If you read my post a few weeks ago about my recent presentations, you may be interested in an article I wrote for the Global School Alliance.
In it, I wrote about the international journey of Whitehouse Common Primary and why it has been so important. Click the link below the image to read it.
While you’re there, why not have a look at the other posts from schools around the world, sharing their projects and the impact it has had on their school communities. It’s free to join the Global School Alliance and there are many interesting opportunities to be found on their platform.
After the success of last year’s competition, the bSmall Young Language Learner Award returns.
This year the theme is…
Children aged 6-11 are invited to submit a story written in a language other than English. On the website https://bsmall.co.uk/ylla you can find template, notes for teachers/ parents/ tutors and a downloadable entry form for entrants to submit the finished story.
Winners will receive books from the bSmall and the opportunity to have their work published in PDF form on the website. The closing date for entries is Monday 5th June and winners will be announced on June 26th.
You can read about last year’s contest and see the top three entries in this post
Once more I’ve been asked to be on the judging panel. I’m really looking forward to reading all the entries. So, if you’re looking for a way of celebrating the coronation in class, or you fancy supporting your class/children in writing a story about celebrating a festival, a birthday or special event, why not join in the challenge.
I’ve had a busy few weeks and I’ve finally found a moment to catch up with myself. As I have done for many years now, I took my pad and pens to #LW2023 and sketchnoted all the sessions I attended. I tweeted them as I completed them but I promised to collect them all in one place for easy access. And here they are! Thanks to all the speakers for their interesting presentations that all left me with lots to think on!
If you’d like to see how someone else saw the same (and some different) sessions, have a look at Clare’s sketchnotes!
Since I last wrote a post, I’ve presented three times about international links!
In November I was pleased to speak, along with Vicky Gough of the British Council, to the ALL Portsmouth Primary Hub about Making international links to motivate our young linguists and celebrate their achievements. My contribution was summarised as: Lisa took us on a whistle-stop tour of the many different projects she has been involved in over the past twelve years or so. What shone through was the positive impact these experiences have had on all involved – pupils, teaching and school staff and parents. Senior management have increasingly recognised the value of these projects and prioritised them within school planning. Comments from pupils and colleagues, and more formal statements from school leaders, provide testimony to their success.
In December I was invited to deliver a keynote at TMMFLIcons entitled International links and developing young linguists. I knew that 15 minutes was tight to say all that I wanted so I summarised the benefits/outcomes on the 3rd slide!
Even so, I still struggled to fit in everything I wanted to say so I wrote a summary of my points to share. You can download and read it below! If you want to see what was said and catch up with the recording, have a look at the @tmmflicons Twitter feed
And a couple of weeks ago, I spoke at Language World in Sheffield. Once more I packed in as much as I could into the time allocated, and still had more to say as I am passionate about sharing my experiences but also about the incredible value of international links and the impact it’s had on our school community.
After a bit of editing, I’m happy to share my presentation but I’m afraid that the file is too big to upload; you can however view it here or, if you attended Language World 2023, on the conference website.
I am really passionate about the international dimension, the power of links between schools around the world and the beauty of collaborating. Yes, it sometimes leaves me exhausted juggling and negotiating so that everything is done but it’s so worth it to see the impact on the staff, school, community and, of course, the pupils. Whilst some opportunities are no longer available to us and I still mourn for their loss, it’s not going to stop me. There are still ways to make links and work in collaboration with others and I will continue to search for more!
There’s a list in the summary document but a few to highlight: If you are looking for a school for collaborations such as penpals or exchanges, particularly a French one, you can try Match My School. The British Council has School Connect and also Partner Finding tools to help you find links and help them grow. And the Global Schools Alliance helps create, maintain and develop links with schools all over the world.
It’s also worth exploiting any links you have as a school community, and also looking to see if your town/city has a twin TownTwinning.
Today at The Language Show it was my pleasure to deliver a presentation entitled A few of our favourite things.
During a packed 45 minutes I highlighted as many of the things that my pupils say they enjoy as I could. I do talk very fast but as is often the case, I had far more to say than there was time to share.
As promised you can find my slides below including links to things I mentioned such as the songs and games. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments below. And if you bought a ticket, you can access my presentation (along with many many more!) on catch up. I’m looking forward to doing just that over the next week or so.
I use the LightBulb Languages scheme of work which can be found here
The latest issue (and all past ones!) of Writeaway can be found here The next deadline for submissions is 9th December.
I ran out of time to share about our amazing Erasmus+ project that has certainly been one of the children at WCPS’s favourite things over the last three years. Hopefully one day I’ll get to present a whole session on it (or record one of my own!) but until then, please have a look at the project blog from the point of view of our school here and the whole project blog (which was written by the Greek partners) here.
As I shared earlier this year, bSmall relaunched their Young Language Learner Award this summer after several years break. The award invited young learners to submit a story in a language that they are learning on the theme of ADVENTURE.
I was so excited to be asked to judge the award this year with Catherine from Little Linguist . There were lots of entries, some from individuals and some done in class, in French Spanish and one in German. It was hard to whittle them down to our favourites but we all agreed on the winner and runners up after some discussion!
In reverse order, here are the winners…
If you click on the links you can read enjoy the entries too.
Well done Adam, Alexandra and Juliet! I hope you enjoy your prizes and the glory of winning!
If you want to do it as a class, the teacher can submit entries with a single cover form as long as each story is marked clearly with the child’s name, language being learned and their mother tongue to make judging fair!
On the website there are hints and tips as well as a more detailed explanation of what to do including where to send your entries.
Entries close on Mon 01 August and the winners will be announced on the European Day of Languages, Mon 26 September.
b small will publish the winning entry as a PDF on their website, and the winner will also receive 10 language learning books from b small, with 2nd and 3rd runners up receiving 5 books and 2 books respectively.
On Saturday I was once more at InstitutoVicente Cañada Blanch in London for the annual Talleres de español run by the Consejería de Educacción. It had only been 9 months since I was last there as the 2021 edition was postponed thanks to the C word and I was once more privileged to be asked to speak. More of that later!
The day started with a keynote to get you thinking by Crista Hazell who talked about The Joy of Language Learning.
My tweets at the time summarise the bits I particularly liked:
Following this, I attended a marvellously active and fun session led by Eva Rodríguez Moya entitled «JugaÑol: el poder del juego como herramienta de aprendizaje» during which she shared a number of ideas and techniques that are used in her classroom to enable learners to recall and use Spanish as the language of communication. I loved the energy and pace of the delivery as well as the great ideas, and it was good to see that others use gesture as a key way of embedding vocabulary and structures. I will certainly be using “Hola Año x” with my classes – a simple way to keep the class on their toes. I recommend you check out Eva’s presentation when it’s available!
My presentation was entitled A few of our favourite things and highlighted as many of the things that my pupils say they enjoy as I could fit into my time slot! As is often the case, I had far more to say than there was time to share, and below you can find my slides (minus a couple that can’t be shared which unfortunately means you can’t see the videos of my class retelling El Nabo Enorme or reciting Doña Pito Piturra)
I did manage to share that I see myself not a Spanish teacher but as a languages teacher and that whilst the language in which my pupils should have made ‘substantial progress’ by the end of Y6 is Spanish, I am also teaching them how to be language learners which is just as important if not more so. What i ran out of time to share was the range of things that we do to celebrate languages as well as our amazing Erasmus+ project that is just coming to an end. Perhaps I can share that next time… hint hint 😉 You can see the slides anyway.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. I’d be happy to answer!
Thanks to the rail strike I couldn’t stay for the afternoon sessions but I did enjoy a lovely lunch and a good chat with lots of enthusiastic joyful people. at the end of the day, I shared the tweet below which I feel summed up my experience. Here’s to the rainbow unicorns! 🌈🦄
It’s nearly time for the annual ALL (Association for Language Learning) conference Language World. I first attended Language World in Oxford many many years ago and it’s remained an important date each year ever since.
After a year online in 2021, Language World returns to being face to face this year. Taking place in Sheffield at The Quays Hotel, it promises to be two days of discussion, thought and learning and I for one am really looking forward to it.
This year the theme is Language Learning for Social Justice, and sessions relate to the theme of ensuring that ALL learners have access to high quality language learning opportunities, irrespective of age, gender, socioeconomic (dis)advantage, mother tongue or heritage.
The programme looks really interesting and I’m particularly looking forward to sessions by:
Hannah White 5.1 Use the work you do to support EAL pupils in the Primary Languages classroom to create an inclusive curriculum and improve teaching and learning for EAL pupils throughout your school
Eleanor Chettle Cully 1.3 Isn’t it time we moved beyond ‘diversity’? Practical strategies for decolonising the primary MFL curriculum
Marion Devons 8.2 Don’t take me out! Why children with SEND or EAL should stay in your language lessons and how all children will benefit (I feel passionately about this as you can see here.)
and this really interesting looking session 4.1 Inspiring Young Multilingual Activists through Digital Technology and the Arts
In fact, there are so many session that interest me that it’s quite tricky choosing sometimes!
I’ll be speaking on Friday at 215 about “Literature” 3.4 Using ‘Literature’ to support Primary Language teaching and learning This session will consider what is meant by ‘literature’ before moving on to explore how it can be used in the primary languages classroom as a great way to support language learning. Whether as a way into a topic, to support phonics or prosody, as a sample text to be adapted or as a way to support inclusion and challenge insularity, allowing learners to see themselves in their learning, literature is a powerful tool in our toolbox.
Early in October I took part in the Talleres de español at Instituto Español Vicente Cañada Blanch in Portobello, London. It was quite a treat to attend and participate in a face to face conference, and I thoroughly enjoyed the day in spite of the pouring rain and general exhaustion!
My presentation was entitled Take One Book, considering how one book can be used as the inspiration and impetus for a wide variety of activities in the primary language classroom. You can read a little about it and view my slides in a previous post.
When I was asked to speak, the organisers asked if I would be willing to write up my talk for publication in a special edition of TECLA, the Consejería magazine. I agreed and the magazine has just been published. I am really proud to be part of such a prestigious publication, and hope that it is well received and useful to readers.
Below is the first page and you can download the whole article below that.
Other contributions include an interview with Baroness Coussins, an article on using important artists as the vehicle for Spanish learning, and a report on using MFL projects to build bridges at QKA in Peterborough where 52 languages are spoken by the school community. The full list of articles is below. I’m looking forward to reading through the articles over the holidays when I have time to digest.