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Learning ... It's a family affair

May 12, 2020

Johana Barrero

Dr. Johana Barrero added creative fun to help her remote UNF learners stay “tuned in.” The Spanish professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Culture, with the help of her young daughters, created “Word of the Day” videos for her students in Beginning Spanish I and II.

The videos, each about three minutes, were a big hit. Barrero tried to film and post the videos by 9 a.m. each day. If she missed that timeframe, she received messages: What is the word of the day today? Are we having an expression of the day?

“So, yes, I did get good feedback, and the funny thing was they were done in the middle of my messy living room and the girls were in pajamas, but the students watched them all. So, I continued to use them as tools in my classes.”

The idea came from her 7-year-old daughter, who had seen a similar type of presentation on Sesame Street. She suggested that she and her 4-year-old sister, who speak Spanish and English, could help teach her mother’s students a word each day.

Barrero agreed and decided to use an informal approach and focus on Spanish expressions that she normally doesn’t have time to teach, because there is so much material to cover. “Every day was different," Barrero said. “Usually I taught the students sayings that don’t have an equivalent in English that you can compare it to. It was fun and the students seemed to enjoy it.”

Here is one of the popular videos the mother-daughters team produced.