active learning – Page 2 – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: active learning

I normally make Slideshares of my presentations and add the audio for Slidecasts.

However, the lovely @eyebeams was UStreaming the MFL Show and Tell from Nottingham today so I’m able to embed the video of my presentation!

Hope you find it useful.  Although my pupils are primary aged and some of the ideas are very ‘primary centric’, I think that there are many things that secondary colleagues can take and adapt to their situations.  teh fun doesn’t have to stop at the end of KS2, you know ;o)

Today sees the beginning of another wonderful offering from Radio Lingua Network as episode 1 of NewsTime Spanish is launched.

Made by a highly talented trio – Mark ‘Mr RadioLingua’ Pentleton, José ‘just say Edmodo and I melt’ Picardo and Chris ‘where’s it to?’ Fuller, this weekly podcast keeps you up to date with news from Spain and Hispanic countries.

In this week’s edition of News Time Spanish we’ll be looking at the major financial reform in Spain as a result of the ongoing issues around Europe. Other stories include:

  • UK elections news
  • Spanish sporting successes
  • Mexican/US immigration issues
  • Health problems in Spain

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and listen for free, whilst a Premium pass will allow you access to transcripts, exercises and a slower version of the audio.

Japanese warm up!

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Primary language learning isn’t restricted to learning one language.

My pupils may learn Spanish, but they are also exposed to other languages in their lessons. Whether it’s for interest, comparison, to celebrate the languages spoken by pupils at our school or just for fun, those opportunities are welcome and add to their language learning experience.
Youtube recommended the following clip to me and I love it! In 90 seconds, I’ve learned half a dozen useful phrases in Japanese and am warmed up and ready to boogie with my kids who this weekend have discovered punk!!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-vPmoyoSgs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1]

Don’t stop movin

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Not a post about S Club 7 (athough I will say that my boys are big fans of Hannah who’s in Primeval now!) but about something that was reinforced in my mind last night.

The Assistant Head at school had been asked to run part of the PDM on EAL (English as an additional language) and to give some brief ideas on how to make life easier for EAL pupils at school. We don’t have many but it is an important issue – and one that is relevant in general too! On a recent course she had attended, the presenter had taught them some Welsh to put the delegates in the position of an EAL learner, and Jan had asked me to emulate this – her exact request was ‘you know an oscure Spanish dialect don’t you? Could you teach us some?’ Not sure how the Catalans would respond to hearing Catalan described as such but I took the challenge.

The idea was to teach numbers 1-12 and then do some basic maths but without using visual prompts like fingers, cards, notes, actions or mimes until about half way through the session. Thus the staff were put in the place of a learner who is capable to doing the task – all our staff can add and subtract numbers up to 12!- but don’t have the vocabulary to understand the task.

What struck me was how hard I found it to teach without using actions – I literally had to put my hands in my pockets or hold them together to stop myself gesturing. I found it really uncomfortable to see the looks on my colleagues’ faces as they tried to work out what I wanted them to do – and I think I caved in quicker than I should have done. My style is very much waving my arms around, pointing, miming and using any clue I can to enable the pupils to understand.

When asked how they’d felt, it was obvious that the exercise had hit the mark as the staff immediately pinpointed the difficulty of understanding the task being the biggest stumbling block, and how much easier it had been once actions had been introduced, or the list of numbers being written on the wall. One colleague said that she’d given up trying after a few minutes as she was so baffled; another that she’d felt so inadequate and small as others had caught on more quickly than her, and almost humiliated (once she’d understood it) by the simplicity of the task that she’d been unable to do.

So, despite my discomfort at teaching in a way that is alien to me, I think the exercise served to underline just how important gesture and mime are in enabling understanding.

We played a game from Digital Dialects as part of my mini-lesson. Well worth a look if you want to learn – or even just look at – some basics in a wide range of different languages!


Great excitement last week when a parcel arrived from Devon, with a courtesy slip from Devon Education Services.

Our copy of TAKE TEN EN ESPAÑOL has arrived!

As you may recall, I was asked to help out along with some of the pupils at Whitehouse Common Primary School where I teach. The kids have been eagerly awaiting the finished product and are very excited to see how it’s all turned out.

As the blurb on the DES site says ..

Take 10 en espanol is a resource that helps primary school children practise their Spanish in a fun way whilst taking part in short tasks of daily physical activity. In doing so it brings together two major educational initiatives and offers the potential to significantly improve children’s learning potential. A follow up to Take 10 en francais, Take 10 en espanol has all the features plus extra dance section with Salsa and Flamenco.

I’ll be using a song from it with Year3 on Thursday – San Fermin. Happens to fit the topic we’re doing – and serendiptously, it’s one of the ones that WCPS dance on the video!

If you want to get a copy, check out the DES site! You can buy just the book , just the CD/DVD or the whole pack (which is what I would do!)


I was very privileged to be invited to present this year at the Primary Languages Show in Liverpool, not once but twice!

I promised at my two sessions that I would post my notes and resources on my blog for people to download and use.

So here’s my first presentation. If you download it, the hyperlinks all work – or did when I tried them. However, if they don’t, remember that I have bookmarked all the sites to which I referred (and more) on Delicious tagged PLS09 – http://delicious.com/lisibo/pls09

The Powerpoints I used are also below –

I have blogged this unit previously here and you will find my worksheets, the SoW and more ideas here and a fuller description of how we animated our animals here.

A couple of things I mentioned but didn’t put in the presentation – the masks were downloaded from Sparklebox and the animation was done using FramebyFrame on my Macbook. You can also use SMAnimator (free to download on a PC) or ICanAnimate (for PC or Mac costs about £40)

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!


For the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent my lunchtimes getting rather hot and bothered rehearsing three dance routines in Spanish with a group of Key Stage 2 pupils at WCPS in preparation for an excting challenge.

Following on from the success of Take Ten en français,(see Jo Rhys-Jones’ blog post for more details) Devon Education Services is developing Take Ten en español, and we were asked to take part. I know – Sutton Coldfield is miles from Devon but it all happened after an ‘on the hoof’ chat with Chris Wakeley at Primary Languages Show last year when Jo Rhys-Jones volunteered my services!

Take Ten is ‘a fantastic little resource from Devon Education Services. It’s a handy pocket-sized book full of games and activities that can be used as PE warm-ups or more sedately in the classroom as Brain-gym exercises.’ The English translation is alongside the Spanish and it links languages and physical activities, neatly addressing two initiatives at once!

So, along with five Devon schools, at the start of term we received a DVD and CD with our three dances. When I asked in assembly for volunteers, half of Key Stage 2 wanted to join in – then they saw the dances and quite a few dropped out. Having said that, there were 36 stalwarts and it was SOOO hard to choose the final team of 10 – but choose I did and this morning, the big day arrived!

Tracy Adams and Simon the cameraman arrived from Devon and we set to work dancing our socks off, resplendent in our Take Ten T-shirts. I’m just glad that I was dancing behind the camera as I was getting rather tired by the end – and I am quite fit! The kids did so well that filming was completed in record time – even with chocolate biscuit and juice breaks! In fact, the kids were rather disappointed that they’d finished so we had a bit of a muck around – see our videos!

We can’t wait for the final product to be published so we can see what it looks like. but until then, we have our Take Ten en español T-shirt and photographs to remind us of the day!
As soon as it’s available, I’ll let you know as it’s a really good resource and well worth buying for your schools.

Lingus.tv

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Karen aka Spanishblog has, for the second time in a week, pointed me in the direction of an interesting Spanish resource – this time, Lingus.tv.

Based in Barcelona, Lingus.tv uses its own situation comedy ‘5 y acción’ to teach useful phrases through short – and usually rather amusing – episodes featuring Paco, Sandro, Eva, Michael and Agatha. There are three different levels offered – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced – with titles like ¿Dónde está mi bikini? (where’s my bikini?), Mi primer novio (my first boyfriend)and Espiando a Agatha (spying on Agatha).

I’ve watched several of the episodes, and a key feature seems to be the quirky ending or sting in the tail. See the latest example.

Each clip has subtitles in Spanish.
On the site there is a transcript of the dialogue.
At the click of a button, the dialogue is translated into English.
There are grammar notes pertinent to the episode, with an audio recording of the phrase / expression in question.
The clips are searchable by topic, objective and skill, as well as level.

The site offers advice on how to use the videos and also has a blog – the latest post talks about the benefits of second language acquistion.

I think it’s a good way of making a good start at learning some phrases at the same time as being entertained. I particularly like the use of more colloquial (and sometimes colourful!) language that can be missed in some other learning tools. Looking forward to seeing more episodes!! I’ll leave you with another episode – this one’s for beginners.

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