Bringing “Global” Close to Home

Debbie Varga, Spanish Teacher, Revere High School, OFLA Advocacy Committee and Second Language Learning Committee

During the movie, Up in the Air, Anna Kendrick’s character is attempting to sell the concept of “glocal” (bringing the global-local).  This concept applies directly to all WL educators as we strive to create 21st century, real world learning opportunities for our students.  By bringing the “global” locally for our students, we can utilize the authentic resources that surround students in their communities.  ACTFL’s new World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages states, “Learners use the language both within and beyond the classroom to interact and collaborate in their community and the globalized world.”  By creating cross-cultural ties within our communities, a bond of advocacy is created between these cultures.

A wonderful local resource for OFLA members to create cross-cultural ties is the Hartville Migrant Center (HMC), located in Hartville, Ohio (Stark County).  Students at both the high school and collegiate levels have participated in numerous volunteer opportunities at HMC.  HMC serves the surrounding Spanish-speaking migrant community and provides various services for migrant workers and their families. Bilingual services are provided in the medical clinic.  Other services include a bilingual library, outreach and social assistance and religious education services.

A student of mine recently had the opportunity to experience the “global” locally by volunteering with me in the library and interacting with several migrant children and their families.  She read books to the children and practiced her Spanish skills in a real world setting through literacy outreach programming.  She was also able to use her time spent at the center towards volunteer hours at school.  Other students of mine have chosen to participate in school book drives which have helped build the library’s collection.  Providing our students with world language experiences in their surrounding communities creates not only empowered students, but empowered language learners.

The following resources can be used with your classes and for the creation of IPAs:

The companion website for the book Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community, Photographs by Gary Harwood, Text by David Hassler, Forward by Robert Coles.

Official Site for the Hartville Migrant Central

Teaching & Mentoring Communities Ohio Centers (Texas Migrant Council)

United Farm Workers

Unión de Campesinos (UFW’s Spanish language site)

Migrant Clinicians Network
Spanish language materials which can serve as authentic resources for classroom use.

National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc.
Site may also be viewed in Spanish.

This entry was posted in OFLA News: Association, Vol. 53, No. 2 - Winter 2015. Bookmark the permalink.