February 2011 – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Month: February 2011

Postcard courtesy of Landsbankinn

Final saying in our series today –

A forty year old can do anything

Well, at least anything a forty-year-old can do.  Every language seems to have its own version of this phrase. “Life begins at forty” is equally true and equally paradoxical.  we embrave optimism and energy in all people regardless of age.

Hoping to prove this to be true later in the year.

Postcard courtesy of Landsbankinn

The penultimate saying in the series –

A nation knows when three know

So never tell more than one person your secrets; preferably keep them to yourself altogether, to be on the safe side.  News and gossip have always travelled fast among the small population of Iceland.

Especially as two thirds of them live in Reykjavik!

The Lingo Show

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This week sees the launch of a really lovely offering on the CBeebies website aimed at 4-6s – and I’m very excited that I’ve been involved in it (along with many others!)

As the blurb from the BBC says –

The Lingo Show’ introduces different languages to a pre-school audience, sprinkled with a bit of culture.  Play fun games and learn new words whilst helping ‘Lingo’ the ultimate show bug and his performing bug friends prepare for the ‘Big Bug Show’. Featuring French, Spanish, Mandarin, Welsh, Urdu, Punjabi, Somali and Polish. It’s a bug-lingual adventure!’

This week the site is launched with French, Spanish and Mandarin to be followed by Welsh on St David’s Day, Urdu and Punjabi on 14th March and Somali and Polish on 28th March.

I am really excited that the site is finally live and hope that it is enjoyed as much by the users as it was by the four children in Reception on whom I tested it in its early stages. And I look forward to seeing what may happen to Lingo, Queso, Jargonaise, Wei and the other bugs in the future!

bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/lingoshow

At the MFL Show and Tell on Saturday night, I shared this song from the UpToTen website.

It’s a very simple song that can easily be adapted to include any animal – or noun in fact! – and any verb.

For example –

Peux-tu marcher comme un éléphant?

Peux-tu sauter comme un robot?

Peux-tu manger comme un dinosaure?

I’ve captured the song from the site here in case you can’t get online – Peux-tu marcher comme un canard

I’m exhausted but I’m buzzing and can’t snooze until I’ve got some things off my chest!

#ILILC was brilliant. People who actually teach (predominantly) sharing what they do in their classrooms – not airy fairy ideas from a golden age but what actually goes on in classrooms up and down the country. And what should go on in more schools. Ideas that have been tried and tested on all kinds of pupils- the motivated, the bored, the disaffected, the enthusiastic and the ‘why should I?’ of all ages. And I’m not talking just about the ‘presenters’ – the tips, ideas and insights being shared over coffee (and stronger beverages) were just as interesting and important as the sessions attended. The problem was finding enough time to share it all. Thank the little blue bird for Twitter! And blogs. And audio recording. And the willingness of MFLers to share whenever,wherever.

Common themes?
The power of community – the ‘MFL Twitterati’ was much in evidence and more were added to the number.
The strength of support offered to others shown over and over – story swapping, idea sharing, shoulder lending, email exchanging, Savlon providing (thanks mutton chops!)
The conviction of many that the national plans for language learning are not going as they should for the good of learners – but rather than just moaning, offering ideas and solutions of alternative, better approaches. And those ideas can’t be way out or wacky as they seem to be fairly consistent – independent, creative, questioning, challenged, skilful learners; knowledge is important but the ability to select the relevant knowledge and apply it is far more valuable.
Noise. I know I contributed plenty of it – ‘down an octave Stevens’ was a constant instruction from Chris Fuller – but language teachers are a noisy bunch. I guess our trade is communicating so I shouldn’t be surprised. The addition of a number of parrots, toucan and hens (???) made it even louder! Especially once Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch was invoked.
Laughter. I have not laughed that much in a long time. Whether tickled by a mistweet (IanBootle was added to our number last night and @blaggers may well be confused man today!), laughing at exploding Red Bull cans and accident prone delegates or guffawing at a shared joke, the sound of laughter has refreshed me – and I suspect many others who are in need of some camaraderie and light relief from the job of doing our best for our learners.

As Chris Harte so eloquently put it this morning, Language teaching is not broken, it just has some out of date files, needs defragging and rebooting. This weekend I’ve met and spoken to, and heard from many people who I think have a really good idea about what our new upgraded device should be able to do.

Just hope that those deciding what type of device we get will delete the correct files, add the right programs and gives language learning the operating system that it needs and deserves.

Let’s hope they read and hear the voices that I’ve heard this weekend. we’re shouting as loud as we can!

Postcard courtesy of Landsbankinn

Seventh saying in our series of nine –

They splash the skyr who own it.

Laden with irony, this phrase actually means quite the opposite.  Synonymous with the English proverb about people who throw stones in glass houses, it acquired something of a cult status a few decades ago when an angry protestor lobbed handfuls of the wholesome if messy dairy product skyr at members of parliament during a ceremonial procession.

Skyr is delicious – I wouldn’t waste it on politicians.

I had a lovely time with some delegates this morning talking about storytelling using ICT – ‘digital storytelling’

Here’s my presentation – possibly won’t make much sense until it has the sound added, but you’ll have to wait a bit for that until I get the file back from Joe Dale’s iRiver.

Also, there is a document containing all the notes from the session.

Tell me a story session notes

Tell me a story presentation

Links that I missed off the list – MFL animation themed!

Catherine Elliot – www.twitter.com/catherinelliott

http://ssclc.wordpress.com

http://bit.ly/efSmim – Joe Dale interviews Catherine

Oscar Stringer – www.twitter.com/ostringer

http://www.animationforeducation.co.uk/ – go to Film examples – MFL

Any questions or queries, feel free to contact me

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