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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.

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!

 

Top ten tips for Primary Language Learning

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

If you’ve read the July edition of UKEDmagazine you may have read my article entitled Top ten tips for Primary Language Learning. If you haven’t, you can read the unedited version below or the official version at this link

Top ten tips for Primary Language Learning

A wide variety of people teach languages in Primary schools, probably more than in any other ‘subject’. Whether you’re a class teacher with or without language skills, a reluctant language coordinator or a visiting language specialist (to name but a few possibilities) here are my top ten tips for primary language teaching and learning.

  1. Phonics are vital

It doesn’t matter which language you teach, making the correct sounds of that language is key. Working on phonics from the start builds a strong foundation on which learners can build, enabling them to see new words and say them accurately. Have a look at Rachel Hawkes’ website where there are links to free resources covering French Spanish German and Italian. http://www.rachelhawkes.com/Resources/Phonics/Phonics.php

 

  1. Songs and rhymes motivate and teach

A good way to increase confidence in reading and speaking the language is by sharing songs, poems and rhymes. This is also a good way to reinforce phonic knowledge and explore the rhythms of the language. Mama Lisa has songs and rhymes in many languages, often with a sound file giving the correct pronunciation and a translation into English so you know what you’re saying! There are also many songs and rhymes on Youtube on channels such as Basho and Friends or by searching for the artist such as Alain le lait

 

  1. Dramatic stories

Using stories – in translation or original language – is another great tool for language learning as they are familiar and often very repetitive. My favourites include Oso pardo, ¿qué ves?, Le navet enorme and Kleiner weisser Fisch as they lend themselves to acting out (even Y6 like acting!) and are easy for learners to adapt into their own stories. For example, Y5 invented stories based on Le navet enorme that included a child who didn’t want to get in the bath and had to be pulled to the bathroom, a teacher stuck in the PE cupboard and a car that broke down and needed to be pushed.

 

  1. Technology has its place

There are many opportunities for using technology to enhance language learning such as recording, reviewing and refining speaking activities using Audacity or an app like VoiceRecordPro, or performing speeches and role plays using Tellagami, YakitKids, or Puppet Pals.  BookCreator app is an excellent tool for creating multimedia books including text, sound, video, hyperlinks, doodles and pictures; incredibly easy to use and suitable for young children as well as those who are less confident with technology. And why not use Build Your Wildself or Switchzoo to create hybrid animals then describe them in the language.

 

  1. Share!

Using technology is also a great way to enable sharing of the great things that go on in language learning. Whether it is via the school website or VLE, tweeted or shared on a class/school blog, celebrating language learning gives it status and also provides an audience and a purpose for learning. Additionally, learners are able to take their learning home with them digitally; the excitement of pupils when we made our first podcast nine or ten years ago was great. “I’m on my Gran’s iPod!” was my favourite comment.

 

  1. Use anything you can get your hands on

The primary classroom is full of things that can be used and adapted for language learning. Number fans are great for counting and also giving feedback with numbered images for example. Mini whiteboards allow learners to write and correct without committing it to paper as well as drawing images to show understanding of vocabulary or instructions. Unifix cubes can be used for ordering ideas or vocabulary and cushions make great impromptu puppets for speaking or islands for phoneme sorting!

 

  1. Grammar isn’t a dirty word

Primary learners are very familiar with grammatical terms and enjoy comparing the grammar of other languages, making links and finding differences. Sorting words into boxes according to gender, making human sentences to explore word order and creating verb flowers or spiders are just some ways of making grammar fun and memorable.

 

  1. Integrate language learning into the curriculum

Language learning shouldn’t be seen as a standalone but, as much as possible, integrated into the primary curriculum. As there is no prescribed content in the KS2 PoS, it’s possible to teach the skills through whatever topic if you use a little imagination. And where full integration is tricky or where a specialist delivers the lesson, a class teacher can always build language into routines such as PE warmups, lining up, the register and so on, even if their knowledge of the language is limited.

 

  1. Make links

Don’t just make cross curricular links, but also cross country and cross cultural links. Making contact with children that speak the language you’re learning is very motivating and gives a real purpose to learning. It also increases learners’ understanding of other cultures as well as considering their own in new ways. The British Council SchoolsOnline is a good place to start the search for partners.

 

  1. Celebrate all languages

Most of all, celebrate all languages. Many learners already speak more than one language which is a valuable skill. Encourage them to share how to say things in their languages; comparing and contrasting numbers or colours in a variety of languages is a fun activity as learners try to group similar words together.

This article first appeared in the July 2015 Edition of UKEdMagazine

If you’d like to read more of the magazine that includes other articles about language learning including one of target language by @reebekwylie and Progress in MFL by @jakehuntonMFL the links are below.

You can buy a printed copy of the magazine by clicking here, or

Freely read online by clicking Here

We’re on our way – Staffordshire Primary Languages conference: 26th June 2015

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

keep-calm-we-re-on-our-way-10On Friday 26th June I attended the Entrust Primary Languages Conference in Stafford, organised and led by Lorna Harvey. Entitled ‘We’re on our way’, the day began with an excellent keynote from Clare Seccombe aka @valleseco and genius behind LightBulbLanguages.

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Sharing a title with the conference, Clare shared her ideas on the journeys involved in primary language learning – for the child, the teacher and as a nation. I love how Clare can express her ideas so well in images. I’ve tried to capture some of them in my sketch note below.

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You can read Clare’s presentation for yourself here – We’re on our way!

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There were a number of workshops during the day – I attended one on a cluster of schools who use a ‘language investigators’ approach to language learning in Y1-2 and 3-4 before focussing on one language in Y6. My sketch note is below along with a few images.

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IMG_4687Plan for Y1-2 IMG_4688I loved the pizza/paella Italian/Spanish numbers!
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The day was very much a celebration of a project between Stafford and Burgundy, and I’d been asked to speak after lunch about a similar partnership in which I’d been involved, between Birmingham and Barcelona. It was wonderful to prepare my presentation as it sparked so many amazing memories and caused me to reflect on where we’ve gone since the (official) end of the partnership. Below you can see my presentation (although without the video clips I’m afraid) and Clare kindly sketch noted it for me.

We had a brilliant presentation from pupils about their experiences as well as a culinary lesson based on tasting and making mustard. Great fun and with clear language goals too!

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I finished the day by presenting about using technology to enhance language learning. You can see my presentation below and access the notes, tutorials etc here.

Enhancing Primary Language Learning using Technology from Lisa Stevens

A great day – not much tweeting as I was too busy sketching or making mustard as was Clare, but here’s the Storify of the tweets anyway.

A great day – thanks Lorna!

PS Clare’s workshop – Be a crafty language teacher is explained here too!

Are you a Twit or a Tweep? #etuk14

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

I”ve been presenting today on Twitter at the UK National eTwinning Conference in Nottingham at the National College of Leadership. Below is my presentation – the videos have obviously not uploaded so I’ve embedded them below.

I’ve also added a link to my Pinterest where I’ve bookmarked some useful links to Twitter, particularly in education.

Are you a Twit or a Tweep? – Twitter from Lisa Stevens
Link to Teachers TV video
Pinterest links

My Journey with Technology – #SanakoTILT

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Here’s my Keynote presentation from today’s Sanako Technology in Language Teaching (TILT) conference.

In it, I reflect on my journey in language teaching, reflecting on the increasing role that technology has played. Along the way, I revealed my experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) and discussed some of the tools that have proved useful, brilliant and/or indispensable.


If you click the slides in the Slideshare, you’ll find some hyperlinks. A few things to which I referred:

Amara

Association for Language Learning – http://www.all-languages.org.uk

NoTosh website 

Join the Carnival de los animales 

Wordle 

Tagxedo

SwitchZoo

Build Your wildself

The Year 3 lesson progression that I didn’t manage to fit in is described here.

If you go to my Slideshare account you’ll find other presentations about technology that you may find helpful. Unfortunately Slideshare has stopped Slidecast so there’s no audio anymore but some presentations can be found at Lisibo Talks.

And if you use the search box on my blog you’ll find posts about all sorts of tools!

Any questions, please tweet, email or write a comment below!

Tools for learning languages #lupgceict2014

Friday, February 21st, 2014

 

I’ve spent today at University of Leicester talking to Primary PGCE students about using technology as part of a yearly event organised by Doug Dickinson aka @orunner. I took part in the original one and have missed the last two as I was in Switzerland so it was good to be invited back this year for the fourth year.

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(Thanks to Oliver Quinlan for the very ‘serious’ photo!)

Below is my presentation and below that, some links to sites and apps I referenced.

Tools for language learning #lupgceict2014 from Lisa Stevens

4 Pictures 1 Word free app
PicCombo free app
Ruzzle free app

Padlet
Popplet – also app lite (free)  and paid (£2.99)

Festisite
Tools for Educators

Storybird
BookCreator – app (free to try) and paid (£2.99)
PicCollage  app (free)
PicLit

Tellagami – app (free)
Morfo – app (free)
Voki

Any questions, please feel free to leave comments below or message me via Twitter @lisibo

Are you coming to #ililc4?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 14.35.33Now in its fourth year, ILILC (ICT Links into Languages Conference) takes place at University of Southampton on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February. Offering something for language teachers of all ages (and language enthusiasts too!) it is not to be missed. So much so that for the last two years I’ve flown in from Switzerland to attend.

The theme this year is Putting the Pedagogy in the Technology – very important message that I’ve been banging on about for ages, inspired many years ago by Ewan McIntosh saying “It’s not about the tech but about the teach.”

The two keynote speakers, Joe Dale and Clare Seccombe,  are always worth a listen and the list of speakers is impressive:

Amanda Salt Chris Fuller – Davis Riley – Dominic McGladderyDominic TraynorEleanor Abrahams Garry MillsIsabelle JonesJames GardnerJo Rhys-JonesLisa StevensRachel SmithSadie McLachlanSamantha BroomSuzi BewellTom Hockaday

The programme will be on the Languages South East website very soon but I know that people are talking about all sorts of things including SOLO, flipped learning, mini books, mobile learning, apps, Flubaroo, Triptico and much much more!

As you may have noticed from the above, I shall be speaking.

My sessions are entitled A beginner’s guide to using iPads in the Primary classroom and Something old, something new… 

Shall I reveal more? Perhaps in another post…

Can I encourage you, if you possibly can, to join us in Southampton for what is always a brilliant conference at which I learn tons, have a shedload of fun and make new friends that support me throughout the year.

There’s also a Show and Tell on the Saturday night at which people can share their ideas, activities, games and songs in an informal manner so if you’re local and can’t make it for the whole conference, pop along! Sign up on the wikispace!

Find out more here

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#EDUtalk 3-4-13 – Lisa Stevens

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

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Last Wednesday I was invited to be the guest on Radio Edutalk.

EDUtalk is organised by David Noble (@parslad) and John Johnston (@johnjohnston) and encourages people to talk about education, using mobile and web technologies.

I was really honoured to be asked and enjoyed the talking about my experiences and thoughts on education.  We talked about my background, how I came to be in Switzerland and what I’ve been doing here before going on to talk about creativity and technology in education.

My summary of “the important bits”!

  • Be patient – things don’t happen overnight.
  • Lead by example. And if learners enjoy it, they’ll be your greatest help!
  • Technology is just another tool that can be used to enhance and transform learning – it’s not THE answer.
  • Before using technology ask “why?” – it should suit the task rather than the task being made to match the technology.
  • When starting out using new tools, don’t try to do everything at once. You’ll end up with too many plates spinning. Start with one or two ideas and “practise” for a bit before adding something else.
  • Learning should be celebrated. Loudly. And I love doing it.
  • Twitter is wonderful for keeping in touch and feeling connected.
  • We need to support one another, especially as other support, such as advisory teams, is being decimated.

Thanks to David and John for the opportunity. Great to talk to you again! You can listen to the programme here.

 

I want to break free – #ILILC3

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 14.59.19My first presentation at ICT Links into Languages Conference aka ILILC3 was entitled I want to break free.

The blurb promised –

In I want to break free  we’ll be looking at ways to break away from ‘chalk and talk’ and involve learners, encouraging them to interact with and demonstrate their understanding as they learn using (mobile) technology. We’ll investigate some ways of doing this using tools such as Nearpod, Socrative and Memrise and whilst I’ll be using my iPad and Mac to present, that doesn’t mean you need a fruity device to join in as some tools are web based and others are both Android and iOS. And on top of that, we’re a friendly bunch so I’m sure people will share!

Below are my slides which were more a summary of the session for those who weren’t there, and an aide-memoire for me to make sure I said all I wanted as we were flipping between apps most of the time! We did a Socrative quiz on the MFLTwitterati, learned about Healthy Eating in Spanish using Nearpod, saw how rubbish I really am at German using Memrise, looked very quickly at how to use Book Creator app and explained everything using Explain Everything!

(Apologies for the weird typeface – Slideshare has done something odd as it’s fine when I open in PPT!)

[slideshare id=16645089&style=border: 1px solid #CCC; border-width: 1px 1px 0; margin-bottom: 5px;&sc=no]

I want to break free from Lisa Stevens
I made a wikispace for delegates with useful links, ideas and tutorials to the tools we mentioned – you can access it at bit.ly/lisibofree