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    Sanako Partners Tips for Language Teachers

    How Sanako’s expert customer service supports US educators?

    By Sanako Blog on December, 30 2020

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    Sanako is a Finnish Educational Tech company helping schools and language teachers to improve language teaching efficiency and results.

    Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the informal and formal language teaching sector. Throughout this period of exceptional change, Sanako and our global network of local resellers and product experts have been on hand to provide training and support, helping teachers and schools to flourish in this ‘new normal’. 

    This blog post examines how teaching has changed in recent months for three language educators in schools in Illinois and Missouri, USA. It also highlights how Bill Desch of Educational Systems & Services, Sanako’s local reseller has helped and supported them. As Laurence Forberg, a French teacher at Riverside Brookfield High School said, “he gives me ideas about how to use technology and the ability to explore new ways of using it to teach my students.” 

     

    Recent changes to teaching practice in the US

    For Laurence, her teaching practice has changed significantly in recent months. After a long period teaching “fully remotely”, her 120 French students are now back in class albeit “4 students at a time.” These students learn in-person while the remainder of the class do the same activities remotely. Yet for Shawn Beatty, a Japanese teacher working across three High Schools for Columbia Public Schools, teaching continues to be online only. This self-styled “Renaissance Geek” uses technology to the max, engaging students throughout 85-minute classes with online, scaffolded conversations, games and quizzes. Everything, he added, “is highly practical. After all, language is meant to be used.”

     

    Challenges with technology teachers usually face

    Although clearly a passionate advocate for digital technology, Beatty also acknowledged that there are challenges with its usage, particularly around how it encourages (or doesn’t) “students’ self-advocacy and self-motivation.” Laurence Forberg also noted that technology sometimes makes her job harder: “I cannot demand engagement from my students when teaching remotely. Students need to take more accountability for their own learning.” Suzanne Yonke, Coordinator of World Languages for Columbia Public Schools and a French Teacher at Hickman High School, MO, concurred, acknowledging that her students are becoming “increasingly bored with technology. They often get frustrated that they cannot do what they’re able to do in a classroom.” 

     
    Support from Sanako

    In these challenging circumstances, support from suppliers can be really important in helping teachers to adapt and in supporting them to make the most of the resources at their disposal. All three teachers are clear that the support from Bill Desch and Educational Systems & Services has been “exceptional.”

    For Laurence Forberg, his support enabled her school to deploy and use Sanako Connect to support online learning: “Bill really helped us with Sanako Connect, which I absolutely love!” But she continued, his support goes further than that. She noted that:

    “Bill’s not a teacher, but he has great ideas for language teachers and how Sanako software can really help. He has a clear grasp of what teachers do and how Sanako can help us to do it better!”

    Suzanne Yonke agreed, ”Bill’s support makes a huge difference to language teachers and language teaching. When anyone has a problem he’s always there to help and support.” Yonke continued, “His support goes above and beyond that which we get from the representatives of any other company or supplier. He’s a very large part of why we work with Sanako.”

    Bill’s commitment to training and support is also echoed by Shawn Beatty. Beatty added, “Bill always listens to our feedback and suggestions on Sanako’s products. He acts on them and helps the products to continually improve. He’s really responsive to our needs and his training and support are always of a very high quality.”

    Yet Bill sees this as all part of his job. Educational Systems & Services have been supporting education institutions since 1969 and Bill took over the family business in 2006. In that time, he’s worked with hundreds of schools across the Midwest of the USA. Bill’s mission is clear:

    “I try to help and support teachers wherever I can. Our aim is to support schools with exceptional customer service to help them get the most out of the best language teaching tools in the market.”

    But Bill’s support means more than that to the schools he works with. As Laurence Forberg of Riverside Brookfield High School said,

    “He gives the tools to do my job and he gives me hope.”

     

    If you need help and support with your language teaching software, you can find your local Sanako reseller on the dedicated resellers page on our website.

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