Come to Language World 2019!

Friday 22 – Saturday 23 March 2019 at Imago, Loughborough

Language World 2019: Speaking up for Languages

Now that the holidays are drawing to a close, and thoughts turn to work once more, it’s a good time to think about how the next year will pan out in terms of teaching and learning. You might be considering how to move forward with your appraisal targets, looking to discover new ideas or simply seeking to refresh yourself with some camaraderie and inspiration.

I’ve found that Language World is a perfect place to do all three of those things, and I’d encourage you to consider attending. As the website says:

The Association for Language Learning’s annual conference and CPD event offers a packed programme with speakers from across the languages sector which attracts up to 250 participants a day, with a large number coming from primary and secondary schools.
– It’s an exhibition: a large and varied exhibition showcasing the latest in language learning resources and support
– It’s a real boost to your teaching: a great way to recharge your batteries – a two day shot of ideas, advice, debate and inspiration
– It’s a celebration: get together with other language teachers from around the UK, and around the world…… at Language World!


The programme is always strong but this year it includes plenary sessions from Heather Fearn, Ofsted Language lead, Suzanne Farrell, ASCL and Dr Rachel Hawkes who always inspires and enthuses me. I’m particularly excited that ALL Patron, Professor David Crystal, OBE, will be delivering the Mary Glasgow Plenary keynote entitled 25 years of not (yet) having a House of Languages. I’m  really looking forward to what he has to say, and also hoping that I can sketchnote his thoughts whilst listening too!


It includes sessions for all phases of learning with a strong primary languages thread that has sessions from Vicky Cooke, Nadine Chadier, Clare Seccombe, Sue Cave, Eleanor Chettle Cully, Sara Montero, Noelia Rivas and me to name but a few! I’m also looking forward to a session on SEND in the MFL classroom, on supporting EAL learners and how to include families in language learning.

I’ll be speaking on ways of supporting learners’ understanding and enjoyment of stories in what I hope will be an interactive and fun session with lots of delegate participation! In addition, I’ll be ‘official sketchnoter’ for the third year, trying hard to capture sessions as I listen ready to be displayed on a huge board for all to see. No pressure, eh?

Hopefully all that has whetted your appetite! There’s an Early Bird offer that runs until Friday 11th January so you have one week from publication of this post to book for the lowest price possible. Do have a look at the website for further details; the link to book is at the bottom of the page or you can click here to save you having to scroll!

Looking forward to meeting you there and celebrating all that is great about teaching and learning languages.

You can find out about my experiences in previous years in the following posts (I wasn’t blogging for my first couple of Language Worlds and I missed 2012 and 2013 as I was living in Switzerland!)

Reflections on Language World 2008
Absorbing Language Learning 2009
Language World 2010 and various posts following including Raising Global Awareness and Creativity talks as well as sessions by Clare Dodd, Liz Black Cynthia Martin Oh, and my session – Bricklaying for beginners!
Language World 2011 – my session Entitled to enjoy Primary Languages and many other sessions by Chris Harte, Jan Lewandowski and Liz Fotheringham
Language World 2014 overview     Session on apps
Language World 2015 in sketchnotes
Language World 2016 in sketchnotes Session on Sketchnoting
Language World 2017 in sketchnotes
Language World 2018 in sketchnotes My session Using Technology for collaboration Sue Cave’s session – Language Detectives Primary Show and Tell

¿Quién trae los regalos de navidades en Europa?

Thanks to José García Sánchez in the Secondary MFL Matters Facebook group for this lovely infographic/ map of European present givers. Whilst Christmas is past for most, Spain and those who follow the Orthodox calendar have another day or so before they receive their gifts on 6th January or Epiphany. I’ll certainly be thinking of activities to use this next year, perhaps preparing comprehension questions based around practising name of countries and / or nationalities but I’ll also be using it as soon as we go back to school as a way of eking out one last activity from the array of Christmas cards and greetings we received as part of our eTwinning projects.

Below are some images of our cards, temporarily taking over the Achievement Tree!

Ole Olentzero

For the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching a lovely young Spanish lady at one of my schools. She has Basque heritage and last year, when I put on the ‘villancicos’ whilst we carried out our Christmas activities she asked if we could listen to Ole Olentzero. I obliged and the class were fascinated by the costumes and the unfamiliar words.  

This year, today in fact, she asked once more if we could listen to it. I’d forgotten about it to be honest until I started it, but the class recognised it immediately. Here it is:

I decided to do some research and discovered that “Olentzero is a character in the Basque Christmas tradition.  According to Basque traditions Olentzero comes to town late at night on the 24th of December to drop off presents for children.”  There are various explanations of the  origins of the tradition. One has Olentzero as one of jentillak, a mythological race of giants that lived in the Pyrenees. Another suggests that a newborn baby was found in the woods by fairies,  blessed with the name Olentzero as well as kindness and strength and gifted to a childless couple. He grew to be a strong man who was a charcoal burner and made wooden toys that he gifted to children, and is said to have died saving children from a burning house leading to the fairies granting him eternal life.

“Nowadays, Olentzero is depicted as a lovable character, widely attributed to being overweight, having a huge appetite and thirst. He is depicted as a Basque peasant wearing a Basque beret, a farmer’s attire with traditional abarketa shoes and smoking a pipe. Whether he has a beard or not is not yet an established tradition. Sometimes his face is stained with charcoal, as a sign of his trade as a charcoal-burner. On Christmas Eve, groups of people or children carry effigies of Olentzero around on a chair through the streets, singing Olentzero carols and collecting food or sweets. At the end, it is customary in some places to burn the Olentzero.”

You can find out more about how the legend/story has developed here and you find an English translation of the story here. There’s also a short presentation about Christmas in the Basque country on Slideplayer.

Finally I discovered that there’s an old  Basque proverb : Anything, anyone with a name exists if we believe in its/his/her existence.  I think that could apply to many Christmas traditions!

Next year I shall have to remember to play this song as N is moving to Australia next week; perhaps we’ll have to Skype her! I wish her well.

Merry Christmas! ¡Feliz Navidad! Eguberri On!

Hello Languages! from bsmall

“As lovers of all things British AND foreign, especially languages, the team at bsmall publishing are leading a crusade to keep foreign language learning alive in the minds of our kids and parents at home.”

Thus starts the press release from bsmall publishing, announcing their new series of books entitled Hello Languages.’

I’ve blogged about bsmall products in the past including the I can read series and their dual language books for older KS2 pupils, and I also helped them with some advice a couple of years ago, so I was really pleased to be contacted for my comments on this latest publication.

bsmall have approached the creation of these materials with the following in mind:

“Kids like cool facts and fun things to do. That’s why language learning books for kids should … take the essence of the language… [and] be bright, bold, fun and colourful..filled with practical examples of language in everyday life and [encouraging] kids to just have a go without fear of making mistakes.”

The Hello languages series is available in three languages – English, French and Spanish – and is bold, colourful and fun. It’s intended to be used independently by children rather than as a classroom resource, and comprises four books;

  • Beginner’s guide
  • Picture dictionary
  • Workbook
  • Colouring book

I was sent the Hello French! materials to have a peek before they were released.

The Beginner’s Guide is organised under 6 topics and takes one aspect for each double page; for example, in Viens chez moi there are pages on Ma famille, À la maison, La cuisine et le salon,  and Ma chambre et la salle de bains. It gives vocabulary and some useful phrases as well as a very short explanation or comment in English at the start of each topic as well as for certain themes such as the weather and time. The vocabulary is supplied as labels on a vibrant illustration, in French, English and with a guide to pronunciation.* There is also a word list at the back of the book for reference.

*I’m not a great fan of this as I think it can lead to confusion – how many of you have seen children laboriously copy out the phonetic version of words from a dictionary, and also over pronounciation – grassy arse? However, given that this is a resource for children to access on their own, without phonics input or a spoken example, perhaps supported by a parent who is also unaware of how to say the words/phrases, I can see the value of including the ‘how to pronounce’ notes.

The Workbook goes alongside the Beginner’s Guide, giving children an opportunity to apply what they learn in a series of Challenges – as the front page says ‘Practice makes perfect!’ On completion, children can check their answers at the back of the book and are invited to assess how they’ve got on by colouring or circling one of three faces – Bien, Pas mal or pas super.

The Colouring Book takes some of the topics and themes from the Beginner’s Guide and offers the opportunity to colour the illustration used in the latter as the child wishes, reinforcing vocabulary which is labelled as in the Beginner’s Guide.

The French-English Picture Dictionary is organised by topic with nine vocabulary items per page, and an alphabetical word list of the 350+ vocabulary items in French-English and English-French at the end.

This is a resource that I could happily recommend to a parent who wants to encourage their child’s language learning at home. It’s suitable for younger learners with some adult support in part (the workbook is labelled 6+ due to the required level of literacy) and could be used in the language being learned at school – for my pupils, this is Spanish – or in a new language – in my case, French.

You can find out more on the bsmall website – www.bsmall.co.uk  and, on their language learning pages, you see their other language resources including books, dual language texts, play scripts, sticker books, activity books  and card games and download a catalogue.

 

#SketchnoteFever – the movie!

I promised I’d post all my #sketchnotefever sketchnotes in my previous post.

So, with thanks to Adobe Spark Video, here is Lisibo gets #sketchnotefever – the movie!

Thanks once more to Sylvia Duckworth for the inspiration and impetus to get practising and challenging myself! I’ve started trying out some new things in recent sketchnotes and think they look great. Working on how to convert some of the images that are easy to draw large into miniature now though as a image rarely takes up much space in one of my sketchnotes as I had in the above attempts; one of the disadvantages of doing my sketchnotes with pen and paper rather than on a tablet device is the inability to zoom in or out!

 

TeachPrimary KS2 MFL lesson plan – by me!

A couple of months ago, Clodagh from ALL contacted me and said that Teach Primary were looking for someone to write a primary languages lesson plan for their magazine, and would I be interested? I said yes and last week, the new edition came out, complete with my lesson on p76-77.

It’s a lesson that I used on World Book Day 2016 when my school went with a Roald Dahl theme.  Whilst I teach Spanish, and the resources are therefore in Spanish, it’s an idea that could easily be done in French, German, or any other of the 58  languages into which Dahl’s work has been translated!

You can access the lesson and resources here on TeachWire .

And if you’ve come to my website via Teach Primary, welcome! There are lots of other ideas for lessons here, including more for World Book Day here.

And if you’ve never seen Teach Primary, have a look at the lesson plan for KS2 French on directions from last issue, by Amanda Barton or this lesson by Liz Black that links French and juggling!

Hopefully there’ll be another of my lessons published in the near future…

PS Thanks to Clare for sending me her copy so I have one for posterity!

Educandy

At the Language Show last week, I discovered Educandy on the Linguascope stand. A free interactive activity making site and app, Richard who was running the stand assured me it was really simple to use – and he was right! I’ve just had a go at creating an activity in each of the types:Words – input a list of words and play Anagrams, Hangman or Wordsearch.
Matching Pairs  – input pairs of words and play Noughts and Crosses, Crossword, Match up and Memory.
Quiz – input questions, the correct answer and three red herrings for a Multiple Choice quiz.
Below are quizzes I have created (each took about 3 minutes) around adjectives ready for Y6 next week. Once created, quizzes can be accessed via a code that you can give pupils to input here,  by URL, or by embedding them in a site (as I have here.) You can also export your activities to use on similar sites e.g. Quizlet, and import from those sites too.
Words
Matching Pairs
Quiz questions
I’d encourage you to have a look at the site and try for yourself. It’s free after all so what do you have to lose but a few minutes of your time.

Language Show #sketchnoted

I’ve just got back form London and the Language Show at Kensington Olympia. A lovely couple of days catching up with people, finding out about university courses and qualifications for Stevens Junior, visiting stands and learning from others – and then some more catching up with people!

Below are sketchnotes of the seminars I attended – minus the EU one as I only attended half of it! I was travelling light and using my mini notebook plus a limited palette of black pen and six coloured highlighters so apologies that they are a little more squashed and monotone than normal!

 

Joe Dale’s session on Using tecnology. Sadly had to leave early as I was in pain! You can access Joe’s whole presentation here

 

Wendy Adeniji talking Mastery at GCSE.

 

The Show and Tell was full of great ideas that I quickly tried to note down. Didn’t catch all names I’m afraid! Do tell me and I’ll add them.

 

The lovely Catherine Cheater sharing about The Primary French Project. A great resource – that’s free! – and a wonderful presentation.

 

The Primary Show and Tell was also amazing, packed with great ideas about word classification, poetry, story telling, heritage language teaching and facilitating pupil understanding through framing.

Tell me a story! – my session at #PracPed18

Thanks to Russel Tarr for capturing me telling a  story!

My session at #PracPed18 was entitled Tell me a story! You can find the Slideshare below.

In it, I shared some ideas about the use of stories and books in the languages classroom. Beginning by discussing why you would use stories, we moved on to choosing books, and then some ideas of how you could use stories in the classroom to enhance language learning. Finally we talked about how to write your own stories; this part was a little shortened so I have added some notes below. You’ll also find links to some helpful posts and bookmarks below. I hope those that attended found the session helpful, and those that didn’t feel able to ask questions! Please feel free to leave a comment on the post if you have questions or comments!

Helpful links:

Pictocuentos website – stories told with widgets to support understanding.
The German Project – German stories online
 Talk for Writing – accompanying storytelling with actions and storymaps.
Link to resources for El artista que pintó un caballo azul as a text to discuss diversity.
The book I mentioned that was recommended and demonstrated by Nathalie Paris at Language World was called Poux by  Stephanie Blake– check out the sketchnote of her session here, and follow her book blog and podcast here for more great book ideas!
My primary language book collection, classified by language type and theme.

The Storybird wiki   has been shut down but you can access the links etc here. mostly Spanish with a couple of German ones.

My Storybirds mostly Spanish with a couple of German ones.

ALL Literature Wiki

Pinterest links to research on Storytelling and stories in language learning

Pinterest board of online stories

Blogposts on books on ¡Vámonos! – lots of posts including book reviews, ideas for using stories and how to write your own!

Thanks for your participation and questions.
Photo credit – Russel Tarr

Notes:

Slide 18 – I skipped this one in my presentation as time was flying. This week, Merriam Webster shared a “time machine’ dictionary that tells you the words that were put into the dictionary during the year of your birth. I wrote a story using just nouns from my birth year, shared via tweet. This gave me the idea of giving children a list of words and challenging them to write a story with those words. A good way for more advanced pupils to practice verbs. I will share further when I have developed that thought!

Rewriting a familiar story. Photo credit – Russel Tarr

Acronyms:

GPS – grammar punctuation and spelling

PSHE – Personal, Social and Health Education

ICU – Intercultural Understanding

Key Stage 1 – children aged 5-7

Key Stage 2 – children aged 7-11 (languages are a compulsory part of the curriculum in English state schools)

WBD – World Book Day (April 23rd)

El Día de Conmemoración y la paz.

With 11th November coming up, particularly with the 100th anniversary of Armistice this year, my school has had been planning whole school activities to commemorate Remembrance Day. I like to join in – it’s a good way of keeping Spanish visible and also an opportunity to be creative.

With Spain not involved in WW1 or WW2 and not celebrating Remembrance Day as a national event, this left me with a challenge. I decided to focus on peace and, having discovered that I would only be teaching Y5 and 6 this week,  to share some Spanish history.

We began by discussing what Remembrance Day is about, and I asked what they thought Spain’s role was in the World Wars. It was a good opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about who was and wasn’t involved! I then went on to talk a little about the Spanish Civil War in the most basic terms. We talked about the difference between a monarchy and a republic, discussed what an economic depression is and about why the Nationalists might have revolted. I showed them Guernica by Picasso (as they are familiar with him) and told them about that particular episode. It was supposed to be a quick resume of what happened as one of the reasons why Spain weren’t involved (one of the pupils suggested ‘They had no one to send to fight; they’d all killed each other!’) but the pupils were really interested and wouldn’t stop asking questions. In the end I asked them to save the questions for when they were doing their written task, and I’d happily try to answer them then. They stuck the poem in their exercise books, and recorded a couple of sentences about what they’d learned about the Spanish Civil War or Remembrance or peace.

Poem El dia de la paz to download as PDFThe second part of the lesson was about peace; poppies help us remember those who died in conflicts, but also remind us of man’s folly, how we should learn from the past and seek a peaceful future.  I found this simple poem that I read, then pupils read with me. I asked them to discuss with a partner what they thought the poem might be about and why, using all clues like the illustrations and cognates to help them. We discussed together what it meant then read it once more in groups. I’d found some poppy templates and provided some sheets of the word PEACE in a variety of languages. For example this image or this one. Pupils decorated the poppies with the word peace in languages of their choice as a demonstration of their wish for peace in our world. We discussed the meaning of different coloured poppies – the most well known red, purple for animals and white to remember all those who died in war including those who refused to fight and those who committed suicide as well as a commitment to peace. (I didn’t know about black poppies until I saw this video today!)  I also mentioned that in France people wear bleuets for Remembrance Day, cornflowers which also grew in the fields of France. Pupils kept these colours in mind as they decorated.

I taught Y5 on Tuesday and you can see some of their poppies below. I really enjoyed the lesson and think that the children did too, judging by the incessant stream of questions! Y6 tomorrow.