ORGANIC WORLD LANGUAGE
SITES has partnered with Organic World Language (OWL), which is a research-based language teaching methodology that focuses on communication, creating a supportive learning environment, and staying in the target language 100% of the time- these are many of the same goals that SITES has!
Together, these programs feature student-centered language teaching strategies that focus on helping our students achieve high levels of engagement in the classroom and beyond. We aim to create an environment where students guide their learning through real-world applications of their interests.
In November of 2011, Kim Faber, director of SITES, attended a demonstration of what was then called Organic Language Acquisition by Darcy Rogers, founder of OWL, at the ACTFL World Languages Expo. Kim had been searching for a teaching methodology that would be a good fit for the SITES program, given that this elementary school language program only has contact with students for one hour a week (in two 30 minute segments). She was immediately intrigued by what Darcy, a high school Spanish teacher from Oregon, had come up with. She invited Darcy to come to Oberlin to give a training workshop to SITES instructors, and from that first moment, everyone was hooked. The parallels between the OWL method and what SITES was trying to do better were immediately evident. Darcy continues to travel to Oberlin once a semester to do trainings, observe classes, and work with SITES instructors.
OWL provides SITES with the perfect platform for teaching kids of all ages to be able to use their emerging language skills in an organic and meaningful way.