OIHS Dance


By Yii Shinn (Nico) Chen —

This year at Oakland International High School, I was asked to teach a three-week dance post-session course that also embeds English language learning and multimedia skills. As an English teacher, teaching dance for the first time, I thought, “How do I get English language learners, who are often too shy to speak in front of their peers, to dance in front of their peers?”

Despite this initial hesitation, I embarked on three magical weeks teaching our newcomer students. I now see dance as an indispensable socioemotional teaching tool for English language learners. It gives our newcomer students a chance to learn English through kinesthetic learning, and ample opportunity to share their culture and learn about each other. Embedding multimedia also came as a welcome addition to increasing student ownership, as they were expected to keep a journal of videos with descriptions on Seesaw, a digital education platform. This platform gave them a space to share their work directly with their classmates. On exhibition day, students presented their best videos in English and shared what they had learned.

Dance is a universal language, and I experienced my students sharing their learning in a meaningful and compelling way. Despite all the challenges that these students face, I saw them revealing their joy and hope through dance.

Keep scrolling to see a sample of the student work and project process.

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WHAT IS DANCE?


“Dance is my hobby that allows me to express myself. It makes me makes me happy. 


“Dance is relaxing and a way to expressing my feelings. Dance to me is love, freedom, and communication with the soul and myself.”


HOW DOES DANCE BECOME ART?



HOW DOES NATURE INSPIRE DANCE?


“The water inspires me because it is peaceful and represents my freedom.   ❤

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HOW DO YOU CONNECT THROUGH DANCE?


Learn a dance move from Togo!

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Learn a dance move from Cambodia!i


HOW I EXPRESS MYSELF THROUGH DANCE.


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WHAT DOES DANCE MEAN TO YOU?


Posted in Student Voices