One of the blogs that our students have always enjoyed interacting with Lyudmilla Kansk and her students wonderful Friend Blog from Krasnoyarskiy kray, in Siberia, Russia. They've just started posting a series of 'Learn to Speak Russian' lessons on their class page from Krasnoyarskiy kray, Russia.
This is a really great idea, so we, here in New Zealand have started to learn Russian! We've only just started and the students are enjoying it. In class on Friday we started by learning some of the words in Russian, and students had to be able to say 'Goodbye' in Russian before they were able to go outside of the classroom at lunchtime. Using our connections with the classroom over the other side of the world has exposed our students to a language and culture that we know very little about.
If you have a chance to visit their wonderful blog then you really should do so.
Early in the year we created a series of Maori Mihi videos and her students responded by learning a Maori Mihi and they posted it online. This was a hugely powerful moment for our students and one they still talk about as a highlight of the year. One of
the difficulties that we discovered with learning Russian is that the words are not necessarily phonetic, which is why you can see the words sounded out from our whiteboard! We intend to carry on learning how to speak Russian for the remainder of the year using Friend blog as our inspiration! The video featured below is from March when students from Siberia learnt a Maori Mihi (Greeting/Introduction) from the work created by students in Hamilton, New Zealand. A great example of using the internet and classroom pages to connect with students around the world!
We were excited with this video also created in Siberia from students speaking Maori.