intercultural understanding – ¡Vámonos! The musings of Lisibo
 

Category: intercultural understanding

Sharing my books

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The advantage of technology?

When we moved to Switzerland seven years ago, I had no job and no idea if I’d need my large collection of books. We decided not to take them all with us in the first instance so I started to make a list of them all whilst selecting some favourites that I couldn’t leave behind. The list stayed on my iPad and I forgot it was there.

Last summer I decided that I needed to work out how many books I had and list them somehow in some semblance of order. So I started a few Google Docs so that each time I purchase new books I can add them easily. And Google Docs have the added bonus that I can share the links so others can see too.

I’ve added the title of each book, the format and an idea of what the book is about and/or links that could be made to topics or to other curricular areas. Sadly it’s not searchable but you’re quite welcome to have a look!

Ideas:
If you’re looking for books on a topic, have a browse.
If you want ideas of books to purchase.
If you’re not sure about a book’s suitability, check and see if I’ve got it, and ask my opinion, or for a look. (I’m happy to do either!)
If you’re starting teaching a language and are looking for ideas.
If you just want to be nosey, go ahead!

So here are the links:
Spanish fiction
Spanish reference and non fiction
Spanish rhymes, poems, plays and puzzles
French
German
General ICU/GL/International/language promoting

Let me know if you find anything interesting or helpful!



 

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.

Link to BetsyBelle’s webinar Out of this World on using apps in the Primary Language Classroom. Highly recommended viewing especially if you’re interested in the how as much as the why.

A little later than planned, and with huge apologies, here are my presentations from the East Midlands Primary Languages Conference held on Nottingham on 5th December!

Más vale tarde que nunca.  Mieux vaut tard que jamais! Besser spät als gar nicht.

Firstly, my presentation on Crosscurricular links:

And here’s the presentation on Technology for collaboration:

It was a pleasure to speak, and I was also able to attend a few other sessions which are sketchnoted below.

A marvellous keynote by the ever effervescent John Rolfe.

An inspiring session by Chris Henley about being BRILLIANT – finding my WHY? and being Ms Different.

A Taste of Spain delivered by Carmen Santos from the Consejería de Educación in Manchester – loved making – and eating – my brocheta de fruta!

And Elaine Minett charing her Healthy Eating resources based around the story ¡Hoy no, Claudio!

A couple of years ago I was asked to help produce some lesson plans for around celebrating and exploring diversity and enabling everyone to be themselves without fear of discrimination.* 

As part of this I did some research into books in Spanish that would be suitable for this purpose.

One of the plans I wrote was around families all being different and getting away from mum, dad and 2 kids = a family. At the time I did not use a book as the basis of the resources I made, but I’ve since found this book that I think is a lovely resource that I’d like to use next time we look at families. I envisage choosing a few chapters to read and discuss as a five-ten minute segment, perhaps in conjunction with RE/PSHE that I often teach as well as Spanish.

ISBN – 978-607-9344-32-0

Buy from Amazon 

Mi familia es de otro mundo literally means My family is from another world, but actually means My family is out of this world in the sense of being amazing. The book tells the stories of seven children, each one with a family to share, each family different.

There’s Juli whose parents have split up and spends part of the week with each, Lu who has two Dads who get married with her as ring bearer, Santi who looks nothing like his parents as they adopted him as a baby, Sol and Matu who are test tube babies, Vale who has an Argentinian Dad and a Chinese Mum so has two cultural identities, Leo whose Dad died when he was small so it’s just him and his Mum – and Negro the dog, and Fran who has what he calls una familia enredadera, literally a tangled family with parents who have split up and have new partners and/or children.

Each story is told very simply in short paragraphs of a very sentences with a longer information box that clarifies or explores some of the ideas and issues raised. The book concludes with more family models including grandparents as prime carers, parents whose jobs mean that they don’t see their children for months on end, surrogate mothers, extended families. foster families and globetrotting families with children born in a variety of countries.

El Mundo de Juli – Dos casas

El Mundo de Vale – Dos años nuevos

El Mundo de Lu – Papá, Papi y yo

El Mundo de Santi – Tomados de la mano

I really like some of the images that are used to explain families, in particular the idea of some families not fitting on a family tree but rather a family climbing plant!

The book concludes as below. In English:

Every family has a way of living, of sharing, of celebrating, of arguing, of loving. There are no two the same.

Sometimes because of that when we compare our family with another we think “My family is from a  different world!” Or when someone sees something in a family that is a bit odd to them they whisper “Every family is a world (or each family to their own)”

But in fact, there is only on world, this one, where there’s room for all families.

This is a message that I think is really important as we look to encourage children to value diversity and to understand that our life is much richer by learning about and from others’ experiences. We might not share their beliefs and we may find some of their ways a little odd but we all live on the same planet, have the same basic needs and, in the words of Jo Cox, “we have far more in common than that divides us.”

I’ll share more of my ideas of how we can do this in other ways too in future posts. Other books that might interest you along the same lines:

El gran libro de las families  (in English The Great Big Book of Families )

Cada familia a su aire; el gran libro de la familia

The Family Book

*I wrote the KS 1 and 2 MFL, and KS1 and KS2 ICT lesson plans that you can find on the Educate and Celebrate website here under PRIMARY. 

¡Ponchos!

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Gaucho salteno Find out more about gauchos here.

Thanks to Vicky Cooke for sharing this lovely image this morning and the luxury of a train journey to London and back on which it write this post!

Whilst Intercultural Understanding (ICU) is no longer an explicit section of the Languages Programme of Study, it opens with the following words:

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.

I firmly believe that learning a language needs a context to bring it to life, and that context should not be limited to Spain for Spanish, France for French or Germany for German; the latter all the more important to me as I learned German in Switzerland! So I’m always looking for ideas to incorporate an aspect of ‘culture’ into activities. What’s more, learners really enjoy such activities. Clare has some marvellous ones on Light Bulb Languages such distances between Spanish cities to practice large numbers, Moorish tiles to look at shape and colour, Saints days to practice saying the date and so on. In fact there’s a whole section of resources marked ‘Intercultural understanding’ that includes Guatemalan worry dolls, Aztec codices and Mayan maths.

I’m about to start a unit on colour and shape with Y3 and, with a long-ish half term, Y4 are going to finish their topic early too so I’ve been looking for a little something to fill a gap. I was therefore pleased to see Vicky’s post this morning which sparked an idea. Can’t say it was earth shatteringly original but it was a good idea nonetheless (Vicky had it too!)


The above map plus the one on the left show the ponchos worn across Argentina  and I’ve so far thought of the following:

1. Knowledge of Argentina – count the provinces, name them, pronounce them. Countries that border Argentina.
2. Compass points / prepositionsSanta Cruz está en el sur de Argentina. Jujuy está en el norte de Argentina en la frontera con Chile y Bolivia. Entre Ríos está en el este al norte de Buenos Aires. 
3. Colour – giving the name of a place and requiring the colour(s) in response, either in a single word, a phrase or a sentence. Soy de Chubut ¿de qué color es mi poncho? or ¿De qué color es el poncho típico de San Luis? – blanco y naranja/Es blanco y naranja/El poncho típico de San Luis es blanco y naranja.
4. Pattern¿Cómo es el poncho de Salta? Es rojo con una franja negra en el cuello y en el borde. This site gives a description of some in English as well as historical information about ponchos. And here is a more extensive article in Spanish.
5. Combining all the above. Soy de Neuquen. Está en el oeste de Argentina, en la frontera con Chile, al norte de Río Negro, al sur de Mendoza y al oeste de La Pampa. El poncho típico de Neuquén es blanco con puntos azules.

I’ve also found more useful graphics on this subject:

A chart of ponchos in three sections according to their geographical position in Argentina at would be even better for detailed descriptions.
A chart of traditional Mapuche patterns used in ponchos – it would be an interesting challenge to replicate these patterns using graph paper – cross curricular link with maths there!

See also http://matematicas-maravillosas.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/puede-notarse-que-las-figuras-que.html 

A colour wheel giving some of the symbolism of wearing that particular colour.

6. Using the above, design your own poncho using traditional colours and patterns:
Mi poncho es …… El rojo significa ….. Tiene estampa…… Es como el poncho de ….
(A similar activity can be found on Light Bulb Languages for flags/banderas)

Here’s a blank poncho that you might use (or you might just like to draw your own!) NB this poncho is the wrong shape as is this one.
You could also make a mini gaucho out of a lolly stick or old fashioned clothes peg like the chap on the right!

           

 

I’ve saved some links on Pinterest – Argentinian ponchos including the image below.

If you like the original map, I’ve also found maps of Argentina giving animals according to region and mates too as well as a beautiful vintage map of Argentina with images depicting the terrain, industry, dress and wildlife of each area and an info graphic of ‘La Argentina, el país dé los seis continentes’, the slogan of an advertising campaign I’m 1998 that emphasises the diversity of Argentina. Finally, a map of 24 ‘must visit’ places in Argentina. Having never been there, I couldn’t say whether it’s a comprehensive list or whether there are other places to add?

Destinos imperdibles en la Argentina

¡24 destinos únicos en la Argentina!

practical_pedagogies__choose_your_sessions_I’ve just got back from the Practical Pedagogies conference at the International School of Toulouse. Organised by Russel Tarr, the two day conference brought together educators from around the globe. Here’s the rationale behind the conference which explains why I travelled to Toulouse at my own expense to speak (I wasn’t paid to it):

“Educational conferences can be prohibitively expensive for ordinary teachers, and often focus on abstract theory delivered by professional academics with very little hands-on classroom experience. Such events often appear more concerned with making money than with genuinely improving the quality of education being delivered within schools.

In contrast, “Practical Pedagogies” comes out of the belief that the best teacher-training conferences are delivered by practising teachers, for the benefit of each other and their students, as not-for-profit events.”

I attended some excellent workshops and chatted to so many people that further inspired me.

Below are my sketch notes of the conference that document the sessions I attended. I hope that they give you a flavour of the conference. You can find out more by checking out the Twitter hashtag #pracped16 (which was trending at various points in various countries over the two days!) or by looking at the conference website. I’m sure that many will share their presentations and that there’ll be lost of blogging so I’ll update the post over the next week or so to share them.

Opening Keynote by Ewan McIntosh of NoTosh.

Opening Keynote by Ewan McIntosh. @ewanmcintosh @notosh

 

Curriculum, controversy and current affairs: manoeuvring in a multicultural world by Mariusz Galczynski

Curriculum, controversy and current affairs: manoeuvring in a multicultural world by Mariusz Galczynski @MariuszEDU

 

Philosophy for Children across the primary Curriculum by Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81

Philosophy for Children across the primary Curriculum by Jenna Lucas @JennaLucas81

 

I'm a teacher: Get me out of here! by Mike Watson @WatsEd

I’m a teacher: Get me out of here! by Mike Watson @WatsEd

 

Coding with cards by Yasemin Allsop @yallsop

Coding with cards by Yasemin Allsop @yallsop

 

The Art of Voice:bringing characters to life by Ben Culverhouse @ben_culverhouse

The Art of Voice:bringing characters to life by Ben Culverhouse @ben_culverhouse

 

You shipping it? Closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

You shipping it? Closing keynote by Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh

347598578_2055495130I’ve been asked to share the following project to ensure that as many people as possible hear about it and have the opportunity to participate. I wish I was a teenager again as I think I’d have jumped at the chance!

 

GUERNICA: SPEAKING TO MANKIND

“Guernica is to painting what Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is to music: a cultural icon that speaks to mankind not only against war but also of hope and peace.” Alejandro Escalona

80 years on from the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Picasso’s painting Guernica is as powerful and disquieting today as it was when the artist expressed in paint his revulsion and outrage over the first ever bombing of civilians within Europe.

The GAP Arts Project is looking for 20 motivated, creative young people aged 11-18 who are interested in immersing themselves in an exploration of the most controversial and moving anti-war painting of the 20th century, exploring its impact, its component images and reflecting on their resonances in today’s 21st century world.

Over three weeks the assembled company will engage in practical workshops, creative activities and rehearsals, working towards devising a collective artistic response – a performance utilizing a variety of artforms such as drama, movement, poetry and more, to be produced for a public audience.

If you are excited by this chance to work creatively as part of a team, to explore this key turning point in the history of Europe and to devise and perform your artistic response publicly, we’d love to hear from you. Whether your interest is in Drama, Art, Movement, Poetry or History, this project is for you. No experience needed, just enthusiasm, curiosity, an open mind and a willingness to explore.

Dates: 8 – 29 August 2016                   Times: Tbc (initially daytimes, potentially some additional evenings/weekends in last week)

Director: Ian Yeoman, formerly artistic director of Theatr Powys, 30 years experience of directing and devising theatre for and with young people. (Ian and all adults working on the project are DBS certificated)

Venue: The GAP, Jubilee Centre, Pershore Street, B5 6ND (city centre)

Cost: £80 per participant. This covers all rehearsals, costumes, production costs etc, PLUS membership of The GAP – Birmingham’s only young people’s arts space – and all the associated benefits –free arts events, free wifi, free tea & coffee, arts library, and the opportunity to be part of The GAP’s young creative community.

Contact: Ceri Townsend             07533456387

Reservation: To reserve a place please go to https://guernica-thenandnow.eventbrite.co.uk/

Payment: To confirm your place please pay online at www.gaparts.org.

Deadline is 9pm Wednesday 20July.     NB: Places are limited so please reserve and confirm your place asap!

Further details are attached here: GUERNICA

 

 

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 😉

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 20.53.57At about 1130am on Friday I was contacted and asked by UKEDChat if I wanted to write a guest blog post about the impact Brexit could/will have on language learning. I didn’t write it straight away for several reasons not least that I didn’t actually have time until very late that night to think. When I did, I wrote my personal reflection on the events and implications.

The post can be found on the UKEdChat website and the text is reproduced below:

My husband woke me this morning and asked if I wanted to know the result. I should’ve been known by his voice but when he said ‘It was Leave by 52% to 48%’ it hit me like a ton of bricks and I burst into tears.

My first thought was my friends and pupils and how some of them would now feel.

I am a language teacher and many of my friends and colleagues across the country are ‘native speakers’ e.g. French/Spanish/German nationals who teach their native language. Others fell in love and moved here to be with their partners. Some have lived in this country for many years and have never felt the need to go to the (not inconsiderable) expense of officially become British.  Many have British partners, children who have grown up here and consider themselves part of this country, working, paying taxes, contributing to their communities. They could not vote. You can read what one felt here.

The Referendum may have been about whether we stay in the EU or not, but the waters were unfortunately muddied by the issue of immigration.  As I turned on social media, my fears were confirmed. I wasn’t in school but I know that several children were aware of what a ‘Leave’ verdict could mean for their families.

My job as a language teacher isn’t just about teaching words, structures and grammar. It’s about a context for that language, be it in Spain or South America, France, Belgium, Senegal. It’s about culture, lifestyle, food that may be different to ‘our’ ways. It involves encouraging discussion of our differences to help us understand more about ourselves, and then the joy of seeing things from someone else’s perspective, celebrating that we’re not all identical.

Through eTwinning, Comenius, Comenius Reggio and Erasmus +, all funded by the EU, my school has changed over the last ten years to be the globally minded place that it is now.  Teachers have visited colleagues in Europe, we’ve received visitors and much work has been done online, via Skype and vieo conferencing.

So what will Leave mean?

My initial reaction was posted at 8:15am

This morning I am distraught. Can’t put it into words but can I just say to my many friends who now feel unwelcome in the country that is their home – I love you. Farage, Gove, Johnson et al do not speak for me and my family. I don’t know what the future holds but I know that as long as I have breath I’ll still be championing cooperation, understanding, compassion and celebrating diversity. “We have more in common with each other than things that divide us.

Taking my eldest son to a university open day gave me time to think and reflect. My conclusion?

My task hasn’t really changed. I will still teach Spanish the same way I always did. I will still see Intercultural understanding as a vital part of my role. I will still find ways to bring other countries into my classroom. It will be harder as there is uncertainty about what will happen to the wonderful programmes like eTwinning. As a school we will still celebrate the languages and cultures of our pupils as we did whilst people were voting in another building on our site. My son and others intending to study languages at university may find their year abroad harder to fund without Erasmus funding. I might get asked more often ‘why do we learn Spanish; everyone speaks English!’ but my answer will remain the same. If anything, I see my role as even more important than before. My son reminded me of the postcard that was on the shelf at the bottom of our stairs at home featuring the words of Nelson Mandela:

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

His point was that, given the number of treaties, agreements and the like that the United Kingdom  now need to renegotiate, language skills will be all the more important, a point born out by experience.

The Leave vote doesn’t mean that we are no longer European.  I am European, speaking several languages, having lived in three European countries and that hasn’t changed. Time will tell the full implications for languages and the global dimension; statements from The British Council and ALL make me more optimistic.  So whilst my tears have ceased, my determination has not and, judging by the comments on social media and in person, nor has that of my fellow linguists!

We may need to work harder for opportunities but …

IMG_0120

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!

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