Via (soon to be defunct) Google Reader, I’ve found details of this conference in June 2013 that may be of interest to those preparing to implement the DfE’s proposals for Primary language learning in 2014.
I’ve inserted the PDF flyer below. It looks like a great event, and I know that anyone attending will learn lots. Intrigued by the Alien family on tour resources! So if you can get to Warrington on 20th June, I recommend you go – and if you do, please report back!
“A lot of teachers would appreciate a bit more guidance and practical help, whether it’s schemes of work or things they might be able to read,” adds Board. (Kathryn Board of CfBT)”That’s obviously not what the government wants to do – they want to provide big headlines and how you get there is up to you. But it’s quite tricky because we must not forget this is a new subject, it’s never been compulsory at key stage two before.”
Driscoll (Patricia Driscoll, reader in education at Canterbury Christchurch University) fears the draft curriculum does not place enough emphasis on developing children’s cultural understanding. “In ‘purpose of study’ the draft curriculum says: ‘Learning a foreign language is liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.’ But then when you come to the ‘curriculum aims’ and ‘subject content’ there’s nothing about culture.”
“Languages are taught through interactive methods but also through cultural identity and understanding,” she says.
I wonder what’ll be up tomorrow? There’s certainly a web chat planned so if you’re free between 6 and 8pm tomorrow evening (Thursday 16th) join in with your ideas about creative lessons and teaching tips!
I’ve just finished presenting at TeachMeet International, an online Teachmeet bringing together educators from across the world. Unfortunately the meeting was blighted by technical issues but we managed to get around them in various ways in order to share our ideas and experiences.
My presentation was on using games in language learning. I talked about games that are easy to organise, games that take you out of the classroom and then moved on to talk about two apps – 4 Pictures 1 Words and PicCombo that I think are really useful for vocabulary at an intermediate/advanced level.
Below is the Slideshare and you will be able to see it and other presentations (hopefully with sound!) soon via the link that will be posted on the TeachMeetInternational website.
I will never ever forget my visit to Cal Figarot, HQ of Els Castellers de Vilafranca. An overwhelming evening of fun, fear and awe that left me quite emotional as we watched – and participated in a small way – in a rehearsal of this very special group of ‘human tower builders’. (Sadly the photographs disappeared when my website was hacked, and the links to my school website are out of date too – I’ll upload them again when I have a moment!) Therefore I am a little sad that I’m not in the UK at the moment as they’re ‘on tour!’
The Human Towers are a three hundred year old tradition of building multi-story human towers called “castells”. The great Human Towers perform at many Mediterranean town festivals and are one of the oldest and most spectacular traditions in Barcelona and Catalonia.
The 170 member Castellers de Vilafranca, the world’s best Human Towers team, will debut in London on Friday, 19th April, at Potters Field Park near London Bridge. Each tower will be an exercise in intense concentration, strength and balance as the barefooted participants form successively smaller tiers – resembling a human wedding cake – by climbing up the bodies of each layer to mount the shoulders of the previous tier until the tower is complete.
Once UNESCO had declared the Human Towers as Intangible Cultural Heritage , a huge festival was hosted in the Old Estrella Damm Factory in celebration, in the heart of Barcelona during which a variety of concerts took place and human towers were built to commemorate the much anticipated recognition. It is estimated that over 2,500 people attended the large-scale event.
(from Estrella Damm press release)
The Castellers will in London from Friday 19th April – Sunday 21st April, performing in various places. The schedule is below and I’ve attached a PDF as well. If you are in or around London, or fancy a day trip, I know that you will not be disappointed. ‘Human towers’ are gobsmacking – and this lot are record breaking world champions!
I’ve recently started a Pinterest of Spanish resources and came across some lovely maps as I was pinning. None of them would actually serve to guide your way so no good for directions really, but they sparked a few ideas!
This map is a composite of a number of graphics used in an article on Spain. I like the stylised topography and selection of places of interest in various towns.
Name the monuments on the map of Spain.
Assign each group a monument to research.
Identify the mountain ranges. Which is tallest? What activities can be done in the mountains?
Give learners their own blank map of Spain and ask them to select places of interest, features such as rivers or lakes etc to mark on their own infographic map.
This isn’t an infographic, rather a site that is packed with interactive maps looking at the geography of Spain. You can try to name the rivers, mountains, autonomous regions, provinces and so on. I particularly like the provincias one above as the shapes give you a clue – they’re quite tricky puzzles!
Spanish Playground is a great site packed with ideas, and their latest post is full of ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month – April. (It may not be where you are but I like poetry and any excuse!) I liked their suggestions and was inspired to share a couple of their ideas, and a couple of mine!
I particularly like Idea 6 which suggests using ETTC’s Instant Poetry forms. Once you get the idea of the structure, there’s no need to use the site although I like it for the reminder about structure. I had a go at a few…
A Lune(using the 3 word, 5 word, 3 word structure)
La primavera viene Corderos nacen y flores crecen Hay vida nueva
A 5W, or in Spanish 5Q poem (each lines answer a question who, what, where, when, why)
Pocoyo Juega con Pato, En el campo, Después del cole, Porque sí.
I took a screenshot but you can save the poem as a PDF and also share it via email.
An alternative to this would be to write the words in the shape of the subject as a calligram like the cat one below (from here)
I also like the idea of using Wordle or Tagxedo with poetry, either to create word clouds of existing poems or to give shape to new ones. Here’s an example below that I made using Tagxedo and ‘A Mexican Night before Christmas’
I also wrote about the QCA unit La Primavera and taking part of the Antonio Machado poem La Primavera and rewriting it. This would be a simple activity to do as a celebration of National Poetry Month too. We posted our on a Padlet (was called Wallwisher) wall so we could share it with a wider audience.
I’ve found this post about Spanish poetry by Federico García Lorca, Jorge Guillén and Rafael Alberti (for older learners I’d say!) and these are more suitable for younger learners. And this post about using poetry to look at rhyming is also very interesting, using one of my favourite little poems -
Colita de rana.
Si no sanas hoy,
And to finish off, as a 15 year old I was captivated by Joan Manuel Serrat singing poems by Antonio Machado so Dedicado a Antonio Machado (Cantares)
EDUtalk is organised by David Noble (@parslad) and John Johnston (@johnjohnston) and encourages people to talk about education, using mobile and web technologies.
I was really honoured to be asked and enjoyed the talking about my experiences and thoughts on education. We talked about my background, how I came to be in Switzerland and what I’ve been doing here before going on to talk about creativity and technology in education.
My summary of “the important bits”!
Be patient – things don’t happen overnight.
Lead by example. And if learners enjoy it, they’ll be your greatest help!
Technology is just another tool that can be used to enhance and transform learning – it’s not THE answer.
Before using technology ask “why?” – it should suit the task rather than the task being made to match the technology.
When starting out using new tools, don’t try to do everything at once. You’ll end up with too many plates spinning. Start with one or two ideas and “practise” for a bit before adding something else.
Learning should be celebrated. Loudly. And I love doing it.
Twitter is wonderful for keeping in touch and feeling connected.
We need to support one another, especially as other support, such as advisory teams, is being decimated.
Thanks to David and John for the opportunity. Great to talk to you again! You can listen to the programme here.
We would like you to write and illustrate a short story in a foreign language on any subject you like. We will pick two winners from the entries and publish the winning stories as e-books on our website. Each winner will also receive a b Small library worth £100 for your home or your school.
The story should be no more than four pages and you can use lots of illustrations to help tell your story. You must write your story in one of the following four languages:
There are two categories – 6-9 year olds and 9-11 year olds, and you can write a collaborative story with classmates (hence the overlap in age categories) The story can be about anything, and the closing date is June 1st with winners announced on July 1st. Entries can be sent via post or electronically, accompanied by an entry form.
¡Vámonos! is back up and running, thanks to the hard work of Sinclair MacKenzie who is a complete star. ¡Muchísimas gracias!
All is not quite as it was at the moment but things are mostly back to normal. If you want to find out more about me, find out what Lisibo Ltd. is all about or send me a message, click on the appropriate tag in the side bar under Pages for now until I remember how to get them back on the menu bar!
Thank you for your patience and thank you to my knight in shining armour once more!