BritishCouncil – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: BritishCouncil

Speaking a language confidently and coherently is an important part of the curriculum in the United Kingdom. However, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that many pupils have had fewer opportunities to speak the languages they are learning.  Therefore, the Association for Language Learning, the British Council and the cultural and linguistic bodies in the United Kingdom have combined efforts to devise an exciting event entitled ‘Express Yourself in Lockdown’.

This will be an opportunity to showcase language learners’ enjoyment of a language that they are learning or that is normally used in their home community from home (except for English*!). 

Language learners can prepare:

  • A short poem in the target language (written by themselves or by another author)
  • A short presentation on any theme e.g. climate change, equality, why I love languages
  • A short sketch
  • A short dialogue

This can be a solo or joint performance but should be no longer than 90 seconds in total and should be recorded in landscape mode. The participants will record themselves delivering their performance, however participants who are under-16 should use either PowerPoint slides/Bitmoji/other pictures or video imagery rather than showing their faces.

Teachers can then upload the performances to a teacher or school Twitter, Instagram or YouTube account with the hashtag #CelebrateSpeaking and the language chosen (e.g. #French) by 28 February 2021. [*If your pupil speaks EAL, they may enter in English BUT you must add #EAL so it’s clear!] Don’t forget to tag @Schools_British  on Twitter or @BritishCouncil  on Instagram when sharing your entry.

You can find out more about the initiative (including helpful tips!) here http://bit.ly/36lnGYz

Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com

At one of my schools, I spent the lesson before the half term break focusing on a poem written by Clare Seccombe from her brilliant new resource Poesía. As well as working on the meaning and using them to further the children’s understanding, I also invited children to read along with me as I read, and then, if they wished, to record it and submit it as part of their Teams Assignment for that week. We’ll see how many I receive!

One young lady at my other school decided to record her rewritten version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar 🐛 – El Monstruo Muy Hambriento – and agreed for me to share it. You can see and hear it below. I was gobsmacked at her accent given that we have been learning remotely since Christmas and she has had no live lessons, just a couple of videos of me reading La Oruga Muy Hambrienta.

Over the next few days I’ll be sharing some other poems that you might use for the challenge. Don’t forget, adults can join in too!

image shows 5 coloured people icons standing behind a clipboard with the word survey on it and a green tick.

Last night I attended a webinar hosted by ALL London with the British Council to launch the Language Trends survey for 2021.

Language Trends is a yearly report that discusses the state of language learning in England and is written by Ian Collen of Queens University, Belfast. It’s a really important report on language learning at primary and secondary level in England that is published and read at high level by government and policy makers. The more responses they get, the better the picture of language learning across the country as it is informed by the results of a survey sent to schools.

British Council written in dark blue capital letters to the right of four turquoise dots in a square.

The Language Trends survey 2021 is being emailed to schools this week. It’ll be sent to the public email of your school – often the HT or enquiry@ Last year, it was notable that the responses tended to come from schools in more ‘affluent’ areas statistics wise (eg lower than average FSM) so it would be good to have a wider breadth of data this time. Ian Collen, the author of the report, wants to hear all about what’s going on in primary schools. One of last year’s finding was that “Primary Languages are embedded in policy but not in practice.” Therefore, if you ARE putting policy into practice, this is an opportunity to share all the wonderful things that are going on.

If you are asked to fill it in, please do! If you aren’t, email the Head and ask them to do it, or offer to do it for them! It’ll take you about 15 minutes. The deadline is 29th January which is very soon!!

If you’d like to read last year’s report, you can find it (and other research into language learning in the UK) on the British Council website Language Trends 2020 or it’s below in PDF,

Yesterday I visited London in my role as a British Council Schools Ambassador to meet up with other ambassadors, reflect on last year and look to the future.

Throughout the day I sketchnoted the sessions, a variety of presentations giving information and sharing of international projects carried out in schools, clusters and organisations. Below are the results; I did tweet as I went along, but decided to retake the photos as they had shadows on them!

It was an interesting and inspiring day, and I hope that the notes give you a taste of the day, and what a wonderful thing international work is!

Opening session – Welcome and Marketing Update
How to influence and approach senior stakeholders? How can ALL groups and areas be reached by the message of internationalism and the SDGs?
Let’s support each other with great international teaching and learning. A global learning journey.
How can we continue being global educators and create global citizens in the 2020s? A rallying call to speak up, get even and build a better world!

I spent this past weekend in Nottingham at the 12th eTwinning UK National Conference held at The DeVere Jubilee Conference Centre – always the NCSL to me though! The name of the venue might have changed but the sense of community, fun and learning never varies, and once more I came away inspired, energised and still laughing at onions, pants and Bollywood Maori dance moves.

The theme this year was inclusion and below are my sketchnotes from the sessions I attended. Lots to reflect on and many ideas forming already.

If you want to find out more about eTwinning or any of the other British Council programmes including the International School Award or ISA, feel free to ask questions using the comments below or the contact form. I am a British Council Ambassador and would love to help!

Professor Sonia Blandford – Achievement for All

 

An interesting session on Lyfta, a Finnish designed VR and AR resource to facilitate global awareness and empathy.

 

Manju Patel-Nair – Diversity in the global classroom; beyond the single story

 

Andy Cope – The Art of Being Briliiant
Amazingly motivating session – being a #2%er in my special pants.

 

Jo Speak talks passionately about Inclusive Pedagogies

 

Paddy Carroll shares about The F word – failure, and how his project worked on developing resilience through learning from failure.

 

Joe Dale shares how to use Clips by Apple as well as Autodraw (a web tool) and a number of other apps.

Walking the walk as well as talking the talk, I’ve tidied up my sketch notes from Nottingham and the National eTwinning Conference, added references that I needed to look up and completed quotations that I’d not managed to finish.

They’re presented below in chronological order. I hope that they give you a taste of the weekend’s sessions if not the atmosphere of communication, collaboration and celebration of all things eTwinning. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I’ll try and answer them!

Opening thoughts from Susan Linklater and the NSS

Opening thoughts from Susan Linklater and the NSS.

 

Keynote by Rohan Guntillake about digital wellbeing, and the connection between mindfulness and technology.

Keynote by Rohan Guntillake about digital wellbeing, and the connection between mindfulness and technology.

 

Drew Buddie talked about how you might use Microbits in the curriculum and in projects.

Drew Buddie talked about how you might use Microbits in the curriculum and in projects.

 

Participants in a recent PDW reflect on their experiences.

Participants in a recent PDW reflect on their experiences.

 

eTwinning, digital literacy and beyond - a presentation by José Mour Carvalho about society, technology and the need for awareness to lead to action.

eTwinning, digital literacy and beyond – a presentation by José Mour Carvalho about society, technology and the need for awareness to lead to action.

 

Ray Chambers talks about Minecraft in education; lots of ideas of how Minecraft can be used in curricular projects.

Ray Chambers talks about Minecraft in education; lots of ideas of how Minecraft can be used in curricular projects.

 

Joe Dale's session on Green screening - very practical but tried hard to take notes too ;)

Joe Dale’s session on Green screening – very practical but tried hard to take notes too 😉

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by InkyEllieC www.inkythinking.com

This weekend I’ve been in Nottingham at the NCL (I think that’s what it’s now called!) for the National eTwinning Conference. “Interesting” given the events on Friday but also good timing as I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather have been at such a time, reaffirming the joy and value of collaboration.

After several requests following fascination with my sketchnoting at last year’s conference, I volunteered to lead a seminar on sketch noting, thus completing my busy week with a third presentation. You can see a very similar presentation on my Slideshare channel here. I also sketchnoted as many sessions as I could, trying not to be intimidated by the wonderful @inkythinking InkyEllieC from inkythinking.com who was provided ‘real time graphic animation’ of the event.

I’ll post my sketchnotes as soon as I’ve had time to tidy them up (not a spare moment all weekend!) as well as my reflections on the event. A hint: I had a great time!

eTwinning Ambassadors from across the UK met together at NCL in Nottingham to find out what’s new in eTwinning, share ideas and plan for the future. It was great to see so many old and new friends, and meet up with LiPS ladies, Erzsi, Vikki and Fátima as well as other language mates like Helena and Aurelie.

Although I felt very rough the whole time (illness not alcohol induced!) I managed to sketch note the presentations. You can find them below.

If you’re interested in eTwinning or any of the other British Council programmes, feel free to contact me via the contact form or check out Schools Online

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Susan Linklater shared the work plan and priorities for eTwinning (have to admit that the stats made my head hurt so I missed most of them...)

Susan Linklater shared the work plan and priorities for eTwinning (have to admit that the stats made my head hurt so I missed most of them…)

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Gary Sheills (Mr Stats!) presented on eTwining Live, the new eTwinning portal aided by Kevin McCabe.

 

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John Rolfe updated us on British Council news and priorities for 2015-16

 

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Helena Butterfield shared how to use Webex to present eTwinning Webinars

 

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George and Lesley gave ideas on how to engage school leaders and enthuse them with eTwinning.

 

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Nick and Anne facilitated a session about the Ambassador’s Handbook

 

british-council-logo-2-color-2-page-001-hrAn exciting opportunity for anyone whose primary school teaches Spanish.

If you’re interested, please respond to Vicky Gough at the address below.

 Support for Spanish in your primary school!

The British Council has lots of positive experience in delivering language lessons to pupils remotely. We are planning to pilot a programme that would enable schools to have a native speaker teacher live from one of our teaching centres in Argentina for one or two sessions a week to support the school in the teaching of Spanish.

For this pilot we are looking for two or three primary schools, preferably at different stages in their development of languages at primary level, to help us develop this offer for schools in the UK. This is likely to involve one or two weekly sessions for a 5 or 6 week period in the Spring term.

If you are interested and can meet the requirements below, please send an email to vicky.gough@britishcouncil.org by December 14, giving details about how Spanish is taught in your school.

Technical requirements:
· Videoconferencing equipment which works on H323 or SIP protocol and can connect with external equipment via a SIP or public IP address
· Videoconferencing equipment must be connected to a projector or display that is big enough for the whole class to see
· 2MB dedicated upload/download speed, preferably on a fibre optic dedicated connection

Other requirements
· Support of the Head teacher
· A teacher who can be present in the classroom during sessions (either a Spanish teacher or the class teacher)
· Spanish teacher/class teacher to be available for a 20-minute weekly coordination meeting outside the regular session/s
· A school representative to attend a planning meeting at the start of the pilot and an evaluation meeting at the close

Evernote Snapshot 20151016 104158My session at the wonderful Practical Pedagogies conference centred around the use of technology to enhance Primary Language Learning.

Key points I made included:

  • technology is not  just for the pupils but also for the teacher;
  • it is just one tool we have to use;
  • it is not always the best tool for the job.

I went on to suggest online tools as well as apps that might be useful in a range of contexts and situations.

My presentation is below and there is wiki with links to tutorials, examples and ideas that accompanies it. Feel free to ask questions via the contact form or @lisibo on Twitter.

And thanks to Marisa for sharing her notes (and photographs!) here.

If you’ve read the July edition of UKEDmagazine you may have read my article entitled Top ten tips for Primary Language Learning. If you haven’t, you can read the unedited version below or the official version at this link

Top ten tips for Primary Language Learning

A wide variety of people teach languages in Primary schools, probably more than in any other ‘subject’. Whether you’re a class teacher with or without language skills, a reluctant language coordinator or a visiting language specialist (to name but a few possibilities) here are my top ten tips for primary language teaching and learning.

  1. Phonics are vital

It doesn’t matter which language you teach, making the correct sounds of that language is key. Working on phonics from the start builds a strong foundation on which learners can build, enabling them to see new words and say them accurately. Have a look at Rachel Hawkes’ website where there are links to free resources covering French Spanish German and Italian. http://www.rachelhawkes.com/Resources/Phonics/Phonics.php

 

  1. Songs and rhymes motivate and teach

A good way to increase confidence in reading and speaking the language is by sharing songs, poems and rhymes. This is also a good way to reinforce phonic knowledge and explore the rhythms of the language. Mama Lisa has songs and rhymes in many languages, often with a sound file giving the correct pronunciation and a translation into English so you know what you’re saying! There are also many songs and rhymes on Youtube on channels such as Basho and Friends or by searching for the artist such as Alain le lait

 

  1. Dramatic stories

Using stories – in translation or original language – is another great tool for language learning as they are familiar and often very repetitive. My favourites include Oso pardo, ¿qué ves?, Le navet enorme and Kleiner weisser Fisch as they lend themselves to acting out (even Y6 like acting!) and are easy for learners to adapt into their own stories. For example, Y5 invented stories based on Le navet enorme that included a child who didn’t want to get in the bath and had to be pulled to the bathroom, a teacher stuck in the PE cupboard and a car that broke down and needed to be pushed.

 

  1. Technology has its place

There are many opportunities for using technology to enhance language learning such as recording, reviewing and refining speaking activities using Audacity or an app like VoiceRecordPro, or performing speeches and role plays using Tellagami, YakitKids, or Puppet Pals.  BookCreator app is an excellent tool for creating multimedia books including text, sound, video, hyperlinks, doodles and pictures; incredibly easy to use and suitable for young children as well as those who are less confident with technology. And why not use Build Your Wildself or Switchzoo to create hybrid animals then describe them in the language.

 

  1. Share!

Using technology is also a great way to enable sharing of the great things that go on in language learning. Whether it is via the school website or VLE, tweeted or shared on a class/school blog, celebrating language learning gives it status and also provides an audience and a purpose for learning. Additionally, learners are able to take their learning home with them digitally; the excitement of pupils when we made our first podcast nine or ten years ago was great. “I’m on my Gran’s iPod!” was my favourite comment.

 

  1. Use anything you can get your hands on

The primary classroom is full of things that can be used and adapted for language learning. Number fans are great for counting and also giving feedback with numbered images for example. Mini whiteboards allow learners to write and correct without committing it to paper as well as drawing images to show understanding of vocabulary or instructions. Unifix cubes can be used for ordering ideas or vocabulary and cushions make great impromptu puppets for speaking or islands for phoneme sorting!

 

  1. Grammar isn’t a dirty word

Primary learners are very familiar with grammatical terms and enjoy comparing the grammar of other languages, making links and finding differences. Sorting words into boxes according to gender, making human sentences to explore word order and creating verb flowers or spiders are just some ways of making grammar fun and memorable.

 

  1. Integrate language learning into the curriculum

Language learning shouldn’t be seen as a standalone but, as much as possible, integrated into the primary curriculum. As there is no prescribed content in the KS2 PoS, it’s possible to teach the skills through whatever topic if you use a little imagination. And where full integration is tricky or where a specialist delivers the lesson, a class teacher can always build language into routines such as PE warmups, lining up, the register and so on, even if their knowledge of the language is limited.

 

  1. Make links

Don’t just make cross curricular links, but also cross country and cross cultural links. Making contact with children that speak the language you’re learning is very motivating and gives a real purpose to learning. It also increases learners’ understanding of other cultures as well as considering their own in new ways. The British Council SchoolsOnline is a good place to start the search for partners.

 

  1. Celebrate all languages

Most of all, celebrate all languages. Many learners already speak more than one language which is a valuable skill. Encourage them to share how to say things in their languages; comparing and contrasting numbers or colours in a variety of languages is a fun activity as learners try to group similar words together.

This article first appeared in the July 2015 Edition of UKEdMagazine

If you’d like to read more of the magazine that includes other articles about language learning including one of target language by @reebekwylie and Progress in MFL by @jakehuntonMFL the links are below.

You can buy a printed copy of the magazine by clicking here, or

Freely read online by clicking Here

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