Selfie Kahoots to Address the Needs of Language Learners

Last year, Steph from the Kahoot! London office reached out to find out more about the refugee students I was teaching at the time. Kahoot! was helping them get familiar with technology and using it to learn language. My students are from the Congo, Afghanistan, Japan, Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Mexico. It’s a wonderfully diverse class with a range of cultures, religions and languages.

Steph suggested my students create a “selfie kahoot” about themselves, so we could all play together and get to know each other. Fantastic idea, I thought! I created a quick kahoot about myself which my students enjoyed immensely. This provided a model for their selfie kahoot to share a fact each about themselves.

This class-created selfie kahoot was not just fun to play, it was a powerful team building activity as they were learning about each other. It offers an opportunity for every child to shine and helps build relationships between all of us. We were surprised that Dunia knows how to knit. And everyone loved that Francies was now on the soccer, football and track team for our school.

Whenever we have visitors to our class the students always to play their selfie kahoot, and the visitors are amazed by their individual talents. The selfie kahoot was an engaging way to highlight the gifts of my students, and these are reinforced every time it’s played. We shared this kahoot with other teachers in our school so that our community could learn about our class. We also shared it on social media, and got wonderful feedback.

Selfie Kahoot! for language learners

Learning with a growth mindset

My group of students are recent immigrants and most began the year with a rough start. Learning educational norms in the US was difficult because many had spent years in refugee camps with limited access to education. However, they were learning quickly and much of this could be attributed to their positive attitude towards learning.

As I wrote about in Part 1 of this series, we often stop between questions and read out loud the sentences for language practice. This offers oral practice and also shared reading as I point to the words and the students track them. All of this we are doing with a selfie kahoot that honors their talents and learning abilities.

Culturally Responsive Teaching with Holiday Tradition Selfie Kahoots

As the Christmas season approached last year, my students had many questions about my family’s traditions. I decided to create a lesson to honor everyone’s celebrations. I showed them images of “Day of the Dead”, a holiday that is celebrated by my family who are from Mexico. I then gave each student a kahoot paper template to come up with one fact about how they celebrate a special holiday in their country.

Many of my students come from countries with conflict, so they said that it felt good for them to share something nice about their country. It was fascinating to learn about Children’s Day in Japan! Who knew that many families in the Congo eat cake and dance in the evening on Christmas. And all of our Muslim students stumped us with the fascinating customs of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha.

Example of a Kahoot! question

Selfie kahoots for global learning and collaboration

Thanks to the world of social media, we were able to share their selfie kahoot with teachers all over the world, and it was played by other students, which was a great learning experience for them. A class over 1,000 miles away even played the kahoot so they could learn about other customs.

Our holiday traditions kahoot was also played by another Kahoot! Teacher Hero and Ambassador, Natalie Krayenvenger and her class in Maryland! They played the kahoot and pulled out a world map to ask questions to my students about their countries! This was a great opportunity for collaboration, knowledge sharing and for my students to practice their English writing with Ms. Krayenvenger’s class.

This selfie kahoot had turned into an authentic and collaborative learning activity for both classes! When students create the kahoot, we have challenged them to use much higher order thinking skills; and this one kahoot became the springboard for so much more.

Stay Tuned for More!

Thanks to Carol for Part 2 of this important series on learning languages with Kahoot! Stay tuned for the final part in the series coming soon!

You can follow Carol @MsSalvac.