Innovation in Education, Brazilian style

The article Celeb Twitter Mistakes Teach Brazilian Kids tells of one of the more innovative ways to get students interested in learning (and practicing) a foreign language.  At an English language school called Red Balloon, kids correct the grammar mistakes of their favorite celebrities on Twitter.  For instance, Rihanna recently tweeted:

She’s my rock so I hold on to she tight!!!

Yikes.  Fortunately, young Carolina was there to help.  She tweeted back:

Hi @rihanna! I love your songs. My name is Carolina. I’m 11 years old. It’s not to she, it’s to her. bye bye .

I don’t know how much this helps students learn English, but I love the attempt to make learning a foreign language both relevant (from the students’ perspective), fun, and technology-based.  It’s also a lot more fun to correct other people than get corrected yourself.  I remember how excited I was the first time I noticed grammatical mistakes on student papers when I taught in Mexico.

News round-up from Latin America

1.  Do Latin American Presidents like Twitter too much?  For instance, President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina “sent 61 tweets in a nine-hour period – prolific even by the standards of Latin America”

2.  The Caribbean: A darkening debt storm

3.  More on Brazil and Mexico’s competition for the top job at the WTO, by the excellent Boz.

4. U.S. role at a crossroads in Mexico’s intelligence war on the cartels

5. Boom Times in Paraguay Leave Many Behind