September 2012 – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Month: September 2012

Thanks to @AliceAyel on Twitter for flagging up a great post on a blog called Teaching Spanish w/ Comprehensible Input by Cynthia Hitz. The post is entitled Using videos of children’s stories and lo and behold, there was my son’s favourite story as a child, playing to me in Spanish.

Entitled Click Clack Muu, Vacas escritoras (Click Clack moo, Cows that type) the story is set on a farm where the cows get hold of a typewriter and start sending letters to Farmer Brown demanding electric blankets. And then the ducks get involved… Isaac is now 14 and can still recite it verbatim. And so can I! So it’s great to see this post with so many ideas of how you might use it in the classroom. If only I had a class with whom to share it.

I found these Resources from PBS  – they’re in English but there are some great ideas that could be translated into Spanish.

Gracias @sonrisadelcampo and thanks Isaac for the memories ;o)

I wholeheartedly believe that learning a language shouldn’t be a ‘bolt on’ but part of the curriculum as a whole, and I am therefore always on the look out for new ideas.

I found this short video clip on Youtube earlier and it started me thinking. Again! 

Whilst I’m not sure that this is something that could be done at the moment given the weather reports I’m seeing, it’s certainly an interesting idea and it could be completed using the second clip. Just use a stopwatch and count for 10 or 60 seconds then complete the sum to find out how hot it was when that film was recorded.

I’ve blogged before about teaching Maths in Spanish and I also taught Maths in Spanish during my last observation at WCPS. I can’t believe I didn’t blog it but I’ve uploaded the plan and resources below.

table names (2D shapes in Spanish)

Ratio definition

Proportion definition

Lesson plan – Razones y proporciones

Worksheet for círculos y triángulos

Worksheet – pentágonos y cuadrados

Worksheet – hexágonos

 

Since then I’ve found a few more things that look quite useful.

¿Quién quiere pizza? is a series of lessons by Cynthis Lanius on fractions. It’s also available in English. Each ‘lesson’ gives a short explanation then poses four or five multiple choice questions. Answer the questions and then receive your score at the bottom of the page including the correct answers.

Cynthia also offers some counting activities in Spanish that you could easily use with much younger learners, counting things, saying which is more, and completing sequences. And finally, a more advanced type of Maths linked to Science – in La tina caliente learners work on interpreting graphs

Then there’s  Maggie’s Earth Adventures. These activities from Scholastic are also offered in both English and Spanish.

In El Dilema de Dude you must rescue Dude the dog from the roof by solving sums in Spanish. Every sum solved takes your helicopter closer to Dude. You can choose which operation you wish to practice – or you can choose a mix – and also the level at which you play.

In a similar vein, in ¡Alrededor del Mundo en 80 segundos! you travel around the world by solving sums. You must do it quickly or you’ll not make it home!

 

And then there’s a brilliant Science activity that involves labelling. In Diagramando a la ciencia  learners see a diagram and then have to label it for themselves. Included are things like parts of a plant, the layers of the earth and parts of a fish.  Good resources to use to reinforce learning.

There are others activities here too worth investigating – code breaking, a Spanish vocabulary game and a grammar game too.

Other links –

a Maths terms worksheet 

Maths glossary (far more information than you’d need in a primary classroom!)

much more simple maths terms

Logic puzzles for Year 7 from the inimitable Rachel Hawkes

On the Juegos Educ.ar site, Cuenta con cuentos and Cuentos y leyendas are both word puzzles. Figuras geométricas is a simple matching activity.

And how about the Matemáticas section here for some simple fun activities, or the site of Colegio Público San José de Calasanz for some Maths appropriate for KS2.

And finally, lots of activities here on RinconMaestro plus some good word puzzles – Problemas – on Aprendiendomates.

How’s that to keep you going? Need to find more science links now…

 

Happy European Day of Languages.

Here’s an idea of what you might do if you hadn’t planned anything and want to do something!

This map was published on the Oxford Dictionaries blog last week for World Gratitude Day and features over 20 ways to say thank you from around the world.

Why not try out a few different ways to be grateful today.

And if that’s not enough,this site has more words, and even tells you if it’s formal or informal!

And here’s a video to help too!

An interesting report on Teaching Languages in schools across Europe was published a few days ago.

Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe 2012 is a joint Eurydice/Eurostat publication, produced in close cooperation with the European Commission. The report is based on four main data sources: Eurydice, Eurostat, the European Survey on Language Competences (ESLC), and the OECD’s PISA 2009 international survey. Eurydice data covers 32 countries (27 Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey) and takes the reference year 2010/11. [The report] contains 61 indicators and qualitative information describing the context and organisation of foreign language teaching, student participation levels as well as the initial and continuing education of foreign language teachers. In addition to giving a snapshot of the situation today, the report also presents several time series which are helpful in identifying trends in language teaching over recent years and past decades.

You can see the highlights of the report in the document below, or read the full version by clicking on the image on the left.

Some of the key points however are –

1. Students start learning foreign languages from an increasingly early age. It makes me really sad to see the UK block at 11 years old after all the hard work done to make it 7. And you can see that we’re far behind many other countries in Europe.

2. More students learn two foreign languages. Not in the UK though it seems.

3. English by far is the dominating foreign language in Europe. 

4. Very few students learn languages other than English, French, Spanish, German or Russian.

5. Students’ perceptions of the usefulness of a language is a motivating factor for learning – and English is by far seen as the most useful.  Perhaps this, and point 3, explain some of the UK’s language “apathy”? Trips are also pointed out as a motivating factor.

6. Teaching guidelines for foreign languages place equal emphasis on all communication skills – and yet both teachers and students make infrequent use of the target language in the classroom. Interestingly, the UK is not on the graphic for this section – I wonder why?

7. The Common European Reference Framework (CEFR) is becoming a main tool for defining student attainment levels. Also interesting to note that the UK is one of the few countries in Europe (along with Spain, Netherlands, French speaking Belgium and a few others) without an expected level of proficiency in a second language by school leaving age.

8. School reports difficulties filling vacancies for language teachers. I know a few great language teachers who would love a job!!

9. Few countries require teachers to spend an immersion period in the target language country. The UK does have recommendations about this, and also about the content of ITT. However, I think they could go further. You should have to visit regularly as well to keep ‘up to date’. Why not have funded sabbatical periods – even a week would be good – to revitalise your skills every two or three years? And I don’t mean a trip on which you’re supervising children, nor do I mean a week of sunbathing on the Italian riviera. Perhaps shadowing a colleague, or investigating something that interests you. And immersing yourself in a language and culture that you love.

I wonder if anyone who makes decisions about languages has read this report properly? Or have they just seen the ‘English is the most useful’ and thought ‘That’s Ok then’?

“I am not a walking dictionary!”

How many times have I replied with this phrase when asked ‘How do you say…. in Spanish/French/German/Polish? (yes, there were some who felt that the Language Coordinator meant that I was fluent in all languages…) Using a dictionary was one of the skills that I feel is really important to develop as it allows greater learner independence as well as supporting and enhancing literacy.

Firstly, it’s important that learners know that a bi-lingual dictionary has two halves, often helpfully separated by a coloured band, and recognise that you won’t find the word for ‘cow’ by looking in the Spanish to English part!

Once that’s established, looking at alphabetical order is helpful. Whilst this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, it’s worth pointing out that in a Spanish dictionary there are entries under the letter ‘ñ’. I have a Diccionario Salvat from my university days that has a separate section for “ch” and “ll” as well but this not common nowadays.

One of my classes’ favourite dictionary activities was playing ‘Quick draw Spanish’ in which they competed to draw their “weapon” (dictionary) and “shoot” (find a word) as quickly as possible. Works well with individuals or as a table game with learners taking it in turns to be the Sharpshooter. There are some other good ideas of games to play with dictionaries (and other reference materials) here. I also like this game where more advanced learners could use their Knowledge about Language (KAL) to deduce what words might mean, and younger/newer learners might be given a list of 4 possibilities from which to choose.

When I was thinking about this, I found some free online resources (always a bonus!) Whilst they are linked to the Oxford Learner’s Spanish Dictionary, they can be used with any dictionary and are mostly straightforward. At WCPS we had a short period at the start of the day called SODA (Start of the Day Activity) and these exercises would be ideal to do at that time, or perhaps as part of Guided reading, developing skills. The higher numbered worksheets start to deal with more aspects of grammar and tenses so you might not want to give them as written to a group, but the ideas are useful and there’s always a child who needs a challenge! (The same worksheets are also available in French and German, and there are a variety of free primary resources for using a dictionary and a thesaurus)

And Collins also have some free resources linked to their Easy learning dictionaries in French and Spanish including an 11 page guide to using a bilingual dictionary.  ELSpanDictionarySkills

There is also a set of resources to go with dictionary skills on TES Resources. Whilst labelled as Secondary, some of the most basic ones aimed at Year 7 could equally well be used with Upper Key Stage 2.

Whilst paper dictionaries may be giving way to online versions, the skills needed to look for and successfully select the appropriate word are still as important – especially if we are to avoid such ‘faux pas’ as referring to a (video) shoot as ‘une fusillade’.

I’ve received an email from Spanish Consejería de Educación in the UK offering Spanish Online Courses for Primary and Secondary School Teachers in Britain through the Aula Virtual de Español (AVE), an interactive platform specifically designed by the Instituto Cervantes for the teaching and learning of Spanish.

The details are all here  AVE Spanish Online Course with Tutor Support 2012-13 but in brief –

Over 20 weeks starting in October and finishing in March, absolute and near beginners at Spanish will spend 2-3 hours a week studying Spanish online.  They will receive a weekly schedule of what to do and with support from a course tutor, will complete some suggested tasks to use their learning. At the end of the course, they will receive a certificate from Instituto Cervantes stating that they have completed the course as long as the compulsory tasks have been completed and a minimum of 5 tasks sent to their tutor. The course is massively subsidised costing just £50 rather than £140 and is a great opportunity to ‘upskill’ a little.

The closing date for applications is very soon – Friday 28th September – so have a think and then sign up!

Now, if someone could just find me a German version… ;o)

I was really interested to read the following press release this week  –

Education Scotland publishes new online resource for modern languages called ‘Passeport pour la Francophonie’ at the Scottish Learning Festival on 19 September 2012.

Passeport pour la Francophonie will support primary teachers to provide stimulating and exciting learning experiences at second level, developing skills for reading, writing, listening and talking. The website provides suggestions for exploring the other curriculum areas such as religious and moral education or maths and numeracy through the medium of French language and culture.

Announcing the launch of the resource Education Scotland Strategic Director Kenneth Muir said, ”Passeport pour la Francophonie’ will support teachers in building confidence to embed language learning across the curriculum in an integrated and interdisciplinary way in line with the ethos of Curriculum for Excellence.

The Passeport challenges and learning journeys are designed to develop and practice key vocabulary to deepen understanding of culture of the French speaking world and to allow learners to see the interconnected nature of languages.

The online resource promotes an approach to the learning and teaching of French that is active, collaborative and makes appropriate and effective use of ICT. Local authoriti

es will find this helpful when planning their provision of modern languages in primary schools.’

Practitioners can use Passeport pour la Francophonie to enhance their professional learning both in terms of their own foreign language skills and developing innovative approaches to teaching a language.

Learners will find that the activities bring languages to life by travelling through five different countries of the Francophonie. They will discover other cultures, meet children from around the world and gain an understanding and appreciation of their native language and culture.

Passeport pour la Francophonie will be demonstrated at the Scottish Learning Festival on the Education Scotland stand (D65, Hall 3, SECC) on Wednesday 19 September at 11.30am and on Thursday 20 September at 10.30am.

And looking at the website, it looks really great! There are ebooks, sound files, videos and clear lesson ideas and plans with links to the Scottish curriculum. I love the way that it’s not about the language in isolation but about experiencing the culture and the “sights and sounds” of different places that have a common language.

Below you can hear Fhiona Fisher of Education Scotland speaking about just that – ‘widening out’ the idea of French as European to go on a voyage in their imaginations to see it as a worldwide language, and how language learning can be done cross-curricularly.

Another part I really like is the Links between languages page, looking at language in general, and also the Using this resource section which gives helpful information to the teacher on using the resource and also some CPD videos on Primary Language learning (MLPS in Scotland) Lovely to see some familiar faces from Le Français en Ecossewho were so instrumental in helping me love French again (merci Richard et Elise)

I’ve just received an email about an exciting new venture from Lingua@Hillcrest.  Based at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form centre in Birmingham, Lingua@Hillcrest is already known for its virtual visits to France, Spain and Germany including passport control, currency exchange, shopping and refreshment experience as well as language games.

Now they are offering …

Murder Mystery? 

 in French, German and Spanish

Why not challenge your students to solve the crime at

lingua@hillcrest

Birmingham

 

Using their language skills students take on a role in a team of detectives in order to solve the crime.

Investigations include

  • examining the scene of crime
  • forensics   
  • scrutinising news bulletins, recorded interviews & CCTV
  • analysing suspects’ bank and telephone records
  • cross-examining suspects

 

Recommended for year 9 – 11

Available every Monday

Bookings before 31 December 2012 – £150 per session or £250 for the full day.

After 1st January 2013 – £180 per session or £330 for the full day.

For further details www.hillcrest.bham.sch.uk/lingua

Contact 0121 464 3172  or email lingua@hillcrest.bham.sch.uk

 

Sounds fun to me and a great way to learn and practice language that can become very ‘borong’ after a while – personal identification, descriptions and so on!

Details of other activities at Lingua@Hillcrest are below.

 

 

Do you want to get your pupils ahead of the game in MFL?

fun, hands-on activities for KS3 in

French, German and Spanish

lingua@hillcrest,  Birmingham

Half day visits include:

  • Passport control
  • Exchanging currency at the bank
  • A carousel of interactive language activities
  • Simulated shopping in our international shopping village
  • Collecting stamps for every transaction completed
  • Buying refreshments and souvenirs at the shops

 

 Available every Monday

Bookings before 31 December 2012 – £150 per session or £250 for the full day.

After 1st January 2013 – £180 per session or £330 for the full day.

Discover how your pupils could benefit from a visit at

www.hillcrest.bham.sch.uk/lingua

To book a visit call us on 0121 464 3172 and ask for lingua bookings

or email us at lingua@hillcrest.bham.sch.uk 

“We had a great time on Tuesday – thank you all very much! We hope to be back next year!” Victoria School
 “Very well thought-out structure with good timings. Great content… Year 8 students loved it and have even greater enthusiasm for MFL.” Heartlands Academy

¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo ©2019. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by WordPress. Theme by Phoenix Web Solutions