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Category: BBC

Mi Madrid

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If you’ve read the Lisibo Ltd page of this site recently, you may have read the following under my activities for 2017:

An exciting project for young learners of Spanish – sworn to secrecy but all will be revealed soon!

Well ‘soon’ has arrived and I’m pleased to tell you all about it!

In July I was asked to join with Afónica  (a sound production company specialising in fiction and documentary in English and Spanish) to write a pitch for an audio programme, aimed at KS2 learners of Spanish (7-11 year olds), to be broadcast by the BBC. In August we discovered that our idea featuring a Spanish boy, Quique and his new friend Charlie who has moved to Madrid from England, had been chosen. And that’s where some really hard work began, writing ten 15 minute episodes in which Quique and Charlie explore Madrid, discussing culture and language as well as visiting some iconic places like the Retiro Park, the Rastro market and the Real Madrid football stadium, and meeting some of their neighbours. Those scripts were then recorded in Madrid by some wonderful actors, some songs were added (wish I could claim that I’d written them as they are brilliant but I’m not that talented!)and Nicolas of Afónica worked his magic, putting it all together. And at 330am (UK time) tonight, episode 1 will be broadcast on Schools Radio. I am so excited; I may even be awake at 330am I’m that excited. However, you don’t need to get up in the middle of the night as each episode will be uploaded to the website and available as soon as it has been broadcast. What’s more, you can listen to the separate ‘chunks’ already by going to the Mi Madrid Schools Radio website and accessing the Clips section The idea is that the broadcasts can be listened to as an entire episode but also in chunks and that they are used to support the teaching of Spanish at KS2, particularly to students who have already learned some Spanish and are now 9-11 years old. The programmes are predominantly in Spanish with some English used to clarify and explain. Charlie asks questions that the students may well be wanting to ask – about Spanish life as well as the Spanish language – and Quique and especially his mum, Sofía, answer them. I tried to include as many quirky facts and interesting words as I could get away with because that was what grabbed my attention as a young learner, and I hope that this comes through as you listen. Here’s the episode schedule so you can see what’s coming up.   I am really proud of this project and hope that lots of teachers and learners enjoy it. I’m also really pleased that Clare Seccombe of Light Bulb Language fame, has written the Teacher’s Notes to accompany the series as I know they will be amazing. They will be available very soon I hope, and will give ideas on how to use the audio as well as notes on what happens in each episode, vocabulary, and some visuals that will support the content. Please let me know if you listen, if you enjoyed it and how you used it. My favourite episode to write was Episode 8 ¡Hala Madrid! although Episode 6 Masterchef  was a close second. I’ll tell you which I think has turned out best when I’ve heard them all but please leave a comment about your favourites too!   SaveSave

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I’m making a list of useful links that parents might use with their children to practice and reinforce their Spanish, and was struck by how many ‘goodies’ there are provided by the BBC. So I thought I’d share! NB I’ve focussed on Spanish but they all come in a variety of languages – see individual sections)

1. The Lingo Show

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/lingo-show/

For younger learners (preschool onwards), The Lingo Show started out as a website featuring ‘language bugs’ who teach Lingo a few words in their language. As it was so popular, it became a TV series with episodes featuring  Jargonaise (French), Wèi (Mandarin) and Queso who teaches Spanish, and then a second series featuring the German, Welsh and Urdu bugs was made and broadcast in May 2013.

The website has fun activities as well as links to songs that feature.  Current languages include Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German, Sinhala, French, Welsh, English, Italian, Urdu.

Here’s an example of a song featuring Queso from Youtube, and the link to a counting song

2. BBC Primary Languages website

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primarylanguages/spanish/

The ‘old’ Primary Languages website with ‘animales animados’ and Jhonny (sic) and co was great (and you can still access the archived version minus games here) but I was really excited to be involved in ‘revamping’ the site and rebranding it. It was developed when languages were to be compulsory and the KS2 Framework was THE bible of primary language learning, but it still stands in my opinion. This site was written to be accessible to KS2 pupils and is organized in topics. It includes:

  • vocabulary with sound files to help pronunciation;
  • interesting tips and facts about Spanish/French/Mandarin;
  • vocabulary games;
  • videos;
  • songs;
  • links to other helpful resources

There were limitations to the things that could be done e.g. interactivity, ‘free’ writing, games beyond vocabulary recognition level  etc. And I sometimes wonder what happened to other ideas and resources that I saw and wrote that have never appeared on the site – including sentence building games, lesson plans. worksheets  and notes for parents.

I’ve used the site with Y2 recently and they love the songs – they listen as they work and have started singing along. Sometimes they want to see the words and other times they want to watch without. The tunes are excellent – the composer did a good job of making the words fit in English Spanish French and Mandarin to the same tune!

I’ve signposted it to my colleagues as well as a way that they can ‘do their bit’ to reinforce Spanish learning; non-threatening as it’s all there for them.

3. Bitesize (now the home of Learning Zone)

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The ‘repository’ of all the BBC videos used to be the Learning Zone Class clips, but they have moved to Bitesize (actually since I started writing this post!) The Learning Zone is still there in archive form and still works; it just won’t be updated. If you scroll down to Spanish in the Primary section, there are lots of clips of programmes on a variety of subjects:

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However, these videos – and others – are now listed on BBC Bitesize. There are categories for Spanish according to the ‘Key Stage’ system:

KS1 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zhyb4wx

KS2 Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zxsvr82 

but also for Scotland.

second level (9-12 year olds) Spanish http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z72mn39 

(NB there are other languages too  in all the above sections! French, German, Italian, Mandarin)

These two clips come under KS2 School and are from a series called Adventures Abroad; a playground game called Abuelita ¿Qué hora es? that I’ve played with classes, and a programme about primary school routine in Spain that I know has been used and enjoyed by others who found Papo the parrot particularly amusing.

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The Stories poems and songs section is particularly interesting as it includes lots of traditional tales such as The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The Sun and the Wind and Frau Holle as well as traditional songs like Old Macdonald and new ones like this one about Don Quijote!

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And that brings me on to…

4. Virtually there

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03yzd0d/clips

This is a series of programmes in which a child, Ashleigh, is helped with her Spanish by friends in Spain via video conferencing. It also includes some songs and cultural information. (Also in French and German)

Here’s the trailer…

and here are the episodes:

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Something I’ve noticed is that the clips all have a QR code option for sharing which I like! That means that I can make a display of all the QR codes and then learners can access them whenever they wish (as long as they have an iPad or mobile device!); for example, as an extension/further learning for early finishers.

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I really like Virtually there. Ashleigh isn’t a KS1 child; I’d say she’s nearly secondary age so it would appeal to older KS2 learners and also KS3 beginners. I also like the mix of ‘live’ episodes and songs; the gender song is one of my favourites.

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So, there’s a round up of BBC online ‘stuff’ for primary learners. Hope it’s helpful!

Fasten your bug-belts for some exciting news!

Starting on Monday 12th every weekday on CBeebies at 09.35 and repeated at 13.35 is…..

You may have already discovered Lingo and his multi-lingual bug friends on the CBeebies website – I know that he has been a hit with more than one family that I know! Lingo ‘the ultimate show bug’ is putting on a show and  and his performing bug friends help him prepare, teaching him some words in their language on the way, ready  for the ‘Big Bug Show’.

Well, after lots of planning, and auditioning of bugs, Wei the Chinese bug, Jargonaise the French bug and Queso the Spanish bug will all be starring in their own week of programmes on CBeebies.

The schedule is as follows –

Week 1: Chinese
Mon 12th – Ep 1: “Chop Chop”
Tues 13th – Ep 2: “Wei’s Giant Jump”
Wed 14th – Ep 3: “Cannonbug”
Thur 15th – Ep 4: “Wei Up High”
Fri 16th     – Ep 5: “Wei’s Buggy Best 3”

Week 2: French
Mon 19th – Ep 6: “Can-Can’t”
Tues 20th – Ep 7: “Trapeasy Rider”
Weds 21st – Ep 8: “Balancing Bug”
Thurs 22nd – Ep 9: “The Limbo Show”
Fri 23rd       – Ep 10: “Jargonaise’s Buggy Best 3”

Week 3: Spanish
Mon 26th – Ep 11: “Questanets”
Tues 27th – Ep 12: “Queso The Clown”
Weds 28th – Ep 13 “Ice Cream Queso”
Thurs 29th – Ep 14: “Strong Bug”
Fri 30th      – Ep 15: “Queso’s Buggy Best 3”

I’m especially excited as I have been involved with Lingo since the beginning of the process, firstly with the website and then with the programmes and, whilst my contribution was one of many and possibly quite small, it’s good to see the fruits of one’s efforts!

Make sure you tune in for fun, laughter and language learning at 09.35 on Monday. And if you can’t watch it then, record it or find it on iPlayer.

I’ve just found this lovely clip on BBC Learning Zone yesterday. Funny and good for daily routine in Spanish. There are also Not now Farley episodes for weather, pets, food and clothes. And they’re also available in French and Mandarin!

I’m a WebFox!

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Yesterday I took a Web Behaviour Test as part of BBC’s The Virtual Revolution – investigating how 20 years of the web has changed our lives.

I was asked questions about my Internet useage, how much time I spent online and doing what, how much ‘multi tasking’ I did and my response to a number of statements.
Would I be a bear, an elephant, an octopus, a hedgehog, a fox, an elk, a leopard or an ostrich?
My result is below – not a bad appraisal. Why not take the test and see which animal you are!

If you like to know what this quiz is hoping to achieve, check out what the scientists say.

Thanks to the BBC Mundo site for this multilingual greetings clip.

Un saludo diferente. La BBC celebra la llegada del 2010 en todas las lenguas en que su Servicio Mundial transmite programas de radio y publica páginas web.

El siguiente es el orden en que aparecen en el video: inglés, persa, uzbeko, swahili, ucraniano, birmano, ruso, bengalí, dari, árabe, portugués, mandarín, francés, cingalés, pashtún, azeri, serbio, hindi, indonesio, nepalí, kirundi, vietnamita, macedonia, somalí, tamil, kirguís, urdu, albanés, turco, cantonés, hausa y español.


I’m helping the producers of the BBC schools website a bit this week, giving them some suggestions about their Primary French and Spanish pages.

If you haven’t seen them, there are animated characters to help you speak the language, games to practice the vocabulary in each section, and some interesting fact files about the countries, traditions, festivals etc. The sites are quite different in layout and content. for examples, the French site has two sections, 1 and 2 and is hosted by Roller. The Spanish site looks more minimal at first glance but has some interesting sections, not just on vocabulary.
Have a look and let me know what you think –
Which do you prefer?
Do you like the site(s)?
What is your favourite bit?
Wat doesn’t work for you?
What would you like added?
what would be most helpful to you?
which resources are most appealing to you – games, activities, worksheets, quizzes, songs, factfiles, sound files, flashcards, grammar notes, video clips, world language clips??
Leave a comment below or tweet me @lisibo or contact me directly via my email.
Don;t miss your chance – if you dont ask, you don’t get!


Sadly not as a Blue Peter presenter, but I have recently been involved in some work for the BBC World Class site.

As their website says –
BBC World Class is an initiative bringing the benefits of international school linking to schools across the UK.
World Class also encourages children and schools to get their stories on air and on line across the BBC.

Thanks to a recommendation from Liz Hitchcock of the British Council, I was asked to work with BBC World Class to come up with some resources to link a reading by Michael Morpurgo of his book, This morning I met a whale, to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit via a ‘Share a story’ activity. The idea was that two (or more) partner schools read the book and complete some activities that they can share with one another.

You can download a PDF of the activities and enjoy the beautiful pictures of the Thames and the whale.
I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Morpurgo’s beautifully written story, based on real events in January 2006 when a 15 ft northern bottle nosed whale was found swimming past the Houses of Parliament before getting stranded at Battersea Bridge and sadly dying before it could be returned to open water. In the story, the whale comes with a message for the children (because adults are hard hearted) to pass on the message that we need to look after the planet. A simple story with a powerful message.
Even if you haven’t got a partner school or even a class with whom to do the activities, I’d recommend the book as a good (very quick) read – for children and adults alike. And if you use the activities, well, let me know what you think. They’re not all my work – I just gave ideas, some of which haven’t been used – but I’m obviously interested in views as they have my name on them!!
Perhaps Blue Peter might come calling next…..

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