Year: 2015 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
École Irvine Elementary School
3862 Wellington Street
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia V3B 3Z4
Principal: Laurie Birnie
School telephone: 604-941-3408
School email: firstname.lastname@example.org
School website: https://www.sd43.bc.ca/elementary/irvine/Pages/default.aspx
Subjects and Grades Taught: Grade 2, French immersion
Through engaging and lively activities—often with a cultural element—Emmanuel Escueta spurs French immersion students on to achievements in research, writing and performance that leave them proud, happy and excited to learn.
Mr. Escueta refers to his teaching philosophy as "infinite": the strategies and activities he develops for his students are inclusive, fun, interactive, integrative, team-oriented and empowering. He also develops a genuine and professional rapport with children and colleagues alike, doing everything he can to help them all succeed.
- Invented the Verbathon, a fun, active and team-based game to teach French grammar (students are challenged to conjugate verbs as quickly as possible), as well as math and social studies.
- Developed a kit so schools across the country can have Verbathons of their own; teachers consistently report increased interest in learning French.
- Found national support and sponsorship for a country-wide Verbathon tournament from organizations that support French-language education and from the business community; schools from B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia participated in the 2015 edition.
- Harnesses cross-cultural opportunities for learning, such as teaching children to sing a Christmas song in three languages, to play a traditional Filipino bamboo instrument and to dance a traditional Filipino dance, and sharing the art of origami.
- Introduced Kidspiration software to his classroom so young learners can research and write speeches in French; they deliver the speeches to an audience and create a poster to illustrate their topic; one student went on to win the school district French speech contest for Grade 2.
- Mentors fellow teachers on second-language instruction and the use of technology to enhance learning.
"My little boy, who never wanted … anything to do with learning has never been so eager to get to school to hear Mr. Escueta's stories, games and activities."
"[Mr. Escueta teaches] in such a way that even in Grade 3 I could see why math and science were an important part of the real world."
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