here is an outline of how this could work in an online community.
1. Remember – Students from different countries or regions would be paired. They would recall a dish from
their home country, write a recipe for it in their home language and exchange it with their partner using an
2. Understand – Student would translate the recipe they received – ingredients, measurements, and
instructions - into English. The sender of the recipe would provide feedback as to whether they thought
the translation was accurate.
3. Apply – Each student would prepare two dishes. One would be the recipe received from their partner; the
other would be from the recipe they gave their partner.
4. Analyze – The day of the potluck students would exchange photographs of their dish showing the outside
and inside and would interact using video chat software that had a/v recording capabilities. They would
hold up the same dish and in English compare, contrast, identify and categorize the tastes, smells and
explain any substitutions they may have made in English.
5. Evaluate – They would recommend to each other changes, if needed.
6. Create – The students would brainstorm and plan a fusion dish that had elements of recipes from each of
their country; and prepare the new dish for when the whole class met.
7. The pairs would meet online with the whole class, provide background on the dishes they chose to share,
and taste their fusion dish and discuss the results.
To summarize, in order to make a multicultural potluck work online, the digital technology needed would be file-sharing and video
Didactic teaching will always be a tool when teaching students whose primary language is not English. Should it take up most of the class time? No. It is useful when introducing/reviewing terms that are unfamiliar to students. I’ve taught English to international students and I’ve taught business courses to international students.
When teaching English to low level fluency students, yes at some point they can and should research vocabulary on their own using translators, but before they can do that they have to learn to understand the words you are using when you are asking them to look up a word on their own. Writing directions in their own language on the board is not enough. They need to understand also what you are saying.
When it came to business classes, the students were more fluent. I would first test their knowledge of the day’s topic(s) by asking them to talk about their experience in the subject. What would happen next depended on the topic and density of the textbook material and what I knew was on the quizzes, midterm and final exam. These assessments were mandatory and standardized across all sections and campuses. In courses where the vocabulary and number of concepts for the course was numerous and explained densely in the book, I would lecture more. One of the strategies I would use for lecturing is the 10-2.
The video below by Let's Teach talks describes the strategy and its benefits.
The lecture would often be followed by discussion, small group work then individual work; and even with the individual work time students were allowed to ask their fellow classmates for help as long as the final product was their own. Having students help each other during individual class time in an English language class happened less often because it’s important that at least some of the work that students produce is 100% specific to them so the instructor can more easily identify what that student needs to improve their fluency and incorporate that in future lessons.
Let's Teach. (2016, January 24). Instructional strategies: The ten plus two teaching method. [Video] Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2udPWz_3vg
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Interested in exploring digital online tools for teaching? Visit EPDI's sister site at https://www.adulted-technology.com/