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Learn to count 1-10 in Spanish with Pacca Alpaca.

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

I’ve been working with Anamil Tech on Pacca Alpaca for a while now. The apps Pacca Alpaca and Pacca Alpaca Travel Playtime have proved very popular and are now available in English, Arabic, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Welsh.

Well, there is now a Youtube channel of free videos to accompany the app. You can subscribe to Pacca Alpaca for more kids learning videos in Spanish, English, French and Arabic here – http://bit.ly/paccayoutube

Here’s the first Spanish video, released today!

 

#pracped15 – impressions and sketchnotes

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

IMG_5969Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.40.04I had the joy and pleasure of going to France last week for the Practical Pedagogies conference at International School of Toulouse. It’s not every day you get to go on a course that involves a ‘plane journey, and I was wondering about the wisdom of my exploits as I sprinted from one side of Brussels Airport to the other with 20 minutes to make my connecting flight thanks to high winds delaying my incoming flight… I made it, and it was well worth the travel and the late night.

What a conference! Why? Well, there were many reasons!

    1. The welcome received at IST was wonderful. The staff went out of their way to help us. For example, I tweeted that I was having plug adaptor woes (mine didn’t have a ‘top hole’ so wouldn’t go in the socket, the one loaned by the hotel wouldn’t work either as my plug wouldn’t go into it…) and within minutes I was presented with a working adaptor and was able to charge my ‘phone (thanks also to Chris Mayoh who seemed to have a case full of adaptors that he was lending out!)
    2. The organisation. Never have I been to such a well organised conference. Things ran to schedule, the gaps between sessions meant that you always had time for coffee even if you stayed behind to ask a question at the end of the previous one, and I never felt the vertigo I often feel as I rush from one place to another without breathing.
    3. The company. What a great bunch of people! I laughed until I cried at points and enjoyed the friendship offered by those I already knew, those who I’d only previously known online, and those who were completely new acquaintances. Fun and games involving hats, Lycra, yards of beer and bowling alleys spring to mind.
    4. Ewan McIntosh. That man has been so pivotal in my thinking and development as a teacher and learner, right from when he was still a language teacher and spoke at Language World at Oxford Uni. He will forever be known in my house as ‘the man who made Mum buy a Nintendo DS’ for which my sons are very grateful. Every time I hear him speak or read his blog he challenges me to think and consider what I do, how I teach and how I can best facilitate learning. And he is also very human and it’s great to talk to him. Loved this description of him:

And  5. The variety of sessions was amazing! Covering any subject you could name plus cross curricular ones as well as technology and even ukelele playing. It was very hard to select just 7 (I was told I had to choose my own session) but I did.
To sum it up in a tweet:

  I tried to sketch note all the sessions I attended, only failing twice as I couldn’t draw during the Drama workshop and it was hard during the AIM one as I needed to use my hands to gesture (and I’m also rubbish at drawing hands!) Anyway, I’ve uploaded my notes below.

Ewan McIntosh - opening keynote @ewanmcintosh @notosh

Ewan McIntosh – opening keynote @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Novel departures - Estelle Ash and Isobel Patrick (IST) @estelleash @isobel_patrick

Novel departures – Estelle Ash and Isobel Patrick (IST) @estelleash @isobel_patrick

 

Boosting language acquisition through a FUN reading program - Patricia Burgaud and Joanne Allcock

Boosting language acquisition through a FUN reading program – Patricia Burgaud and Joanne Allcock

 

Stimulating writing using technology to encourage reluctant readers - Julian Wood @Ideas_Factory

Stimulating writing using technology to encourage reluctant readers – Julian Wood @Ideas_Factory

 

Immersive Learning - Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

Immersive Learning – Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Practical Straegies for teaching EAL students - Nick Fretwell (IST) @Nick_Fretwell

Practical Straegies for teaching EAL students – Nick Fretwell (IST) @Nick_Fretwell

All in all, an amazing time during which I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot too. I hope there’s a #PracPed16 – or 17 if Russel needs longer to recover 😉 – already planning what I might offer to present! (This year’s offering is in the next post!)

If you want to find out more, check out Russel Tarr’s reflections on the event, and notes etc are here

PS I think that every good school needs a ‘crime scene’ in the foyer complete with police tape, forensics suit and evidence. Talk about capturing the imagination!

Pacca Alpaca

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

pacca iconpacca logo

Introducing Pacca Alpaca, a language learning app for little people!

I’ve been working with Anamil Tech on the Spanish dimension of this app and am pleased to say that it is now available in the iTunes and GooglePlay stores where it has already received a review!

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It was lovely to work with Nicole again after the success of The Lingo Show which she created and produced (I did the Spanish on that too!) as I knew that the concept would be fun and interactive.

Pacca is a funny quirky and very inquisitive alpaca who travels on a magical carousel from his home in the Andes to explore, learning languages on the way as well as exploring his new environment. In this first instalment, he pops off to Australia!

Here’s what the ‘blurb’ says:

Pacca Alpaca – Australia!

Pacca Alpaca – Australia is a multilingual app aimed at children aged two to six and designed to encourage them to learn new languages and understand the world around them as they embark on an Australian adventure with Pacca the alpaca.

Pacca’s adventure unfolds in his home in the Andes Mountains, as he spots a new destination from afar and flies off in his magical carousel to investigate. When he lands with a bump in Australia, a local host greets him and takes him on a tour of the country. Along the way, the two play games, meet other animals and learn about shapes, colours and numbers. While they play, children can earn rewards as they complete challenges and learn new words in their chosen language – French, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic or English.

The app is the first in a series of adventure apps following Pacca and his friends on their travels across the globe, so watch this space for the next installment!

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Things I like about it:

  • Pacca is a lovely character; very friendly and fun
  • you can complete the activities in several languages using the same app
  • there are no advertisements/pop ups/in app purchases
  • the language is clearly spoken by a child (the Spanish voice actor was a delight; a really sweet little girl from Canarias and it was a shame I didn’t actually get to meet her!) which I think is important in an app aimed at little ones
  • it’s fun to play the games and you are rewarded with souvenirs for the carousel
  • all the vocabulary you’ve learned is stored in your suitcase and can be reviewed when you wish
  • you can start again and recollect all the souvenirs when you’ve finished – and in another language if you want
  • there’s a Grown Ups page that explains the educational background and a TopTips document giving ideas of how to use the app too
  • you discover a new country/culture as you learn e.g. aboriginal style artwork is used for the colours, famous landmarks are shown
  • there’s the promise of more adventures to different places!

It’s not a free app – it costs £2.49 – so having it on a class set of iPads would need some negotiation but I’ll definitely add it to my list of apps that I recommend to parents/grandparents who want ideas for engaging children in learning outside of the classroom as well as putting it on my iPad for individual/paired play.

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Sweet inspiration

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Being stuck with my foot up is giving me plenty of time to read, think and play with my tech, and this morning a combination of the three inspired this post!

I was pinning away on Pinterest when I came across this ‘Pin’

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I followed the link and as I looked at the article, I started thinking “How could I use this?”

So I started making a list

1. Compare the sweets eaten in France and UK. Are they the same?

2. Look at the names of the sweets e.g. les bouteilles de Coca, les bonbons au caramel. Could you understand these names without seeing the pictures? Test it by giving learners the images and the words separately and see if they can match them. Or ask “Qu’est-ce que c’est ‘Bottle’ en français?”

3. Look at ordinal numbers “le bonbon en première position est…?” “Dans quelle position est la fraise Tagada?” “Quelle est le bonbon en huitième place?”

Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 14.26.014. Discuss likes and dislikes – “Tu aimes les bouteilles de Coca?” ” Tu préfères les Dragibus ou les Chamallows?” “Quel bonbon aimes-tu?” Encourage use of connectives e.g. “Je n’aime pas le Reglisse mais j’aime beaucoup les Schtroumpf”,  “J’aime les Chamallows mais je préfère les bouteilles de Coca.”

5. Conduct a survey. You could use the French sweets or find out about the learners’ likes and dislikes by asking for example “Tu préfères quel bonbon?”

6. Make a bar graph of the results and discuss “Combien d’enfants aiment les bonbons au caramel?”

7. You could use the above graph to talk about plus / moins (more and less) “Les Schtroumpf sont plus ou moins populaires que le nounours à la guimauve?” “Quel est le bonbon plus populaire?”

8. Talk about the colours of the sweets. I also found these really colourful lollipops that would be good.lollies

Or you could use a packet of Smarties and count how many of each colour you get in each tube. (More opportunity to use plus/moins que)

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9. Learners invent their own sweets! This could lead to recipes, labelling colours and shapes,  craft as they could make them out of clay/playdough, coloured paper, and even trying to sell them to their peers using persuasive language “Mes bonbons sont délicieux” “Oui, mais les sucettes sont plus savoureux” and so on10. And finally, as healthy lifestyles are important, perhaps linking sweets to thinks we should and shouldn’t eat, and foods that “bon pour la santé” Perhaps use a food triangle to add foods in the correct proportions with sweets at the very top! There are Spanish examples on my Pinterest Or you could make a poster  like this Spanish one  using Moins and Plus. And here are a few examples in French.

Click to download.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.07.37 A collage of food.Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.05.31 This made me laugh!Screen Shot 2014-04-25 at 16.05.15

 

I looked for a similar article in Spanish but couldn’t find one. However, I did find this video of Spanish sweets and chocolate

I also came across this article that gives a list (and description) of types of sweets in Spanish and information on how to start a sweet shop!

And this board – Postres y dulces de España – on Pinterest so check it’s not blocked in school before you rely on using it in your lesson! It shows an example of a pastry or sweet from many regions and cities of Spain. Mouthwatering!

Whilst I didn’t find the 10 most popular sweets in Spain, I found some dangerous ones – Los 21 dulces más peligrosos (from USA so I hadn’t heard of lots of the sweets) talks about the sugar/fat/carbohydrate content of various sweets as well as hidden nuts and so on, and also this article on Halloween sweets

And I did find some popular Mexican ‘dulces’ (not quite the same as it includes all sorts of sweet treats not just sweets/candy)

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5 dulces mexicanos más populares includes recipes as well as details of palanquetas, alegrías, glorias, ate and cocada.

And Los 10 dulces más típicos de México expands on the above giving some further examples of Mexican treats like cacahuetes garapiñados and mazapán.

So – what would YOU do? Please leave your ideas in the comments, or via Twitter @lisibo

Off to have dark chocolate Bounty now 😉 Délicieux!

 

Update!

I’ve made a PDF/PPT of the top ten French sweets-

Les top 10 bonbons PDF   Les top 10 bonbons PPT

 

Your ideas!

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See slide 37 of Clare’s presentation for an idea of how she uses this site to support Maths skills.

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And Erzsi replied too. I had to look up why she took in a Chupa Chup for Dalí so I learned something new too!

And my husband has just come back from Mexico with these!

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Stafford Primary MFL Conference

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

photo 1On Friday I was fortunate to attend the Stafford Primary MFL conference. I spoke twice, the after lunch keynote and then a workshop on cross curricular links, but really enjoyed listening to others and learning from their brilliant ideas.

I like to share what I learn when I go to conferences. Sometimes I tweet madly and fail to make notes, and other times I try to take notes. On this occasion I started out trying to do both but went for the latter in the end.

So here are my notes (without much editing!) I hope that they make sense!

Lorna Harvey – A link with Geography

We looked at the PoS for languages and also for Geography, and looked at areas where they overlap e.g. “inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people” from the Geography PoS fits well with language aims.

Ideas –

En France …. on trouve? in French

Link to other countries in French – where might you find these features? as a starter activity for Geography

En Afrique je voudrais visiter…. – looking at the rest of the world rather than just UK and USA.

Where might you go on safari? Learn the phrase Je voudrais… and survey table about the most popular place to go

Make up a song! (tune of Pop goes the weasel)

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Have a little conversation (about where you’d like to go on safari and what you can see) and video it – basic phrases but great acting and lots of repetition

Write a mnemonic for walking around France – BLGSIS

One idea was – Big lions growl scarily in SouthAfrica

Why visit France? Create an advertisement – given rubric of requirements – cross curricular

 

photo6Lorna Harvey – A world of celebrations

This began with the question – How can we integrate languages into KS1 each week with little time and little language?

Can we find a festival every two weeks form Christmas to Easter?

  • created a list of festivals
  • learned songs and performed plays (Christmas),
  • made une fève – figurines for La galette de rois and described it using colours,
  • Chinese names for Chinese New Year – became a panda bear and chose a name; Chinese New Year song
  • Japanese snow festival – looked at images and guessed where they were, used video clips to introduce – linked to hot/cold and played game.
  • Germany for Karneval – learn some phrases for princess eg Prinzessin, Hase, and children asked to bring in one item to become that character/person the next week
  • Spain for Fallas – text and video clip with questions – what can we work out? learned days of the week to the Macarena (lunes, martes x2; miércoles, jueves x2; viernes, sábado x2; eeeeee domingo)

To pull together, look at a map of the places and label them – where would you go if you could choose?

 

Karine Guillot  – Role play! Role play!

Reasons to use role play –

  • to develop pupils’ spontaneity
  • to develop pupils’ authenticity when speaking French

We looked at

  • phrases to get someone’s attention including yelling Coucou!
  • likes and dislikes – je hais – I hate (stronger than je déteste)
  • suggestions  – Et si on….? How about….. Et si on jouait au ballon? Et si on mangeait un snack?
  • agreeing and disagreeing, using lots of gestures as French are dramatic  e.g. ça ma branche (that plugs me in!) I’m up for it!   Non, pas aujourd’hui – no, not today

Traditional French games –

le jeu d’oie

le jeu de la marelle (like hopscotch) throw une pierre starting at 1 whilst standing on TERRE to arrive at CEL

le jeu des dames (draughts) with les pions (draughts/counters)

le jeu des échecs – roi, reine, fou, cavalier, tour, pion (pawn)

les cartes – pique (spades) trèfle (clubs) couer( hearts) carreau (diamonds) l’as (the ace)  le valet / la dame/ le roi

using boards games like Jeu de l’escargot – same board but new questions each time

 

photo 4David Moss (BEST Midlands) – 10 easy to organise classroom games for Gramur and Spelin (sic)

1. Monkey school

  • Like hangman
  • one monkey whoop for each letter
  • if one correct letter, you whoop saying letter in position!
  • best to choose from a list or a theme

2. Scene of the crime – MFL

  • mixed up word – detectives have to solve the word by unscrambling it
  • can up level by  adding a blank or two to challenge
  • Ps can prepare for you by writing their own word and swapping in the room and across school
  • can be any words – cross curricular
  • as above, best to choose from a list/theme

3. Great Wall of China

  • like Chinese whispers but you trace letters on hand and pass it down the line, a letter at a time
  • be clear where the words come from – a list/ theme

4. Order Order!

  • like a human sentence, spelling a word
  • use accented letters to make more challenging
  • can also sellotape to pupils’  backs and the class reorder them by giving instructions

5a. Accents forever

  • using a Powerpoint with rotating words and two flyswats
  • swat the accent according to instruction e.g. I’m looking for a circumflex over the letter e

5b. Apostrophes forever

  • same as accents forever but for English!

6. On the march 

  • assign physical actions to parts of speech e.g. march for a verb, hands on head for a noun
  • call out a word and pupils respond with the action
  • in English, a word like ‘light’ can have three actions!

7. O and X

  • Say the word/phrase in the position you want to win the square

8. Sword drill

  • using a dictionary as a sword
  • march! attention! salute!
  • possible instructions – find the word for…. what page is it on? what gender is it? spell the word and so on
  • perhaps photocopy page, or word list, or put your finger in the page in the early stages

9. I need a better actor

  • act out the phrase – three people all act out
  • eg the girl plays football slowly
  • after first, you call “I need a better actor!”
  • can vote for best with clapping
  • react using different adverbs

 10. Blankety Blank

  • have a panel who write their word to fill a gap (from a list on the board) on a mini whiteboard.
  • teams try to match with as many of the panel as possible

 

photo 5Lorna Harvey  – Show off your language learning!

How to celebrate language learning with the community

e.g. her school had previously used The Gruffalo in French with y3 and 4 as learners with parents invited to watch like at an Inspire – how can we teach parents and learners at the same time?

Some ideas shared:

  •  Languages and countries
  • carnivals around the world
  • Martinique and France
  • instructional language – making smoothies
  • Paris

Parent workshop:

  • made and gave opinions about cocktails – like and don’t like
  • fashion show – introduced each other (linked to carnival clothes)
  • tour operators – persuade the parents to go to your venue! Very impressive but two verbs (c’est and visiter)

 Some possible activities-

  • using a phonic focus
  • using words that we want to use rather than the ones in the book!
  • used FLA to talk about Martinque and Carnival there
  • classify fruit into countries
  • like/dislike
  • order instructions
  • made own cocktail!
  • match descriptions of places to France or Martinique – which would it likely be?

 

A really great day! I’ll share my presentations in my next post!

Something old, something new #ililc4

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

My second session at #ililc4 was entitled Something old, something new and concerned the new 2014 curriculum.

My presentation is below, and I’ll explain briefly what I said as I couldn’t attach the notes without making the Slideshare look ugly!

And there are lots of links ideas and resources at bit.ly/oldlisibo (should have thought out that URL more carefully!)

Something old, something new. from Lisa Stevens

As I explained on the day, when you have to submit your idea so far in advance and aren’t entirely sure how your idea will pan out, it is quite tricky to come up with a witty/apposite title. My choice of Something old Something new was mainly because I envisaged sharing some old ideas and some new ones plus some borrowed from others. However, as I came to think in more detail I began to think more about weddings!

Primary languages have had a bit of a torrid love life, being loved and then rejected by the primary curriculum, nearly getting up the aisle in 2010 but being jilted at the last moment when all was going so well. So I set out to explore the ‘prenuptial agreement’ (or Languages Programmes of Study at KS2), how we can make this ‘marriage’ work, how to convince those that are nervous about married life and how we’ll keep the spark alive.

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So I began by looking at the Programmes of Study, highlighting parts of the  document that I found interesting.

Purpose of study – Intercultural Understanding is still really important – it’s a vital part of language learning. Providing learners with building blocks AND mortar is key if they are to be able to express what they want in the foreign language. And ‘great works of literature’ doesn’t mean Don Quijote de la Mancha, A la recherché du temps perdu or Mein Kampf at Year 3; poetry is great literature and we regularly use an extract tom Machado in Year 5 as stimulus for writing.

Aims – It’s about a balance and variety of things; a breadth of experience that leads to progression. No arguments there!

The lack of detail in the Attainment target section could be seen as a bit disconcerting but doesn’t give much guidance. However, I’m hanging on to my Key Stage 2 Framework which is still a great document; follow that and you can’t go far wrong. Measuring progress in terms of I can statements is also helpful, and there’s been a great discussion on Primary languages forum this week on what we should be looking for in terms of skills progression. (Want to join in? Join the forum or ask to join the Sharing Primary Languages wikispace)

Subject content – I highlighted that whilst it says ‘substantial progress in one language’, this does not mean that looking at other languages is precluded; in fact, I’d positively encourage it as making links between languages  is a vital language learning skill. We discussed how a balance of skills can be achieved when some are more comfortable with speaking activities than the written word which seems more ‘serious’ and permanent. And we mentioned ‘the grammar question’ – it’s not such a bad thing! Nor is looking at languages such as Greek and Latin; very useful for understanding the formation of languages as I discovered on my year abroad at Universitat de les Illes Balears. Finally in this section we thought about laying those foundations for KS3. I referred back to a presentation I’d made at Language World called Bricklaying for Beginners and how bricks need mortar, and how it’s not a wall that needs demolishing at KS3; reinforcing but not knocking down!

I then took each  ‘pupils should be taught to..’ statement and split them into listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar, suggesting ideas and activities that might meet them.

There are lots of links on the wiki to many of the ideas but here are some comments:

  • ‘joining in’  is very important and builds confidence as does repetition e.g storytelling, reciting rhymes and poems
  • making links between graphemes and phonemes is important to enable increased fluency e.g. listening out for phonemes in songs/rhymes, sorting words, reading with your Spanish/French/German glasses so you view graphemes not as you would in your own language
  • confidence with phonics is vital to teacher and learner; syllables and stress patterns too – hence my pupils’ love of stress punching!  (a post about this and ‘animal symphony’ will follow shortly)
  • books are brilliant – not just fiction though! Non fiction is very popular with boys and also is great for linking to other curricular areas: going back to my analogy, this ‘marriage’ is about give and take! If you can’t find suitable books, make your own as with my Storybird ¿De dónde viene el yak?
  • learners can decode more complex texts without knowing every word if you provide them with the confidence to do so, embed language learning skills and discuss how languages work  from the very start.
  • writing doesn’t have to be in a book; whiteboards, post-it notes, mini books, Padlet, labels, paper chains, posters, your partner’s hand; they all count!
  • structuring and scaffolding is fine – trapdoors are great as starters as is making human sentences and physically rearranging words. The Human Fruit machine with 3+ learners holding a large dice with 6 images of nouns/adjectives/verbs etc on them and spin is a great way of making make random sentences and exploring how you can substitute words in existing sentences to make new ones!
  • I loved grammar at school; I liked the logic of it all and the patterns. So why not exploit that and make verb flowers, grammar songs and raps, dice games and so on. Use highlighters/colour to clarify grammar ( I lived by my red=accusative, green=nominative and blue=dative when learning German) be it nouns, adjectival placement, verb endings/groupings or spelling.
  • Use activities that are used in other areas of the primary curriculum; learners up level sentences in Literacy all the time so why not in the foreign language? Word pyramids starting with a word and extending to a complex sentence at the base? And card sorting activities too.

So that’s the session in a (pretty big) nutshell!

(Written whilst lying flat on my back in pain so please excuse typos!)

Favourite books for PLL – Animals Speak / Muu. Bee. ¡Así fue! / Le Réveil de la ferme

Monday, August 19th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

When my boys were little, one of their favourite books was Moo Baa La la la; in fact, I can still quote it verbatim as I read it so many times! So I was pleased to see that there was Spanish version Muu. Bee. ¡Así fue!

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This simple rhyming book introduces the noises that animals make as well as animal names. I was pleased when I read it that it still (mostly!) rhymes in Spanish and that it features lots of animals that make different noises in Spanish. Or, as it’s come to be put in my classroom

“Animals speak other languages too!”

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When we use this in class, after the initial reading learners want to join in with the animal noises – it is fun after all pretending to be a snorting rhino! – so I pause at the appropriate moment to allow for this before continuing. The final page  also invites the reader/learner to share what they say so can lead into a game of ‘Adivina que animal soy‘; learners take it in turns to pretend to be an animal by making the noise and the rest of the class have to work out which animal they are. This could be done with more ‘control’ by assigning learners animals in advance or giving them a mask. And a (noisy!) follow on activity could be for everyone to be assigned an animal from the story e.g un cerdo, una oveja, una vaca, un pato, un caballo, un perro; and their task is to find the rest of their family by making the animal noise  and listening out for others doing the same.

tranquilo

As I mentioned above,  “animals speak other languages’ was the conclusion that was reached when we read this book, and when I presented at the ALL North East Spanish Day at Gosforth High School I was given this book which reinforces just that!

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Whilst this isn’t a book in the language that I teach (mostly Spanish) I love sharing this as, to me, language learning is about more than one language. It’s about exploring and making connections, and sparking interest as well as celebrating diversity. This book has the English in the corner, and then one or two ‘featured’ languages on each page  i.e. the ones that animals say in their speech bubbles as well as a section in the opposite corner which shows another three languages.

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And in case you have trouble pronouncing the animal sounds, there is a glossary on the inside covers written “phonetically” to give you some help! My aim in using this book would not be to teach animal noises in 30+ languages but to look at similarities between the different languages, to consider whether we’d know which animal made that noise if we hadn’t got the picture to help us, and why, and to perhaps look at the home languages of learners in the group.

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The idea that animals speak different languages just like humans seems to appeal to children; I wouldn’t be surprised if there were pupils of mine across the world these holidays addressing animals in their ‘native language’ 🙂

And if you want a French book with animal noises – and nice touchy feely patches for stroking ‘if you sit nicely!’ – there’s  Le Réveil de la ferme in which a little sheep dog goes around the farm greeting all his farmyard friends. He introduces them in a pair of rhyming sentences and then says Bonjour ………. before the animal responds with their call in French. At the end, he says goodbye to them all in a double page spread with all the animal calls in French (great as a reference point!)

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Favourite books for PLL – De quelle couleur est ta culotte?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

 

When I first started teaching Primary languages, I went on a course run by LFEE in Salignac for French teachers (thoroughly recommend it – I worked hard but had the time of my life and rediscovered a love of French that I’d lost when I was made to start from scratch at secondary school.)  During my time there we went on a trip to Souillac and several of us spent a while in a bookshop looking for suitable books to use in our classrooms. And this was the one we all loved.

IMG_0037De quelle couleur est ta culotte? is a lift the flap book that poses the title question to a series of animals.

Each animal has a name that rhymes with its species e.g Lucie le Brebis, Mumu la Tortue and Émile le Crocodile

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and you lift the flap to find the answer:

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At the end there’s a big surprise as Armand l’elephant is a little forgetful…

I’ve used this story with EYFS – and younger in fact. They love the animals, recalling their names, and the colour of their pants. And everyone giggles hysterically in mock horror as the surprise is revealed – because we are, of course, surprised every time we read it ;o) I ask questions e.g. Valentine a la culotte rouge ou bleu?   Qui a la culotte rose? De quelle couleur est la culotte de Aimee? offering choices if needed and then we read it again with choral responses as we lift the flaps; sometimes a particularly confident child will want to ask the question too although it’s more usual to just say the name of the animal. When I shared it in Reception, we drew a washing line of pants and coloured them in for the animals. I’d probably make it into a game now, either on the IWB with a race to match the animals and pants, or as a team game with images of the animals and coloured underwear. And I’d also look to make the story our own, perhaps not about pants this time but about another item of clothing: De quelle couleur sont tes chaussettes? perhaps or a teddy bear: De quelle couleur est ton nounours? or even change it a little and ask Comment est ton chapeau? which could be answered with adjectives other than colour.

I used to teach Kindergarten at the (Catholic!) school with children from 18 months to 3 years, and was sharing this book with them when an inspector arrived. My momentary fear that the inspector wouldn’t share my love of the book, and that of the Kindergarten head who had a great sense of humour, was unfounded as she was giggling along with all the children and said she thoroughly enjoyed the French lesson!

I’ve found a sound file of someone reading the story too! De quelle couleur est ta culotte? sound file

 

Favourite books for Primary Language Learning

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Image 2As I am virtually housebound (that’s ‘nearly completely’ not  ‘housebound in a virtual world’!) I’m looking for things to occupy my time so decided embark on a blog series. I then concluded that I could kill two birds with one stone by cataloguing my books (especially as I’m being reunited with many of them out of storage!) and blogging about them. And I woke this morning to see that Clare has blogged about her favourite French and Spanish books so it seems that now is a good time to share!

So. over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of my favourite story books and try to share how I use them or might use them in the classroom. It’ll take that long as a)I have lots of books b)some are still in storage.

First post is coming right up after this one!

Calling all young language learners!

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

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If you teach children aged between 6 and 11, why not encourage them to enter the bSmall Little Linguist competition.

As the bSmall website explains;

We would like you to write and illustrate a short story in a foreign language on any subject you like. We will pick two winners from the entries and publish the winning stories as e-books on our website. Each winner will also receive a b Small library worth £100 for your home or your school.

The story should be no more than four pages and you can use lots of illustrations to help tell your story. You must write your story in one of the following four languages:

– French
– German
– Italian
– Spanish

The website offers two templates for the stories, a comic book and an illustrated story book, and there’s a list of words to help as well.

There are two categories – 6-9 year olds and 9-11 year olds, and you can write a collaborative story with classmates (hence the overlap in age categories) The story can be about anything, and the closing date is June 1st with winners announced on July 1st. Entries can be sent via post or electronically, accompanied by an entry form.

Find out more on the bSmall website and happy story writing!