PandaTree’s new live video tutoring platform gets kids engaged and motivated to learn languages by allowing them to put Mandarin or Spanish language skills to work in authentic virtual settings.
Tutors and students see each other onscreen during the lesson while also looking at PandaTree’s proprietary ACTFL-aligned curriculum.
The new platform expands the range of materials that tutors can share with students—from interactive games to videos to songs to 3D images the tutor and student can navigate together. After learning about the Mayan pyramids at Chichén Itzá, for instance, students and tutors explore a 3D panoramic photo of the site—with the student acting as the tour guide. “We take an immersion approach,” says Mingyu Sun, PhD, PandaTree’s curriculum manager. “Students are learning about the world while they are learning a language.”
For intermediate and advanced students, one-on-one sessions allow immediate personalized feedback as they create with language. Together with their tutor, students might build a business plan for a food truck, plan a trip to Beijing, explore the history of Spanish music, or have an impromptu debate about the merits of dress codes in school. One-on-one sessions encourage students to take risks with language without fear of embarrassment in front of peers.
PandaTree’s encouraging and engaging tutors have been carefully hired in a process that includes test sessions with real students. “We’re looking for tutors who can really connect with students,” says Kristina Klausen, PandaTree founder. Most tutors have education credentials.
PandaTree supports teachers by offering free materials which teachers and students can use in or out of the classroom, including word games, videos, stories, and songs. The materials can help students keep their language skills fresh during the summer and provide extra support and enrichment during the school year. Visit PandaTree.com/teachers for more information.