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Archive for the ‘mandarin’ Category

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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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)

photo 3

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!

Fasten your bug-belts!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Fasten your bug-belts for some exciting news!

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

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

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

The schedule is as follows –

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

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

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

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

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