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UkEdChat guest blog post.

June 26th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 20.53.57At about 1130am on Friday I was contacted and asked by UKEDChat if I wanted to write a guest blog post about the impact Brexit could/will have on language learning. I didn’t write it straight away for several reasons not least that I didn’t actually have time until very late that night to think. When I did, I wrote my personal reflection on the events and implications.

The post can be found on the UKEdChat website and the text is reproduced below:

My husband woke me this morning and asked if I wanted to know the result. I should’ve been known by his voice but when he said ‘It was Leave by 52% to 48%’ it hit me like a ton of bricks and I burst into tears.

My first thought was my friends and pupils and how some of them would now feel.

I am a language teacher and many of my friends and colleagues across the country are ‘native speakers’ e.g. French/Spanish/German nationals who teach their native language. Others fell in love and moved here to be with their partners. Some have lived in this country for many years and have never felt the need to go to the (not inconsiderable) expense of officially become British.  Many have British partners, children who have grown up here and consider themselves part of this country, working, paying taxes, contributing to their communities. They could not vote. You can read what one felt here.

The Referendum may have been about whether we stay in the EU or not, but the waters were unfortunately muddied by the issue of immigration.  As I turned on social media, my fears were confirmed. I wasn’t in school but I know that several children were aware of what a ‘Leave’ verdict could mean for their families.

My job as a language teacher isn’t just about teaching words, structures and grammar. It’s about a context for that language, be it in Spain or South America, France, Belgium, Senegal. It’s about culture, lifestyle, food that may be different to ‘our’ ways. It involves encouraging discussion of our differences to help us understand more about ourselves, and then the joy of seeing things from someone else’s perspective, celebrating that we’re not all identical.

Through eTwinning, Comenius, Comenius Reggio and Erasmus +, all funded by the EU, my school has changed over the last ten years to be the globally minded place that it is now.  Teachers have visited colleagues in Europe, we’ve received visitors and much work has been done online, via Skype and vieo conferencing.

So what will Leave mean?

My initial reaction was posted at 8:15am

This morning I am distraught. Can’t put it into words but can I just say to my many friends who now feel unwelcome in the country that is their home – I love you. Farage, Gove, Johnson et al do not speak for me and my family. I don’t know what the future holds but I know that as long as I have breath I’ll still be championing cooperation, understanding, compassion and celebrating diversity. “We have more in common with each other than things that divide us.

Taking my eldest son to a university open day gave me time to think and reflect. My conclusion?

My task hasn’t really changed. I will still teach Spanish the same way I always did. I will still see Intercultural understanding as a vital part of my role. I will still find ways to bring other countries into my classroom. It will be harder as there is uncertainty about what will happen to the wonderful programmes like eTwinning. As a school we will still celebrate the languages and cultures of our pupils as we did whilst people were voting in another building on our site. My son and others intending to study languages at university may find their year abroad harder to fund without Erasmus funding. I might get asked more often ‘why do we learn Spanish; everyone speaks English!’ but my answer will remain the same. If anything, I see my role as even more important than before. My son reminded me of the postcard that was on the shelf at the bottom of our stairs at home featuring the words of Nelson Mandela:

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

His point was that, given the number of treaties, agreements and the like that the United Kingdom  now need to renegotiate, language skills will be all the more important, a point born out by experience.

The Leave vote doesn’t mean that we are no longer European.  I am European, speaking several languages, having lived in three European countries and that hasn’t changed. Time will tell the full implications for languages and the global dimension; statements from The British Council and ALL make me more optimistic.  So whilst my tears have ceased, my determination has not and, judging by the comments on social media and in person, nor has that of my fellow linguists!

We may need to work harder for opportunities but …

Lisibo talks 3 – Sketchnoting for beginners @ #eTUK16

June 26th, 2016
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by InkyEllieC www.inkythinking.com

This weekend I’ve been in Nottingham at the NCL (I think that’s what it’s now called!) for the National eTwinning Conference. “Interesting” given the events on Friday but also good timing as I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather have been at such a time, reaffirming the joy and value of collaboration.

After several requests following fascination with my sketchnoting at last year’s conference, I volunteered to lead a seminar on sketch noting, thus completing my busy week with a third presentation. You can see a very similar presentation on my Slideshare channel here. I also sketchnoted as many sessions as I could, trying not to be intimidated by the wonderful @inkythinking InkyEllieC from inkythinking.com who was provided ‘real time graphic animation’ of the event.

I’ll post my sketchnotes as soon as I’ve had time to tidy them up (not a spare moment all weekend!) as well as my reflections on the event. A hint: I had a great time!

I’m a Primary Language Teacher; help me out here!

June 26th, 2016

babcockOn Wednesday I took part in the Babcock 4S conference at Horsley Park in Surrey. My presentation entitled I’m a Primary Language Teacher; help me out here! was well received and can be found below.

The main points were:

  • primary language learning lays important foundations
  • language learning is cyclical with topics being revisited but it is a continuum; it shouldn’t start again from scratch at Ks3.
  • teaching primary languages can be lonely but there is support out there.
  • PoS objectives need to be split into manageable chunks or stepping stones.
  • pupils need to become increasingly independent; phonics and language learning skills from comparing and contrasting languages help this.
  • it’s not just about vocabulary; grammar is needed (receptive and later productive) as cement otherwise it’s just a pile of bricks.
  • intercultural understanding is vital.
I’m a Primary Language Teacher – help me out here! from Lisa Stevens
I sketch noted the other sessions and will share them as soon as I have a moment to tidy them up a bit!

Show and Tell @ Talleres de español 2016

June 19th, 2016

CiMOMHAWkAABteHToday I attended the Talleres de español at Instituto Cañada Blanch in Portobello, having been asked to facilitate a couple of Show and Tell sessions as part of the Primary strand in the morning. Having got up very early and had several mishaps and an emergency phone call on the way, I have to admit to being a little frazzled by the time I arrived and then there were technical issues, fortunately resolved fairly promptly and well before my session.

I opened proceedings sharing a ‘super lesson’ on colours that I delivered to Y3. Below is my presentation from today.

Los Colores – a lesson from Lisa Stevens

 

You can find the poem in Clare Seccombe’s anthology along with many other rhymes songs and poems.

As well as this, I mentioned various other ideas and links:

Rachel Hawkes’ website – advice resources and more!

LightbulbLanguages resources – not just Primary Spanish either!

Languages in Primary Schools Facebook group – if the link doesn’t work, when on Facebook search for ‘Languages in Primary Schools’ and it will appear. Then all you have to do is request to join. (A tip – if like many teachers, you have very high privacy settings, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’re a teacher so check your ‘other’ folder in Messages a day after your request!)Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 13.59.09

I shared Erzsi’s ‘phonic balloons’ picture (see right) and here’s her blog

Link to La Roja Baila

 

And then others shared their ideas! Here’s a summary of them:

  1. A activity using handkerchiefs to review colours with younger children.
  2. Using the clothes that children are wearing to review colours – of course, easier if they don’t wear uniform but not impossible even if they do…
  3. Using the works of Miró to talk about colour, shape and prepositions. Rachel Hawkes (see above) and Helen Stanistreet (link) have produced some brilliant resources for this.
  4. ‘La manzana envenada’ ( a game where there are a number of words/phrases on the board, one of which is declared ‘la manzana envenenada’ whilst one pupil is out the room. The object of the game is not to eat/say the word/phrase that is poisoned as the game will end. Erzsi explains how she plays it here. We also talked about how it’s good to get pupils asking questions as they’re much more skilled at answering them than posing them!
  5. I loved ‘dictado chillado’ although it was very noisy! In pairs, learners write a sentence or phrase in Spanish on a post it. It could be anything to do with a topic, or you could say it must include a certain phoneme. Ours were very random! The teacher then muddles up the phrases and hands one to each pair. Everyone then stands against the wall on two sides of the classroom (left/right or back/front) opposite another pair. The idea is to shout your phrase to your partner pair who write it down. I thought my partner pair were yelling ‘Vivo lejos de José’ but they in fact saying Mi conejo se llama José. Either I yelled better than them or it was pair work that won the day as they got ‘Me gusta mucho Gerard Pique’ straight away!

I do feel bad that I’ve failed to sketchnote a session today, especially after my sketch noting was mentioned in by both of the people who introduced me,  but I’ll try and make up for it later with one of the whole day perhaps! In the meantime, you can see some of them in my Flickr album.

I thoroughly enjoyed the session I attended run by Canela Fina, and I think that all conferences should end with an educational wine tasting!

¡Muchas gracias a la Consejería de Educación y la Junta de Castilla y León para un muy buen día!IMG_9995

¡La Roja Baila!

June 17th, 2016

seleccion-española_433x244

 

Yesterday as part of Health Week I shared this video with Y5 who were focusing on ‘exercise for health.’  Although Sergio Ramos’ singing caused great amusement, they loved it and all enthusiastically joined in with the chorus.

España ¡ey! ¡ey!   Cantamos ¡Gol! ¡Gol!

España ¡ey! ¡ey!   La Roja baila.

There’s also a version without the words and with ‘promotional footage’ for Euro16 , a chipmunk version, a Videostar version with actions. And I love the Playmobil version!

There’s also this song  Himno Selección Española Eurocopa 2016 which is billed as a tribute to the team.

I hope we’ll still all singing at about 9.45 this evening…

¡Viva la Roja!

Babcock 4S Modern Languages Conference – Lisibo Talks 2

June 11th, 2016

On Wednesday 22nd June I’ll be in Surrey speaking at a Modern Languages conference organised by Babcock4S.

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As you can see from the flyer above, the conference is entitled The Future of Language Learning and features keynotes by Janet Lloyd and Joe Dale that ‘book end’ three seminar slots.

If you check out the conference website you’ll get a basic overview – more details can be obtained from the following PDF Programme of the day. You’ll see that there are sessions addressing assessment, transition, cooperative learning, technology and specific languages led by a wide variety of speakers including Dan Alliot and Suzi Bewell, and convened by Carine Jacquel and Helen Myers.

My session is entitled “I’m a primary language teacher. Help me out here!”

Paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Some are born Primary language teachers, some become Primary language teachers and some have Primary language teaching thrust upon them” How can all three scenarios lead to confident successful teachers and learners, demonstrating significant progress by the end of KS2? We’ll explore how to plan for progression (in the long and short term), share sources of support and inspiration and discuss how to best meet the challenges of the Languages Programmes of Study.

It’s not too late to sign up (which you can do here) for a day of inspiration and networking.

 

 

 

Talleres de español – Lisibo Talks 1

June 10th, 2016

Lisibo will be very busy over the next two weeks with three talks in the space of 8 days. Bit like buses 😉

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Following on from Language World and the success of the Show and Tell, Jesús from the Consejería de Educación asked if I could facilitate one at the annual Talleres de Español. Unfortunately my partner in crime Clare is unavailable so I’m going it alone. However, I hope that there will be participants who want to share their ideas, celebrate their successes and suggest suitable resources during the session so I don’t end up talking for the entire 50 minutes.

The programme offers sessions in the morning tailored specifically to Primary and Secondary colleagues followed by general sessions and cultural workshops after lunch (which is always very special!) I’m speaking at both of the morning sessions which means I can’t attend the parallel Primary sessions (hoping someone will take notes for me – any volunteers?) but am spoilt for choice in the afternoon.

Click to download the programme

 

I spoke at the Talleres in 2011 – you can read all about it here and it will be wonderful to return to Instituto Español Vicente Cañada Blanch. And I always enjoy meeting others and discovering new ideas! Why not join me?

Above is the flyer and below are the details of each session and the presenter bios.

And here’s how to register:

Sketchnoting for beginners #LW2016

March 24th, 2016
Opening Address by René Koglbauer

Opening Address by René Koglbauer

Two weeks ago I was packing up pens, pencils, paper  and a flip chart ready to travel to Rugby for Language World and deliver a session on Friday afternoon on Sketchnoting.

Today I have finally got around to posting my presentation – apologies for the delay!

I hope the slides make sense without my narration. A quick overview of the session though to help:

  • defining sketchnoting as visual note taking
  • sharing my journey; exploring using my iPad and not enjoying great success so choosing the correct tool for the job and reverting to paper and pen, then developing my own style through colour to using black and white and then adding more images and less text
  • exploring the benefits of visual note taking for learning
  • considering how it might be used in (language) learning and teaching
  • a ‘how to’ guide – digital and analogue
  • time to play (but not long enough!)
Sketchnoting for beginners #LW2016 from Lisa Stevens
You can see my sketch notes from the event in this post, and previous sketch notes by searching ‘sketchnotes’ in the search box.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me using the contact form.
Books I recommend on the subject:
Mike Rohde – The Sketchbook Handbook
Sunni Brown – The Doodle Revolution

La Hora del Planeta

March 19th, 2016
tellerinToday is La Hora del Planeta when people are asked to consider their impact on our planet and, a s symbol of their willingness to look after our world, put out their lights from 8.30pm local time for an hour.
La Familia Tellerín and WWF have produced a little video to promote this:

You could use this video to practice using Se debe and No se debe
e.g. Se debe apagar las luces. No se debe malgastar el agua. Se debe cerrar la puerta del frigorífico etc
There are some lovely colouring activities on the environment on this blog and also here
And then Peppa Pig has added her voice, offering advice (and there’s a colouring sheet too!):

I also liked the video below from WWF that explains the initiative in a more detail for older learners.

There’s another video from El Huffington Post and also  this article that looks at the impact of La Hora del Planeta.

¿Quién apagará las luces a las ocho y media esta tarde?

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Language World 2016 #sketchnotes

March 13th, 2016
LW2016 large logo 10247503_10154802425704152_2236117332103244839_n

Language World was held in Rugby at Dunchurch Park
, a beautiful setting made all the lovelier by the wonderful people who attended the conference. As René Koglbauer said at the (misty) start: ‘There may not be sun but there are lots of smiles!’ (The sun did come out soon afterwards as well!)

Below are the sketch notes for the sessions I attended. Wish I could have attended more sessions but it wasn’t possible without Hermione’s TimeTurner.

And I’ll share my presentation on sketchnoting later in the week.

Opening Address by René Koglbauer

Opening Address by René Koglbauer

The Language Magician: developing a tool for assessing young learners by Louise Courtney

The Language Magician: developing a tool for assessing young learners by Louise Courtney

A window on the world - PLL and SMSC

A window on the world – PLL and SMSC

Show and tell - Clare Seccombe

Primary Spanish Show and tell – Clare Seccombe

Primary Spanish Show and Tell - Jesús Hernández

Primary Spanish Show and Tell – Jesús Hernández

Mary Glasgow Plenary Lecture - Curriculum Innovation by Gareth Mills (NFER)

Mary Glasgow Plenary Lecture – Curriculum Innovation by Gareth Mills (NFER)

Curriculum Innovation: Challenges and Opportunities by René Koglbauer

Curriculum Innovation:
Challenges and Opportunities by René Koglbauer

#ALLConnect KS2 Coordinator's handbook by Katherine Monument and Kirsty Williams

#ALLConnect KS2 Coordinator’s handbook by Katherine Monument and Kirsty Williams

Language is all around by Nadine Chadier

Language is all around by Nadine Chadier

Tackling the issues in KS2 #ALLConnect with Steven Fawkes

Tackling the issues in KS2 #ALLConnect with Steven Fawkes

What's the point of teaching languages to pupils with SEND? by Alison and Patrick Organ

What’s the point of teaching languages to pupils with SEND? by Alison and Patrick Organ

Innovation requires resilience by Anne Lise Gordon

Innovation requires resilience by Anne Lise Gordon

Tartan CLIL by Fiona Moffatt

Tartan CLIL by Fiona Moffatt

Closing remarks with René Koglbauer and Anne Lise Gordon

Closing remarks with René Koglbauer and Anne Lise Gordon

If you want to compare and contrast sketchnotes, and see some from some other sessions too, why not look at Clare’s post too.