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Sarah participates in our Let’s Sing video project!

IMG_3820All around Spain, our families and volunteers in Allies in English are sending us their videos for the Let’s Sing project. Each volunteer teaches one of 4 songs that we chose, based on their age and English level,  and makes a video of it with their family. We are going to make a national mashup of the adorable clips!! You can read all about it in, our main website. Watch for the final video on our Youtube channel, videotoigo!!

Here is what Sarah writes:

Hi Dale,

I’m glad you like the video! Irene is 4 years old and Carlota is 7. The girls have been so much fun and now every time I visit Irene sings the Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes song and does the hand motions. The family agreed to have me send you the video for the web, I showed the mom the handout we got at the meeting with all the details of what the video is being used for and she is fine with it. As for suggestions to editing the final video I’m really not creative at all but it might be cute to do each song and for each new family have the city they are located in appear in the corner of the screen so viewers can really get a sense of where in Spain everyone is from!
Some of my insights I think I’ve learned as part of the program Allies in English is how much interactive play in English really does build a child’s vocabulary and verbal skills without appearing as “work” or “learning.” Just the difference I see in how much more I can say to the girls in English, and even if they respond in Spanish I know they understood what I said in English which is a huge step from where we began in the program where I would have to say everything in English and then in Spanish and then in English again. I still use this technique when introducing new vocabulary or playing a new game, but after a while it is really clear to see the girls understanding what I’m saying in English without me having to repeat in Spanish which is a really positive indication of improvement. Then when the girls start using the English vocabulary as well as a part of their casual conversational speech it really is a testament to how much they are learning.
Volunteering with T-Oigo has been the best experience I have had studying abroad. Just in these past two months I have seen so much growth in both Irene and Carlota in their confidence to speak English. Carlota has become much more confident asking questions and explaining the rules to different games we play in English. Irene has become very confident in counting and describing the colors of her toys in English. Going to see and play with these girls is always the highlight of my week!
Please let me know if I can help you with anything else!


Sarah Whittaker
Syracuse University, Madrid

Sarah is from Pennsylvania and speaks Spanish at a good level.  She studies Speech pathology y Audiology en Syracuse University and this semester in Madrid in  Syracuse University Madrid Center. She says, “I am a very positive and open minded person. I am motivated, energetic, and and organized. I am very interested in the field of audiology. My hobbies are cooking, biking, reading, and hiking.”

Thanks Sarah for your generosity in volunteering this semester! We are lucky to have you!! Dale


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