Tri-County Regional Centre for Education is a public region district located in the Tri-counties – Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne – Nova Scotia. TCRCE has approximately 6,000 students spread across 22 different schools. One of TCRCE’s primary goals is to ensure an accessible and equitable learning environment for all of their students. As their mission statement reads, “We believe that students’ well-being will be enhanced and their academic achievement will improve when educators grow and improve in meeting the individual needs of learners.”
Vera Ryan and Tracey Pothier, two of the region’s French Language Program educators, are always in search of new ways to help support students in their Core French and French Immersion programs. Vera first became aware of Mote in a graduate school class and came away impressed with its simplicity. As she explains, sometimes with other tech tools, there is a steep learning curve that makes implementation difficult, especially for students. With Mote on the other hand, the tool was easy – “the button is just right there.”
Beyond the simplicity of the tool, Mote also solved a real problem for the region. Pedagogically, Core French and French Immersion staff want students to speak French as much as possible. Yet, the way Core French courses are structured, students have core French every other day for just an hour. Due to these time constraints, it was a challenge to give students as much opportunity to speak as the staff would have liked. This is where Mote stepped in.
With Mote, staff suddenly had an easy way to increase student opportunities for speaking. Using Mote for Forms and Slides, for example, staff had students engage in higher-level exercises where they needed to both ask and answer questions in French. Vera notes that this audio element adds a new dimension to learning. Assessments and assignments no longer need to be written; instead, teachers now have an easy way to evaluate their students’ pronunciation, grammar, and fluency.
Beyond adding a new dimension to assessments and assignments, Mote also opened opportunities for Flipped Learning and scaffolding. Using Mote for Slides, staff created introductions and speaking models for students to study at home. Student engagement with these materials prepared them for class the next day, where they would then further develop their French speaking skills. Moreover, with Mote for Slides, the Core French teachers were able to make audio anchors that students could access for easy reference.
This audio-focused instruction has been taken up strongly by both staff and students. In fact, since TCRCE began its Mote subscription, the region has created, on average, over two thousand motes a month.
For TCRCE, Mote has been an easy and exciting way to bolster French Second Language learning. With the product, students have had significantly more opportunities to speak and listen to authentic French communication. And for staff, Mote has allowed them to more easily differentiate and scaffold language learning. In this way, Mote helps the region achieve one of its key goals – helping meet the educational needs of all learners.