secondary languages – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: secondary languages

June 2021

I love being in nature, whether it’s running, walking or just loitering. In recent times, this has become all the more important to me, not least as a way of finding peace and calm in a world that seems to have gone bonkers. I don’t think I’m alone in this either! There seems to be an increasing awareness of the value of being outdoors, partly because it’s been the only way to meet until recently but also due to a new habits formed by being ‘locked down.’ With all this in mind, I was so excited to find a tweet today about #30DaysWildMultilingual.

Every year in June, The Wildlife Trusts run the 30 Days Wild challenge – a challenge to do an activity linked to nature, every day, for the whole month, and Multilingualism in Schools decided, in conjunction with their local Wildlife Trust in Sheffield, that they would like to create a language based challenge aimed both at those learning a language at school and those who are growing up multilingual. Each day of June there is a simple challenge linking languages and the natural world that can be completed by children (and adults!) of all ages. They include finding the names for flowers in other languages, counting hops, litter picking and eating outside. Some can even be linked to our topics (likes and dislikes, weather and colours)

I’m really excited by this and will be sharing it with learners at both my schools as an enrichment activity. I recently asked children what sorts of things they would like to do to make language learning better; challenges, and activities in different languages came up so this is serendipitous. The Multilingualism in Schools Twitter account @LostWor_l_ds will tweet an activity a day using the hashtag #30DaysWild and #30DaysWildMultilingual but you can download all 30 challenges from their website or below, and complete as many as you want, whenever you want!

Even if you aren’t able to join in with all the activities, why not choose one to complete with your learners as a one off lesson? For example, why not use the Cloud spotting task as a way to practise using a bilingual dictionary, or as a way of exploring other languages using Google Translate or online dictionaries?

Or learn a song about nature and take it outside to sing (although we’re allowed to sing inside now, it’s far better outside, especially if this lovely weather continues!)

For me, although I teach Spanish at both my schools, language learning is about languages plural, and it’s vital that ALL languages are seen as important, especially those spoken and/or understood by our school and local communities. I really hope that children will use these challenges to share their own languages and also explore others as well as – or even instead of – expanding their Spanish vocabulary. I’m also looking forward to children getting outside and exploring, appreciating the school grounds as well as their local environment.

If you do join in, make sure to tweet @LostWor_l_ds and use the hashtags #30DaysWild and #30DaysWildMultilingual or, if you don’t use Twitter, email lostworlds@sheffield.ac.uk or leave comments on their website.

There’s more to explore on the LostWor(l)ds website – expect another post in the near future!

If you’re interested in the wildlife aspect particularly, it’s also worth checking out your local Wildlife Trust website for details of events near you. I’ve found that my local one – Birmingham and the Black Country – are planning special events (not language related) for the Big Wild Weekend including a camp out, a quiz and talks from experts.

At this time of year, I’m normally gearing up for my annual ‘weekend away’ at Language World. It’s taken me to York, Lancaster, Leicester, Rugby, Nottingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester, Loughborough and of course, Oxford where Language World and I first ‘met.’ This year, things are a little different as I won’t physically be going anywhere as the conference is coming to me in my home via the wonders of video conferencing. And it can come to you too if you sign up!

Language World is the annual conference and training event of the Association for Language Learning (ALL).
The theme of Language World 2021 is “A rich curriculum for ALL”.

As the blurb on their site says:
“Schools are currently exploring how they can offer rich, exciting education for all their pupils. Ofsted encourages schools to make positive decisions to preserve or develop richness of experience along with breadth and depth of curriculum – for example, giving pupils the opportunity to learn a number of foreign languages and arts subjects, recognising local ambitions.  We look forward to sharing ideas and best practice from among our languages community about these kinds of curricular aspects, and about learning that goes deeper into content, motivates learners of Languages, culture and communication, and is broader than the exam specifications.”


Keynote speakers this year include:

  • President of ALL (2020-22), Kim Bower;
  • Dr. Michael Wardle, Language Lead for OFSTED;
  • international expert on CLIL and Professor of Languages Education and Classroom Learning at university of  Edinburgh, Professor Do Coyle
  • Professor of Applied Linguistics at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, Professor Li Wei

Im particularly looking forward to hearing from Professor Li Wei on Friday talking about Multilingualism, Language Learning and Social Cognition and then from Jane Driver on Saturday talking about Using CLIL and MFL strategies to maximise the curriculum for EAL learners.

And then there are the talks and presentations from which you can choose. Each session is 30 minutes long with a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions. Easier for concentration but challenging when you’re planning a session and always have too much for 45 minutes…

Some sessions that caught my eye as a primary languages practitioner include:

  • Promoting intercultural understanding through cross curricular and extra-curricular activities in the primary classroom – lots of practical ideas led by Bernadette Clinton and Raquel Tola Rego
  • A recipe for success! Creating a bespoke scheme of work – Clare Seccombe
  • Engaging, enriching, inclusive: ensuring a primary MFL curriculum which delivers for SEND pupils – Eleanor Chettle Cully
  • Celebrate your bilingual learners and promote linguistic diversity in your school with an International Mother Tongue Day project – Hannah White

As usual, I have a problem! The first two are at the same time as each other AND I’m speaking at the same time! And the second two are also concurrent. I’m hoping that with the online nature of the conference we might be able to catch up… but I’m not sure so don’t quote me on it!

Decisions decisions!

Other sessions I’m looking forward to:

  • What does an anti-racist, decolonised MFL curriculum look like?
  • Embedding languages into the curriculum: practical examples from Scotland and Wales
  • Teaching Phonics – Mapping, Method and Moving on

Another innovation this year is that some 30 minute slots split into 3 mini talks and I’m looking forward to many of those too including Dr Judith Rifeser talking about Nurturing intercultural understanding and celebrating pupils’ diverse and multilingual voices through creative projects, Bryn Llewellyn sharing Learning Languages on the Move – Developing Language Vocabulary using Physically Active Learning Approaches, Helen Stokes talking about Making connections between languages with translation skills: for easier transition between KS2 and 3 and How MFL teaching can boost whole school literacy led by Clare Caio.

So much that it’s hard to choose! You might even want to ‘attend’ my session entitled Take One Book in which I’ll explore how to make full use of a storybook (a different one from the one I shared at PHOrum!) You can find further details on the Language World 2021 website and the programme can be found here.

Register here.

I am very much looking forward to a new experience and whilst I’d rather we were meeting together as usual, I’m excited for the new format and will still be wearing LiPS themed clothing and sketchnoting!

Wondering why the LiPS? Check out Languages in Primary Schools group on Facebook!

Find out about my experiences at previous Language Worlds by following the links below!

Reflections on Language World 2008
Absorbing Language Learning 2009
Language World 2010 and various posts following including Raising Global Awareness and Creativity talks as well as sessions by Clare DoddLiz Black Cynthia Martin Oh, and my session – Bricklaying for beginners!
Language World 2011 – my session Entitled to enjoy Primary Languages and many other sessions by Chris HarteJan Lewandowski and Liz Fotheringham
Language World 2014 overview     Session on apps
Language World 2015 in sketchnotes
Language World 2016 in sketchnotes  Session on Sketchnoting
Language World 2017 in sketchnotes
Language World 2018 in sketchnotes My session Using Technology for collaboration 
Sue Cave’s session – Language Detectives Primary Show and Tell
Language World 2019 – The Sketchnotes My session on Supporting learners’ understanding and enjoyment of stories in the primary languages classroom.
I was briefly at Language World 2020 but didn’t blog it as it coincided with a particularly stressful time – including lockdown beginning a few days later!

image shows 5 coloured people icons standing behind a clipboard with the word survey on it and a green tick.

Last night I attended a webinar hosted by ALL London with the British Council to launch the Language Trends survey for 2021.

Language Trends is a yearly report that discusses the state of language learning in England and is written by Ian Collen of Queens University, Belfast. It’s a really important report on language learning at primary and secondary level in England that is published and read at high level by government and policy makers. The more responses they get, the better the picture of language learning across the country as it is informed by the results of a survey sent to schools.

British Council written in dark blue capital letters to the right of four turquoise dots in a square.

The Language Trends survey 2021 is being emailed to schools this week. It’ll be sent to the public email of your school – often the HT or enquiry@ Last year, it was notable that the responses tended to come from schools in more ‘affluent’ areas statistics wise (eg lower than average FSM) so it would be good to have a wider breadth of data this time. Ian Collen, the author of the report, wants to hear all about what’s going on in primary schools. One of last year’s finding was that “Primary Languages are embedded in policy but not in practice.” Therefore, if you ARE putting policy into practice, this is an opportunity to share all the wonderful things that are going on.

If you are asked to fill it in, please do! If you aren’t, email the Head and ask them to do it, or offer to do it for them! It’ll take you about 15 minutes. The deadline is 29th January which is very soon!!

If you’d like to read last year’s report, you can find it (and other research into language learning in the UK) on the British Council website Language Trends 2020 or it’s below in PDF,

Wednesday morning saw me gazing at the sea, then moving swiftly past Butlins to speak at University of Chichester MFL Conference. I had a lovely day attending sessions in the morning and sharing some ideas about using technology and stories in the languages classroom.

Below are my sketchnotes of the sessions I attended, starting with Elaine Minett’s upbeat introduction to the conference, talking about challenges being seen as opportunities, followed by an idea packed session about using poetry by Concha Julian of the Consejería de Educación and finishing with Lynne Brackley’s session on using drama based activities in languages. I enjoyed using my dramatic skills in both of the latter sessions!

If you get the opportunity next year, I can thoroughly recommend attending as the conference was varied with sessions for primary, secondary as well as cross phase sessions, and they were delivered by a variety of people including PGCE students, teachers and representatives of organisations like the British Council, the Consejería de Educación and Language Angels. I enjoyed seeing Catherine on the Little Linguist stand once more (and buying a new book!) as well as visiting other stands including Institut Français and European Schoolbooks.


A post about my sessions will follow later!

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. 

On Wednesday 22nd June I’ll be in Surrey speaking at a Modern Languages conference organised by Babcock4S.

frontback

As you can see from the flyer above, the conference is entitled The Future of Language Learning and features keynotes by Janet Lloyd and Joe Dale that ‘book end’ three seminar slots.

If you check out the conference website you’ll get a basic overview – more details can be obtained from the following PDF Programme of the day. You’ll see that there are sessions addressing assessment, transition, cooperative learning, technology and specific languages led by a wide variety of speakers including Dan Alliot and Suzi Bewell, and convened by Carine Jacquel and Helen Myers.

My session is entitled “I’m a primary language teacher. Help me out here!”

Paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Some are born Primary language teachers, some become Primary language teachers and some have Primary language teaching thrust upon them” How can all three scenarios lead to confident successful teachers and learners, demonstrating significant progress by the end of KS2? We’ll explore how to plan for progression (in the long and short term), share sources of support and inspiration and discuss how to best meet the challenges of the Languages Programmes of Study.

It’s not too late to sign up (which you can do here) for a day of inspiration and networking.

 

 

 

Lisibo will be very busy over the next two weeks with three talks in the space of 8 days. Bit like buses 😉

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Following on from Language World and the success of the Show and Tell, Jesús from the Consejería de Educación asked if I could facilitate one at the annual Talleres de Español. Unfortunately my partner in crime Clare is unavailable so I’m going it alone. However, I hope that there will be participants who want to share their ideas, celebrate their successes and suggest suitable resources during the session so I don’t end up talking for the entire 50 minutes.

The programme offers sessions in the morning tailored specifically to Primary and Secondary colleagues followed by general sessions and cultural workshops after lunch (which is always very special!) I’m speaking at both of the morning sessions which means I can’t attend the parallel Primary sessions (hoping someone will take notes for me – any volunteers?) but am spoilt for choice in the afternoon.

Click to download the programme

 

I spoke at the Talleres in 2011 – you can read all about it here and it will be wonderful to return to Instituto Español Vicente Cañada Blanch. And I always enjoy meeting others and discovering new ideas! Why not join me?

Above is the flyer and below are the details of each session and the presenter bios.

And here’s how to register:

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!

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.40.04

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

Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 15.08.09

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!

 

My idea to share at the Show and Tell was based on a post I wrote in August –

El que busca encuentra

The picture I shared is on that post (in two parts) and below I’ve uploaded it as one image. I’ve also shared another couple that don’t have questions.

el que busca

Mujeres célebres

Grandes científicas

Grandes científicas

IMG_0568 IMG_0569

Grandes genios de la informática (arriba)

Grandes personajes de terror (abajo) – perhaps for next Halloween?

IMG_0566 IMG_0567

Apart from the ideas in the previous blogpost, I was going to suggest that any Where’s Wally?/Où est Charlie?/Wo ist Walter?/¿Dónde está Wally? could be used in a similar way:

1. explain where Wally is using prepositions/positional language.

2. provide descriptions of other characters to be found: could be done as a reading or a listening activity .

3. learners could do the above with a partner, or in small groups

4. learners imagine the life of one of the characters and provide a biography, or put themselves into their shoes and introduce themselves (a little like Janet Lloyd’s ‘In the picture’ activity)

and so on!

(Apologies for taking so long to upload – I’ve suffered severe post -#ililc5 exhaustion this week!)

Thanks to Pat Sweeney on the Yahoo MFL Resources group for pointing out this group.

If you like Hi5, and you love a bit of 90s “cheese”, you’ll love Nubeluz.

As Pat writes –

“Many of Nubeluz’s songs seem to be innocent good fun and definitely have catchy tunes that make you want to dance and sing along.
However, some “carry a message “. For example “Papi, deja de fumar!”
( Daddy, give up smoking!) or “Cuidado ” ( Be careful!) which warns of being mislead by friends to get involved in things that are not right or good.”

She goes on to pose a question –

“I would be very interested to know what people think of the songs and whether they would deem them suitable for using as teaching aids..and if so..with which groups..how?”

So…here are some ideas for how to use  Yo quiero ser

I think this would fit well with the topics People who help us or Jobs people do that are part of EYFS and KS1. I think that the chorus is the most useful part.

Activities you might do:

  • ask learners to identify the jobs they hear in the chorus. They are repeated at the very end so there are 2 chances to catch them. You might provide a tick sheet with pictures for younger learners or the names in Spanish for older ones.
  • make a pelmanism game with job images and names in Spanish for matching first then for playing.
  • cut the lyrics (chorus) into strips. Ask learners firstly to see if they can match the jobs with the description of what they do. This uses their LLS as they will look for cognates, make connections between the word for the job and words in the description and so on. Then they can check their answers by listening and watching again.
  • I might use Amara (was UniversalSubtitles) http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/ to put Spanish subtitles on the video too. (See this example and also this post about how and why)
Moving away from the video, some further ideas –
  • I might use other video clip such as Los oficios which features a famous song, or this version with the words.
  • This clip Cuando sea grande would be a good step onto using the future tense. Seré dentista/artista etc. I also like the final lines – “Cuando sea grande, haré mil cosas/Porque estoy seguro que podré. Y mientras tanto llega la hora/Solamente niño quiero ser”
  • There is a whole unit of work on Udicom on Los oficios. These resources are intended for ‘alumnos de compensatoria’ or learners needing extra help in Spain so many are very simple exercises on copywriting, phonics, matching and writing words and short phrases. I particularly like the phonics sections and the use of little rhymes too.
  • This interactive site is useful for learning the names of jobs by hovering over the people, and clicking to see/hear a short sentence about what they do. Further forward (click on arrow bottom right) it talks about “profesiones” – professions as opposed to “oficios” – jobs.
  • Here’s a free poster that you can download – I believe you need to purchase the other posters tagged Los oficios but you can look at them for ideas!
  • I also found this blog with an image and short descriptions for 6 jobs/professions.
  • And this is a wonderful site with lots of ideas and materials for a wide age range. There are a number of stories at a variety of levels (primary and secondary) as well as comics and ‘information books’, all presented online. As this resource is aimed at social studies for Spanish learners, so you need to bear that in mind e.g. Look at the complexity of language rather than going by the age indicated. I looked at a few stories – Alejandro el canguro pintor (basic) is a lovely tale about a kangaroo that draws all the time, and Maria auxiliar de ayuda a domicilio is more complex and a home help who makes Grandma’s life better. There’s a teachers guide that includes ideas and some activity sheets. Well worth an explore if you’re looking to work cross curricularly at primary or secondary level!

 

So, Pat. Does that answer your question? 🙂

 

 

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