Teaching English Through Reading Aloud:
A Global Solution for Students in Isolated Areas.
Project Manager: Send questions to
Ms. Dung Nguyen – Stellanguyen152@gmail.com
Google SignUp Form: Fill out this form to join.
Across the Sky is a project that aims to extend the walls of the classroom by connecting students in different parts of the world to each other. Music, Art, and Storytelling are seamlessly connected to create a sense of community and shared goals. For now, the project is conducted exclusively in English. Each meeting ends with a story and encourages students to ask that most magical of questions, ‘What happens next?’
We in Across the Sky believe that global classrooms enable our students to be exactly what they are and always should be: creative, confident, and communicative. Moreover, by extending the walls of the classroom and allowing students to collaborate with their peers around the world it helps them to understand that English is a truly global language.
In 2022, teachers Dung Nguyen (Vietnam), Emi Mubarak (Indonesia), and Michael Lacey Freeman (UK/Italy) decided to set up a global group called, Across the Sky. Our meetings always have the same formula. This is important because in general students do not like surprises. It is comforting for them to know that there is a set routine, and within that routine, they can exercise their freedom, and be creative, confident, and communicative. During our meetings both the head and the heart are engaged and, as we know, this is a powerful combination for learning.
We begin the sessions by looking at a map of the world together. In turn, students circle the place they come from on the map. This activity sets the context and is followed by a song. We sing the karaoke version of our theme tune, ‘Across the Sky’ together.
Singing together serves to generate a sense of group identity and as students become more familiar with the song, they sing and produce connected speech more confidently. After singing students are invited to draw, following guided instructions. They draw a key character or object from the story that is about to be told. As soon as this activity is over, and students have shown their drawings to their peers, we start sharing a story. When the session is over, students work on the story by adding to their drawings, predicting what happens next, and offering alternative endings or even alternative stories, and then they can proudly display their contributions on our Padlet platform.
Curriculum Aims and Objectives
The aims of the Across the Sky group are twofold. Firstly, we strive to extend the walls of the classroom and in the process help our students to realize that English is a global language that is accessible to all. Students will be able to see their peers from other parts of the world learning and using English in real-time just like them and this will serve to create a global community of learners. At the same time, the group seeks to create a community of like-minded teachers who want to share ideas and learn new things together. The group seeks to be truly inclusive and is happy to embrace students, teachers, and indeed parents from every part of the world to create a global classroom, Across the Sky.
- Motivate our students to love reading and to engage in activities which will ultimately prove to boost confidence and motivation levels in general.
- To provide students with the opportunity to ‘peer through the window’ and see their peers engaging in the same activities as them thereby making what they do in the classroom real and relevant to the real world.
- Provide a platform that can be used by teachers so that they can be confident in the knowledge that there are other teachers who share the same goals and have the same aims.
- To have fun. To create moments where students are playing with their knowledge and honing their skills in a non-threatening environment.
- Our Online Zoom Sessions:
The projects are ongoing and focus on specific themes, stories or books. Generally speaking, we meet once a week on Thursday. We suggest that anyone interested in participating should contact or Dung Nguyen at Stellanguyen152@gmail.com, or on the Across the Sky Facebook Group or email Michael Lacey Freeman at email@example.com.
Project SignUp Info
- Join our Facebook Project group to get in touch with the managers of the project and the teachers collaborating in the project.
- Any other links or resources that might be helpful to participants?
- Books or Reading links?