Thursday, 25 October 2007

The world into my classroom

Checking my blog feeds today I came across Julie Lindsay's post ending with this question:

How are you bringing the world into your classroom?

Thank you for throwing the question in the air, Julie! This is exactly what I have been pondering about for a long time. Planning the Singapore-Finland wiki will be one of my first steps into this direction. I have done a couple of short online projects with my English groups before, but they have just been random experiments without any long-term pedogogical development. Any of the bigger projects I have been involved in through the years have been accomplished with our special 'international group' students who have chosen international project work as an optional extra course. This time, however, I feel quite enthusiastic about working on these ideas further - with the attempt of making them an integral part of my regular English classes from now on. As the tools are there, I want to try and harness them to invigorate the conventional classroom routines that often send both the students and the teacher to sleep - especially on the darker and darker autumn-winter mornings ;) More importantly, though, I want to introduce more students (ie. especially the reluctant and rather sullen Finnish boys!) to real English use and communication.

Unfortunately, there is no escaping the eternal problem of the Finnish language teachers' over-dependence on course books. They more or less dictate our curriculum, you see. It is so hard to break out of this tradition from fear of not preparing the students well enough for the dreaded and awe-inspiring national final exams.

So whenever the opportunity arises, as it has now (presenting your own country in English actually being one unit in our course book), I will jump at the chance of opening my classroom - and my students' minds - to the world.


Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Sinnika
Thanks for linking to my blog post! Good to hear how you are approaching a global curriculum. The challenge is to move away from the text-book style classroom and embrace and embed alternative ideals that are far-reaching and engaging.
Good luck....and stay in touch!

Julie Lindsay said...

Sinnika, please can you contact me at We would love to have you join us on the Flat Classroom Project as a language and cultural advisor! I hope to hear from you.