In November I had the unexpected pleasure of speaking at PHOrum, an online twilight for Primary language teachers run by Sue Cave and Association for Language Learning (ALL) . PHOrum stands for Primary Hubs Online and is a response to maintaining community of support and development for primary languages in the current climate. The inaugural meeting had sessions by Steven Fawkes, Eleanor Chettle Cully and me! You can read about my part of it here.
The Spring meeting is fast approaching on February 25th 16:00-17:30 via Zoom. Along with a ‘roadshow’ of updates and information from Steven Fawkes, there will be two further presentations:
Language acquisition and development in a primary language lesson Carlota will share the process of acquisition of a language and ideas to carry on in a lesson. How to start with vocabulary and simple structures and develop skills to understand a text , comprehension questions, classroom language and be able to follow basic communication, at the same time, make the learners feel that they are being challenged and are successful in their task. Language in Primary should be real and useful. The examples will be in Spanish but applicable to other languages. Carlota Cámara Suarez is Subject Development Lead and Spanish Teacher at Gladstone Primary Academy and Thomas Deacon Juniors
Memory methods in KS2 MFL Kirsty will talk about how gestures, memory tags, routines and songs can help motivate primary language learners and improve their retention of vocabulary and phonics. Kirsty will relate this to her teaching in y3-6 giving practical examples of action songs and vocabulary learning methods that can be applied to a variety of topics in the primary classroom. She will touch on her experience of teaching EAL pupils and what motivates them to learn. Kirsty Williams is Lead Teacher for EAL and Primary MFL at Castle Newnham School, Bedford and runs the local ALL Primary Hub. She has taught French for over 15 years in KS2, KS3 and KS4.
Both sound very interesting and I’m hoping that the staff meeting at school that week is on Tuesday not Thursday!
At this time of year, I’m normally gearing up for my annual ‘weekend away’ at Language World. It’s taken me to York, Lancaster, Leicester, Rugby, Nottingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester, Loughborough and of course, Oxford where Language World and I first ‘met.’ This year, things are a little different as I won’t physically be going anywhere as the conference is coming to me in my home via the wonders of video conferencing. And it can come to you too if you sign up!
As the blurb on their site says: “Schools are currently exploring how they can offer rich, exciting education for all their pupils. Ofsted encourages schools to make positive decisions to preserve or develop richness of experience along with breadth and depth of curriculum – for example, giving pupils the opportunity to learn a number of foreign languages and arts subjects, recognising local ambitions. We look forward to sharing ideas and best practice from among our languages community about these kinds of curricular aspects, and about learning that goes deeper into content, motivates learners of Languages, culture and communication, and is broader than the exam specifications.”
Keynote speakers this year include:
President of ALL (2020-22), Kim Bower;
Dr. Michael Wardle, Language Lead for OFSTED;
international expert on CLIL and Professor of Languages Education and Classroom Learning at university of Edinburgh, Professor Do Coyle
Professor of Applied Linguistics at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, Professor Li Wei
Im particularly looking forward to hearing from Professor Li Wei on Friday talking about Multilingualism, Language Learning and Social Cognition and then from Jane Driver on Saturday talking about Using CLIL and MFL strategies to maximise the curriculum for EAL learners.
And then there are the talks and presentations from which you can choose. Each session is 30 minutes long with a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions. Easier for concentration but challenging when you’re planning a session and always have too much for 45 minutes…
Some sessions that caught my eye as a primary languages practitioner include:
Promoting intercultural understanding through cross curricular and extra-curricular activities in the primary classroom – lots of practical ideas led by Bernadette Clinton and Raquel Tola Rego
A recipe for success! Creating a bespoke scheme of work – Clare Seccombe
Engaging, enriching, inclusive: ensuring a primary MFL curriculum which delivers for SEND pupils – Eleanor Chettle Cully
Celebrate your bilingual learners and promote linguistic diversity in your school with an International Mother Tongue Day project – Hannah White
As usual, I have a problem! The first two are at the same time as each other AND I’m speaking at the same time! And the second two are also concurrent. I’m hoping that with the online nature of the conference we might be able to catch up… but I’m not sure so don’t quote me on it!
Other sessions I’m looking forward to:
What does an anti-racist, decolonised MFL curriculum look like?
Embedding languages into the curriculum: practical examples from Scotland and Wales
Teaching Phonics – Mapping, Method and Moving on
Another innovation this year is that some 30 minute slots split into 3 mini talks and I’m looking forward to many of those too including Dr Judith Rifeser talking about Nurturing intercultural understanding and celebrating pupils’ diverse and multilingual voices through creative projects, Bryn Llewellyn sharing Learning Languages on the Move – Developing Language Vocabulary using Physically Active Learning Approaches, Helen Stokes talking about Making connections between languages with translation skills: for easier transition between KS2 and 3 and How MFL teaching can boost whole school literacy led by Clare Caio.
So much that it’s hard to choose! You might even want to ‘attend’ my session entitled Take One Book in which I’ll explore how to make full use of a storybook (a different one from the one I shared at PHOrum!) You can find further details on the Language World 2021 website and the programme can be found here.
I am very much looking forward to a new experience and whilst I’d rather we were meeting together as usual, I’m excited for the new format and will still be wearing LiPS themed clothing and sketchnoting!
Find out about my experiences at previous Language Worlds by following the links below!
As mentioned in an earlier post, I was asked to speak at The Language Show which this year went online and was delivered via Zoom. Below is my presentation and brief notes on what I talked about.
Thank you to all those who saw it ‘live’ for being there – even if I couldn’t see your faces which I found quite disconcerting – and for your questions and comments. I saved the chat and enjoyed reading back your comments. Any questions that were in the chat and not put into the Q&A tab so therefore went unanswered, I’ll answer below.
If you want to see me delivering it live, you can view the recording of the session for the next month (so until mid December 2020 I would think) via the Language Show website and clicking on my name (see below)
Below are links to resources, reading and things on which I commented/shared as there are lost of hyperlinked images!
In the chat Lisa Ng asked about the exercise on slide 21. It’s from a unit on your town and the task the children were doing was using the structure En mi pueblo hay (place) Aquí se puede (infinitive) We’ve been talking about what there is/isn’t in our town, and what our town is like, and moved on to looking at infinitives. The task was supported by a ‘trapdoor’ grid that we’d used to rehearse the structure. The child whose work I shared had extended his sentences using adjectives which weren’t on the grid and applied his previous learning of adjectival position and agreement. I’d suggested it as a way to enhance their writing but not pushed the point which was why I was so pleased. Paula asked if I remembered The Language Show a few years ago at Olympia with my trolley of resources. Of course I do! I still have it although in Covid19 times it has been rested for a bit as I’m not allowed to use as many resources. And I’d just like to reiterate what people were saying in the chat about making mistakes and being an example to your learners. I completely agree – modelling how we deal with mistakes, and showing that we are lifelong learners is SO important. One of my Y4 classes answer the register by greeting me in variety of languages and I’m trying to learn (and remember!) the response to each. They’re being very patient and keep repeating it until I get it correct. Problem is, by the time the next week comes, I’ve forgotten most of it. I keep trying though – which is all I ask of them!
Finally, if you teach primary languages in the UK, I recommended joining Languages in Primary School group (LiPS) on Facebook. Here’s the link. Please make sure you answer all 3 questions when you ask to join! https://www.facebook.com/groups/primarylanguages
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll answer.
Due to current circumstances The Language Show, which is normally held in November at Olympia in London, is going online this year.
Held the weekend 13th-15th November, the show has three streams of talks: For those who love languages – talks, entertainment and insights. For language teachers– CPD for teachers in primary, secondary, HE, FE, adult, EFL/ESOL For language professionals – interpreters, translators and those who want to put their languages to work
Each stream offers a programme of seminars starting mid morning on Friday Saturday and Sunday and are all free to attend via Zoom. Some that have caught my eye include
Friday 13.30-14.15: Unlocking the hidden meanings of everyday wordswhich is all hidden meanings and ancient connections, and the etymology of words.
Saturday 13.30-14.15: Foods and Words: Can our appetite motivate language learning? which looks at the history of some staple British food of foreign origin and introduces basic linguistic principles to understanding their names.
Sunday 11.00-11.45: 5 Weeks of Low-Prep Fun in the Language Classroom – Janina Klimas which offers 25 easy-to-prepare, engaging activities and resources that get students excited about learning languages and through some of the rough parts, all while having fun.
Friday 15.30-16.15: Introduction to subtitling – Lindsay Bywood which will cover the various types of subtitling, how they are created, how the industry is set up and how to train and get work as a subtitler.
I’m definitely signing up for “We Are Multilingual”: Identity-based activities to promote and enhance language learningwhich is being delivered on Sunday 14.30-15.15 by Linda Fisher and Karen Forbes on behalf of the Multilingual Identity in Education group at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.
On Saturday from 1300-1345 you can join me as I talk about how language learning is about More than words. Here’s the blurb!
“This session explores the notion that learning a language is about so much more than lists of words and grammar. Drawing from the speaker’s own observations and experiences as a lifelong language learner as well as a teacher and mother, we will consider the importance of context, culture, communication, celebration and connections in nurturing learners with an enduring passion for language(s).”
You can register for free now on the website Follow all the latest news by following The Language Show on Twitter or Facebook.
After two successful years at the International School of Toulouse in 2015 and 2016, Practical Pedagogies is returning in 2018. This time it’s moved to Cologne and St Goerge’s English International School. Here’s what Russel Tarr, the conference organiser says:
Educational conferences can be prohibitively expensive for ordinary teachers, and often focus on abstract theory delivered by academics with little hands-on classroom experience. In contrast, “Practical Pedagogies” believes the best training conferences are delivered by practising teachers, for the benefit of each other and their students, at an affordable price.
Practical Pedagogies 2015 and 2016 took place at the International School of Toulouse, France. Teachers from all over the world delivered upwards of 100 sessions in a vibrant, friendly and enriching event lasting two days. Hot lunches, refreshments, an evening restaurant meal after day 1, and a bar tour after day 2 provided social opportunities for carrying on the conversations with old friends and new acquaintances.
100 workshops have been confirmed, led by educators from all over the world – including me! – and delegates can pick 8 to attend over the two days. And the good news is, you’ve got two more days to get the Early Bird discount.
This year at Language World I was invited to present some ideas for using technology for collaboration in language learning. I teach primary so the focus was on that age group but there are many ideas and tools that are equally applicable for young and old! In spite of some technical hitches and running out of time as there was so much to share, the ideas were well received and I hope that this will serve as a reminder/update for those who attended, and a snapshot for those who didn’t.
Below is my presentation. Whilst all the links work, the videos don’t I’m afraid but you’ll find some below to give you a taster.
This time last week I was mid sketch note at Language World 2018, the Association for Language Learning annual conference. After a jam-packed, fun filled inspirational weekend, my mind was spinning with ideas and coupled with the last week of term, it’s taken this long for me to get my head together and get posting! So here goes a blog-fest over the next few days!I was thrilled to be asked to be Language World’s official Sketchnoter for a second year. Armed with pens, pencils and paper, I ‘live sketch noted’ each session I attended, before the finished product was whipped away to be displayed for everyone to see. I was pleased to see that there were lots of people looking at the notes as the conference went on, and it was really amusing to hear people talking about them in the dinner queue, not knowing that I’d done them!
I took photos of (most of) the sketch notes before they were displayed, but below are my sketchnotes or visual notes that ALL have now scanned and published on their site.
Opening of Language World 2018 – AnnaLise Gordon
The Language Magician – #LMagic Steven Fawkes (Too much to fit onto one sheet!)
The Mary Glasgow Plenary – Language Futures and the future of Language Learning. Dr Rachel Hawkes (Again far too much to squash onto one page!)
Primary Spanish Show and Tell It’s hard to sketch note whilst presenting, singing and playing games but I did it!
Planning for progression and transition. Liz Black once more filled my head with brilliant ideas!
The amazing things you can do with just a handful of books. Nathalie Paris aka @nattalingo
The official launch of The LANGUAGE MAGICIAN
You can view all of Friday’s sketchnotes in one place by downloading this – Friday PDF
Saturday morning Opening Plenary including the Primary and Secondary Language Teacher of the Year awards AnnaLise Gordon
Putting pen to paper. Clare Seccombe talks writing! (I learned from yesterday and used a big piece of paper for this one!)
A celebration of languages. Danielle Dion-Jones
Language Detectives Sue Cave
Lights! Camera! iPads! Joe Dale
Embedding languages across the curriculum. Richard Tallaron
Closing comments by AnnaLisa Gordon and Jane Harvey.
You can view all of Saturday’s sketchnotes in one place by downloading this – Saturday PDF
I loved sketch noting the conference. I hope that those who attended enjoy the reminder of sessions you attended and that those who didn’t get a flavour of what they ‘missed.’ I’ll certainly be having a look at Clare’s notes too as there were several clashes that meant I couldn’t attend sessions I would’ve chosen (Nigel Pearson for the second year running was speaking at the same time as me for example!)
You can also catch up with the Twitter buzz from the conference via this Storify .
Following on from the success of Practical Pedagogies 2015 and 2016 at International School of Toulouse, the third Practical Pedagogies conference is on the move to Cologne, and specifically St George’s International School.
At this stage, the programme has yet to be set and Russel Tarr, Practical Pedagogies mastermind and the man behind Classtools and Active History, has issued a Call for Presenters. He told me today that there have already been 120+ ideas submitted – including one of mine! – and that there’s still time for more. The deadline for submission is 31st January and I’d encourage you to apply if you have an idea. It doesn’t have to be primary language related – it’s a conference for anyone involved in teaching and at whatever level. It’s international and one of the things I love most is being inspired by educators from around the world who teach in other educational systems, under different ‘rules’ and circumstances, and discussing with them how they experiences can be applied in other contexts. If you do want to submit an idea, you can do so via this link to the Practical Pedagogies site.
Once all the submissions have been reviewed, a programme will be drawn up and booking will open in March! The advantage of being a speaker is that you get to attend the conference for a highly reduced price (50 euros but you get your restaurant meal on the first night paid for which would cost that, more or less!) and you get your foot in the door before anyone else. Plus speaking at Practical Pedagogies is a great experience! This year, I’m really pleased that it’s taking place during half term so I won’t need to beg to be released from school if I’m chosen to speak – and I’ll get to visit Germany and try out my developing German!
So go for it – nothing ventured, nothing gained and then, fingers crossed and thumbs pressed!
It’s one month to go until the annual Association for Language Learning conference, Language World. Have you signed up yet?
This year the theme is Progress for All (like the clever logo!) As the ALL website says:
Progression in the teaching and learning of languages is a priority for all teachers and ALL as a professional association as we respond to significant curriculum changes and developments at all levels. Progress for ALL is a deliberately broad title, as we aim to serve the needs of all conference delegates. For example, we are including sessions on promoting progress in all aspects of pupils’ learning of languages, ensuring progression in curriculum planning, sustaining progress in curriculum leadership and celebrating progress in building a culture of language learning in a school.
During the two days there will be a mixture of plenary sessions, major talks and workshops with something for everyone from primary to higher education, and this year there is a slot for poster presentations which looks really interesting too.
This year the conference takes place in Nottingham at the East Midlands Conference Centre which is very convenient for me living in the Midlands and once more in the ‘middle’ of the country.
I’m not speaking this year (apart from a contribution to the Primary Spanish Show and Tell) but I have a special (albeit rather daunting) role to fulfil:
I’m looking forward to attending sessions and trying to capture them ‘live’ ready to post to the timeline in the exhibition area; a shame I can only be in one place at a time though as there are several slots where I’d like to attend two or even three sessions at the same time.
If you’re interested in attending, the programme is below, and booking details can be found here.
As I said in my previous post, I’ve just come back from the Practical Pedagogies conference in Toulouse. Last year I attended the inaugural #pracped conference and presented about Using technology to enhance primary language teaching and learning As you can see from this post which charts my impressions, I vowed I wanted to attend the next one. And that post also explains what I was asked to speak on this time.
I have, over the last 18 months, discovered sketch noting or visual note taking to be an excellent tool. I sketch noted last year’s conference and several people commented that i should do a workshop on it. So I did!
Below is my presentation. You can’t read the notes so I’ve added some below that.
I’d also like to highlight certain things:
Slide 7 in the presentation is a slide deck of the development of my sketch noting but only the last slide is showing. You can see more of my sketch notes in my Flickr album Sketchnotes – bit.ly/lisibosketch – where you can see for yourself how my style has developed!
There are several books that I recommend in the presentation; if you click on the book covers, I’ve linked to where you can purchase them. I wanted to highlight the free iBook Sketchnoting for teaching and learning that is downloadable from iTunes (see slide 39). I didn’t know that it was finished in time to share it at the conference but @lanclassrach (one of the authors) put me right and shared the link with the description “the book is designed by teachers for teachers to help them get going with sketch noting.” Recommended reading, especially if you want to know more about using technology to sketch note.
I wanted to highlight one of the blog post mentioned on slide34 – 4 quick myth busters about visual notes in the classroom. It’s a good summation of a large part of Wendi’s book and gives practical answers to questions that are often asked about getting pupils to use visual note taking.
Slide 38 is Sylvia Duckworth’s guide to sketch noting digitally. She has further advice since then and says ‘ I draw on the iPad with Procreate app (tutorials here and here) and the Musemee Notier Prime Stylus (If you buy one, make sure to get extra replacement tips as well). Thanks to Sylvia for giving me permission to share her sketch notes and for her advice!
As I finished my workshop I discovered a new Twitter account just started by the lady who made the image on slide 51, so please follow @sketchadoodle for more beautiful visual notes.
Finally, proof that you just need to try – one of the delegates went straight from my session and had a go during the next workshop. Here’s the evidence! Well done @asperatus07!
“When you draw an object, the mind becomes deeply, intensely attentive,” says the designer Milton Glaser, an author of a 2008 monograph titled Drawing Is Thinking. “And it’s that act of attention that allows you to really grasp something, to become fully conscious of it.”
Arguably, making graphic marks predates verbal language, so whether as a simple doodle or a more deliberate free-hand drawing, the act is essential to expressing spontaneous concepts and emotions.
What’s more, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology, doodlers find it easier to recall dull information (even 29 percent more) than non-doodlers, because the latter are more likely to daydream.