At #CHSHome: McCoy utilizes TikTok to engage students in learning Spanish


Samantha Freeman

Coppell High School IB Spanish teacher Emily McCoy engages students by teaching them one of the dances from the popular social media video app, TikTok. This is McCoy’s 15th year teaching Spanish and 10th year teaching at CHS.

Jillian Moore and Samantha Freeman

Coppell High School IB Spanish teacher Emily McCoy uses her passion for Spanish culture and language to inspire students to incorporate Spanish into their lives and learn about the commonalities found between cultures. This year is McCoy’s 15th year teaching Spanish and 10th year teaching at Coppell High School. 

What is your favorite part about teaching Spanish? 

My favorite part is watching kids be able to actually communicate using what I’m teaching them. Knowing that before they started in Spanish classes they didn’t know anything and then to see them be able to go all the way to having a full conversation is rewarding. It’s cool to actually see the growth from a student knowing nothing and then to see what [students] are able to do with everything they learned. 

Why did you decide to use TikTok for assignments?

Well, I got into TikTok over the summer with my kids at home because they were using it and I wanted to keep an eye on them. I got an account so I could see what they were doing and then I just found that it was a lot of fun. During the first week of school I showed up and part of introducing myself to my classes, I showed them some of the videos I made and a lot of kids seemed to like it and were into it. [TikTok] became something that I could relate to students about and it just seemed like a natural thing to bring into class. 

What types of assignments do your students complete on TikTok?

The assignment was for them to make a video, anything they would do on their own, and have them put it in Spanish. They could either use a Spanish audio on the video or put Spanish text on the video. It’s a way for them to connect their everyday life outside of school to what they’re learning in Spanish. It allows them to make that connection and understand you can do what you normally do and incorporate Spanish. 

What goals do you have for your Spanish students? 

Working on fluency and like I said, communication. My goal is that any encounter [students] have with a Spanish speaker they will be able to have that conversation and understand what’s being said and be able to get their ideas across. 

Why do you think it’s important to study a foreign language?

To be able to understand other people because even if you don’t end up using the language later it gives you a different perspective about how other people think. It allows you to make connections between people who might be from a different culture or speak a different language and be able to find the commonalities involved. 

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