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Archive for the ‘workshops’ Category

Reflections on ICT Links into Languages conference.

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

I’m exhausted but I’m buzzing and can’t snooze until I’ve got some things off my chest!

#ILILC was brilliant. People who actually teach (predominantly) sharing what they do in their classrooms – not airy fairy ideas from a golden age but what actually goes on in classrooms up and down the country. And what should go on in more schools. Ideas that have been tried and tested on all kinds of pupils- the motivated, the bored, the disaffected, the enthusiastic and the ‘why should I?’ of all ages. And I’m not talking just about the ‘presenters’ – the tips, ideas and insights being shared over coffee (and stronger beverages) were just as interesting and important as the sessions attended. The problem was finding enough time to share it all. Thank the little blue bird for Twitter! And blogs. And audio recording. And the willingness of MFLers to share whenever,wherever.

Common themes?
The power of community – the ‘MFL Twitterati’ was much in evidence and more were added to the number.
The strength of support offered to others shown over and over – story swapping, idea sharing, shoulder lending, email exchanging, Savlon providing (thanks mutton chops!)
The conviction of many that the national plans for language learning are not going as they should for the good of learners – but rather than just moaning, offering ideas and solutions of alternative, better approaches. And those ideas can’t be way out or wacky as they seem to be fairly consistent – independent, creative, questioning, challenged, skilful learners; knowledge is important but the ability to select the relevant knowledge and apply it is far more valuable.
Noise. I know I contributed plenty of it – ‘down an octave Stevens’ was a constant instruction from Chris Fuller – but language teachers are a noisy bunch. I guess our trade is communicating so I shouldn’t be surprised. The addition of a number of parrots, toucan and hens (???) made it even louder! Especially once Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch was invoked.
Laughter. I have not laughed that much in a long time. Whether tickled by a mistweet (IanBootle was added to our number last night and @blaggers may well be confused man today!), laughing at exploding Red Bull cans and accident prone delegates or guffawing at a shared joke, the sound of laughter has refreshed me – and I suspect many others who are in need of some camaraderie and light relief from the job of doing our best for our learners.

As Chris Harte so eloquently put it this morning, Language teaching is not broken, it just has some out of date files, needs defragging and rebooting. This weekend I’ve met and spoken to, and heard from many people who I think have a really good idea about what our new upgraded device should be able to do.

Just hope that those deciding what type of device we get will delete the correct files, add the right programs and gives language learning the operating system that it needs and deserves.

Let’s hope they read and hear the voices that I’ve heard this weekend. we’re shouting as loud as we can!

Pogled kroz prozor*

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Whilst I was in Nottingham, I met many lovely people frm across Europe.
One such ‘lovely person’ was Lidija from Croatia who, as well as a teacher, is a writer and had asked if she might interview some people for an article.
Guess who got volunteered?

You can watch my interview below, and also others on Lidija’s Youtube channel Pogled kroz prozor including one with @niiloa. Lidija’s article will be published soon – I’ll let you know when!

* Pogled kroz prozor means Look through the window

Fancy two weeks in Spain, France or Germany?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

CILT advertisement that might be of interest to people – If you’re interested in this, the closing date is 15th September, so best to sign up before the holidays!  Find out more on the CILT website or by emailing ptp@cilt.org.uk


¡Viva la Vida Latina!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

I’m Secretary and ‘web guru’ of the ALL Spanish Committee and would like to bring your attention to the following event that’s fast approaching.

¡Vida Latina! will be held at Aston University, easily accessible by road and public transport, and will be a day of celebrating all things Hispanic.
As you can see from the flyer, there are a variety of sessions covering travel, dance, literature and teaching ideas. Guaranteed to be a good day with things to entertain and also make you think.
More details can be found on the Links in languages site.
Excellent value – especially if you’re a student!!
I’m looking forward to learning some Tango. Must find a red rose….


eTwinning Spanish links – Manchester 12th May

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

I spent this afternoon taking part in an eTwinning event at the British Council in Manchester, delivering a case study and explaining a bit about eTwinning.

Below is my presentation (soon to have sound added to it so you can listen and look!):

Spanish links seminar – Manchester.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009


Currently listening to Paz from the Consejeria de Educación talking about all the wonderful things that they do to promote Spanish within the UK and Ireland.

  • Courses for Primary teachers to improve their language skills,
  • Arsenal Double Club,
  • classes for Spanish children in the UK,
  • Ruta Quetzal,
  • resources held at Manchester University School of Language and Linguistics that you can borrow,
  • awards for Spanish Primary and Secondary School of the year
  • facilitating links between Local Authorities in UK and Ireland, and Consejerías de Educación of autonomous regions in Spain,
  • training British Council language assistants,
  • Spanish workshops
  • publications for Primary and Secondary including TECLA and Acti/España – published online

Check out their website for more information of the great work they do!