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#PracPed15 – Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

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

Key points I made included:

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

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

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

Using technology to enhance Primary Language Learning from Lisa Stevens
And thanks to Marisa for sharing her notes (and photographs!) here.

#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!

Practical Pedagogies Conference 2015

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.38.53I always get excited when people invite me to speak at conferences but I was very excited when Russel Tarr (created Classtools.net and was famously attacked by Gove for using Mr Men to help teach History resulting in a mass Mr Men Twitter avatar protest in solidarity!) asked me if I’d like to speak at a conference he was planning in Toulouse. A trip to France? Don’t mind if I do! And when he told me who else was speaking, I was even more excited and also perhaps a little daunted when I saw who else was speaking!

Practical Pedagogies takes place at the International School of Toulouse on October 15th and 16th and is

A high-impact training conference for classroom teachers by classroom teachers.
Two days of inspiring keynotes70+ workshops and networking activities: only 150 Euros!

 

I’m very much looking forward to the conference as there are so many different sessions under the umbrella theme of “Creativity, internationalism and innovation in the classroom” that it was very hard to choose which I’d like to attend. The programme is packed with goodies as you can see! And Ewan McIntosh @ewanmcintosh @notosh  who is keynoting and also delivering workshops always inspires and challenges!

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My session will be about using ICT in the Primary Language Classroom:

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There are threads for

  • Pedagogy, Personal and Professional development including sessions by Miles Berry (@mberry), David Rogers (@daviderogers), Bill Lord (@Joga5) and Marisa Constantinides (@marisa_c);             
  • Computing including sessions by Miles Berry (@mberry) and Chris Mayoh (@chrismayoh);
  • Drama, Music and Design and technology including a session that I want to attend on Using drama games and activities across the curriculum led by G. Fearnehough (@gfearnehough), Curriculum Leader for Drama at IST, and E. Renou (@emmanuelrenou31), Modern Foreign Languages teacher at IST;
  • History including a session about collaboration between History and Geography (and beyond!) led by Russel Tarr, author of ActiveHistory, and Matthew Podbury, author of GeographyPods.
  • Science which offers diverse sessions on data logging, helping EAL learners and using SOLO taxonomy;
  • English and Literacy with sessions led by Julian Wood (@ideas_factory), and staff from IST about using picture and story books to work creatively and cross curricularly (hopefully I’ll get to attend one or both);
  • Mathematics with sessions on using Lego and Geogebra;
  • Assessment and reporting with a session entitles Marking:Is it really worth it?;
  • Tech tools including sessions by Dave Stacey @davestacey and John Sutton @HGJohn;
  • CAS (Creativity, action, service) and TOK (theory of knowledge);

and of course

  • Languages that features people I know like Isabelle Jones (@icpjonesand those who I have yet to meet like Dico Krommenhoek (@dico_kr). Oh, and me! I’m very much looking forward to finding out more about AIM and how IST use a FUN reading programme to boost comprehension and expression with their upper primary language learners.

There’s still time to register if you’d like to attend. It costs 150 euros (very reasonable) and if you can get a cheap flight it’s not much more expensive than two days of INSET!

And if you can’t attend in person, you can follow on Twitter! You can follow the Twitter account @pedagogies and the conference hashtag is

 

#pracped15

 

It’d be great to see some of you there and if not, converse via Twitter. And of course I’ll share my thoughts (and sketch notes!) on my return!

 

Adiós 2012, Hola 2013

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

It’s that time of year when people look back on the last 365/6 days and look forward to the next year. And at the end of 2012 I wanted to acknowledge the achievements of the last year as much to say ‘you were right’ to those who encouraged me when I was despairing as a celebration of some of the great things in which I was involved.

Moving to Switzerland was a big thing for my family, and it left a huge gap in my life where ‘work’ used to be. I miss teaching at WCPS (and judging by the reception I received when I visited in July, the feeling is mutual) and sometimes feel that I’ve thrown away all my hard work as here I am ‘just another foreigner’ rather than Lisibo. I am a very optimistic person but at times it’s not been easy to keep smiling so thanks to those who kept me hopeful because, you know what? I’ve done all sorts of things this year!

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I teach English to two lovely Spanish kids each week. They went to British School in Madrid and now attend Swiss school so their parents want them to keep up their English skills. They are amazing and I always leave the lesson smiling having had a great time. We especially enjoyed talking about the Olympics and the Jubilee celebrations. And since October I’ve also been teaching English to a Mexican mum from the boys’ school. There are so many people that she’s managed thus far without speaking English but now feels she needs to make an effort for the sake of her children, and so that she can talk to more people. Her confidence is very fragile but she’s doing really well!

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Since May I’ve also been ‘subbing’  at ISZL in Baar thanks to someone introducing me to someone else at just the right moment. It is SOOO wonderful to be back in the classroom and to know that ‘I’ve still got it’. I’ve taught right across the age range from 3 to 11 year olds, and I keep getting asked back so that’s good! A week of Kindergarten awaits me next week (that’s Year1 in English speak) and I’m really looking forward to it.

And now I work a morning a week in the school library at my boys’ school having helped out on a voluntary basis since I got here. In fact, that library and especially the lovely Librarian/Media specialist Gretha have kept me going at times. It’s wonderful to be involved in the school and is a big step as I was told in no uncertain terms that they didn’t employ parents! Another big step was being given admin control of the school’s Facebook page.

The Lingo Show

Perhaps one of the highlights of my year was seeing my name ‘in lights’ on the television! I’ve been involved in The Lingo Show from the very beginning when the BBC was exploring the idea of doing something for very young children with a language element, through the tender process, meeting Lingo (who is also Postman Pat!) and auditioning prospective Quesos, seeing The Lingo Show launched on the Cbeebies website and finally being involved in the proposal for and production of the Spanish episodes of The Lingo Show shown on Cbeebies. I have to admit that I was very excited as I sat down to watch on 26th March, hoping that it was all OK (especially as I’d had to let someone else do the very final part of the Spanish as I was literally moving as they did it) and was overjoyed when I was contacted by people who had watched it with their children and liked it!

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I’ve also done some chunks of work for the BBC Primary Languages website over the last year, writing lesson ideas, information for parents and teachers, and writing content for the various sections. Still waiting for much of it to be uploaded and appear on the site but it’s there and waiting…

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 17.29.27 Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 17.29.38

 

And I’ve been on the TES Primary Languages panel led by the lovely Rachel Hawkes too – reviewing resources is fun but can be hard when there are huge glaring mistakes in them as you know that people have uploaded them out of the goodness of their hearts…

Whilst I’ve missed out on physically attending TeachMeets, I’ve been an avid online participant and have contributed presentations to various, both in the UK and international online ones too – see LisiboTV

bsel And the ‘techie’ bit of me has been occupied too as I’ve worked with Apple Switzerland as an ADE and AEM, supporting at an ELS in Geneva and presenting at a conference in Basel in October as well as sharing with them some of the things that I did in the UK. I’ve also become an Apple Professional Development consultant and done training in Ticino, Zürich and Harrogate.Yes, I’ve been allowed back into the UK. In fact, twice!

Another high point of the year was in February when I spoke 1  2 at ILILC2 in Southampton. It was so great to be with ‘old friends’ and make new ones, and reaffirmed what a great bunch of people us language teachers are. I swapped Toblerone for paracetamol (you are all lovely xxxx), made everyone sing German drinking songs (and harangued those who weren’t getting into it!), reflected on being in an uncomfortable position and enjoyed the ideas, inspiration and company of others who share my passions. The Show and Tell was … unforgettable, the sessions inspiring and the conversations uplifting.

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And that brings me to this year…

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Well, I’m not exactly sure what 2013 will bring, but I’m excited to find out!

I do know that I’m teaching Kindergarten next week at ISZL, and I’m sure I’ll be back there regularly.

I’ll continue to teach English to M and M and Sonia, and also work in the school library – next project is working out how to fit the increasing stock into the library and media centre so that a)people can still in get in and b) find the books!

I’ll carry on delivering APD, wherever and for whoever asks, working with Apple Switzerland to promote the effective and well considered use of technology in the classroom, and helping anyone who asks with advice, training and support.

And you’ll see me at various TeachMeets – virtually in all likelihood but you never know…

February brings a definite though – I’m coming to the UK, to Southampton because…

#ILILC2013_I-am-speaking-at-with-QR-code

To quote @MsMFL, I’m so excited… But more of that in the next post!

Other than that, I’ll continue

1. running (I did 950 miles last year, thwarted in my assault on 1000 by hospitalisation, and am determined to run a half marathon in 2 hours) including leading a running group for mums at ISW

2. ‘blogging’ – here, on Smiles365, and on SwissMiss-Adventures

3. tweeting – what would I/we do without Twitter?

4. writing – articles, resources and opinions

5. practising German

and most importantly

6. smiling :o)

DSCN0498

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to a 2013 that’s even more exciting than 2012!

 

 

IoW Conference 2008

Friday, July 4th, 2008


Having been told not to say anything for a bit, when I was given the all clear to blog about the IoW Conference, I’ve been a bit slow off the mark! But…más vale tarde que nunca as dear Nando would say!

October 25th and 26th 2008 will see many teachers from across the UK (and beyond?) gathering at Nodehill Middle School in Newport, Isle of Wight for Joe Dale’s annual IOW Conference. As usual, the focus is on creative language teaching using ICT, and it promises to be a great weekend. This year, there’s so much going on that it has been extended to two days with a Show and Tell event on the Saturday night so that everyone can share, not just those who are presenting.

And speaking of presenters – look at the line up!

  • Sharon Tonner – ICT specialist, ex- High School of Dundee, now working for a Scottish Uni!
  • Jo Rhys-Jones – AST in MFL, Kingswear Primary School
  • Lisa Stevens – Spanish Teacher and eTwinning ambassador, Whitehouse Common Primary School,
  • Carole Nicoll – Language Factory
  • Drew Buddie – ICT coordinator, Royal Masonic School for Girls and eTwinning ambassador
  • Nick Mair – HoD in MFL, Dulwich College
  • John Warwick – Deputy Head, St Luke’s School and eTwinning ambassador
  • Kathleen Holton – HoD in MFL, Argoed High School
  • Mark Pentleton – Radio Lingua Network
  • Lesley Welsh – AST in MFL, English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College and SSAT languages lead practitioner coordinator
  • Chris Fuller – Spanish teacher, Edgehill College and SSAT languages lead practitioner
  • Sharon Balch – French teacher, Swanmore Middle School
  • Doug Dickinson – Independent ICT consultant
  • Kathy Wicksteed – Languages advisor for new KS3 curriculum
  • Adam Sutcliffe – MFL teacher, The Gordon Schools and Glow Champion
  • Lesley Haggar-Vaughan, Shireland CLC manager
  • Julie Adoch, HoD in MFL, Heathfield Foundation Technology College and her students

They will be tackling topics including-

  • Mobile Phones
  • Wikis
  • Primary Languages
  • Ning networking
  • Songs
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Games based learning
  • Gender differences
  • Videoconferencing
  • eTwinning
  • Digital Voice Recorders
  • One Stop Animation
  • PowerPoint
  • Interactive Whiteboards and Voting Systems
  • Blogging and Podcasting
  • Assessment for Learning
  • New KS3 curriculum
  • Web 2.0 tools
  • vodcasting
  • eCreativity

Having had the privilege of speaking last year on Primary Languages and eTwinning, I’ve been asked again – must have done something right ;o) – and this year I’ll be co-presenting with Jo Rhys-Jones. It promises to be a highly entertaining session as we always end up in fits of giggles when we meet up, and I’m sure plenty of that fun will be manifest in the session.

So, watch out for the delegates pack that Joe will soon be launching, and take the opportunity as term nears a close (in England – I know Scotland has already broken up) to put in your PD request whilst there’s still money in the budget, and while everyone else is just hanging out for the holidays!!

Check out Joe’s blog for more information and for reports on last year too here and here. See also here, here, here and here. And not forgetting here! And for my response, read Trains Ferries Buses and Ford Anglias. (note to self – go via Southampton not Lymington this year!)

Off to Oxford!

Thursday, April 10th, 2008


No, I’ve not decided to go back to university, nor been bitten by the urge to row (although if it meant getting near to Matthew Pinsent, I’d grab those oars like a shot!)

Tomorrow I’m off to Oxford for Language World, the Association of Language Learning‘s annual conference. Officially spread over two days, the fun and games actually start this evening with an event at the OUP bookshop, from 7pm, followed by a meal for those who have already arrived in Oxford. The official site says
‘Join us for a glass of wine : the perfect start to your conference and a great way to meet your fellow delegates while browsing in a relaxed atmosphere. There will also be some great special offers available. Anyone attending the conference is welcome, as are ALL members and all languages teachers and lecturers who live in Oxford or nearby.’

So if you meet the criteria, off you go!

I’m looking forward to two days of interesting exciting and inspiring PD – if it’s anything like last year, I’ll be exhausted but buzzing by the time I get home on Saturday night. It was really hard to choose my sessions, although 9 year old insisted I went to Ewan McIntosh‘s seminar- last year, he inspired me to buy a NintendoDS – my son wants to know if I could be persuaded to buy a Wii this year?? Actually, didn’t need much persuading! I’m also looking forward to the followup to a session I attended last year on using videoconferencing at Tile Hill Wood School and Language College to deliver PLL to feeder schools, and also to Stephen Fawkes’ session on learners being creative with language.

I’m also excited about being invited to take part in the London ALL Branch Show and Tell on Saturday by the President of ALL , no less, Helen Myers – I feel like I’ve been invited to a Royal garden party but without the need for a hat :o) I’ll be talking about my blog, and sharing tips and ideas for creative PLL.

And of course, the chance to meet friends, old and new is a big draw. Last year I missed the dinner as I decided to appease Mr Lisibo and spend a night away with him – but only succeeded in getting two enormous blisters on my feet as I insisted that my shoes were comfortable enough to walk in (underestimating the 4 miles I needed to walk back to the hotel) then keeping him awake telling him about all the things I’d learned. So this year, off to the dinner for me.

So see you in Oxford Joe, Chris, Marie-France, Lesley, Rachel, José, Helen, Ewan and Quentin et al. No doubt missed someone but that’s who I know is going!

If you’re an NQT or student teacher, you could get in for free – have a look here for details!

PS Find out what I thought about last year‘s Language World – pre-blog and pre-NintendoDS!