CARLSBAD — Maddie Sparber of Rancho Santa Fe, CJ Triana of San Marcos and Katie Dillon, Emily St. Marie and Annie Huang of Carlsbad are just a few Pacific Ridge School students who spend their Friday nights Skyping with students in China, Taiwan and Korea.These high school students participate in the Service Learning program, Lingo Online, which forges personal connections, develops friendships and promotes cultural understanding through teaching English to students across the globe.
Lingo Online was created two years ago, when several Pacific Ridge students were inspired by their English teacher’s stories about his experiences teaching in South Korea. St. Marie, Huang and Sparber are taking their passion for teaching language on the road. As part of Pacific Ridge’s global travel program, the three are designing a trip to South Korea next year to visit their students and take their teaching off Skype and into the classroom.
Lingo Online was created two years ago, when several Pacific Ridge students were inspired by their English teacher’s stories about his experiences teaching in South Korea. Founding members of the group researched methods of teaching English, made contacts in South Korea, and launched their weekly Skype lessons with high school students in Seoul. Starting this year, Lingo Online will also teach Korean college students and elementary school children.
Pacific Ridge students involved with Lingo Online spend their Service Learning class periods at school developing lesson plans and e-mailing contacts in other countries to continue to expand the reach of the program. Students are also creating educational videos to both simplify and personalize the English lessons. Friday nights are generally spent on the computer: teaching, sharing cultures and making friends.
The group’s reach has been expanded by connections made with students at Pacific Ridge’s sister school in China, Shidong Shanghai High School. In January, a dozen Chinese students from Shidong Shanghai visited San Diego, staying with Pacific Ridge host families. During their time at Pacific Ridge, the Chinese students met Lingo Online members and immediately expressed interest in ongoing English lessons. Lingo Online is also developing contacts in Taiwan, and working with an exchange student from Denmark to expand the program into a Danish high school.