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Posts Tagged ‘french’

LinguaMedia app – updated

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Linguamedia is an app that allows you to watch foreign TV stations online. Originally launched earlier this year with French channels,  Linguascope announced today that their Linguamedia app has been updated so you can now watch German, Spanish, Italian and English channels as well as French ones. They’ve also improved video playback, and updated it for the iPhone5 screen.

The app costs 69p and offers 16 French, 6 German, 12 Italian, 12 Spanish and 5 English channels (NB the channels are in that language not necessarily from that country so there is an Austrian and a Swiss channel for German) It is possible to access TV online e.g. by searching “RTVE” you can watch the stream of RTVE1, RTVE2, Telesport and Canal 24H, but for convenience, this app is great. You need a wifi connection to view the stations, and as Linguascope warn

I’ve mentioned Linguatrivia Spanish and Newshound previously but there are many other apps from Linguascope available. Worth a look!

I can read… eBooks

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

I was reflecting today how much things have changed since I began teaching – we still used a banda machine (ah, the smell of that fluid!), Spain had the peseta, computers were huge and static, and the www was in its infancy.  Even in the last few years things have changed significantly with the arrival of smartphones and tablets – “fruity” or otherwise ;o)

By coincidence, I’d found that a resource I’ve used as a primary school teacher has now been released in a new format.

When first taught primary languages I discovered the I CAN READ series of books, firstly in French and then in Spanish.  These bilingual books allowed learners to read the simple stories in English and French or Spanish at the same time, meaning that they were never unsure about the meaning of vocabulary. It also made it less ‘risky’ for a learner to choose such a book as they didn’t have the mental block of all the words being ‘foreign’.

Then, as learning became more ‘technological’ and with the advent of the IWB,  Early Start began to market the books as Big Books on CD Rom, offering French Spanish and some German books. This meant that a whole class could read the book together, or have it read to them. They could complete activities collaboratively and discuss the text, focussing on individual items of vocabulary or grammar points like adjectives or exclamations. and of course, individuals could access them and play independently with the sound of the language adding to the reading that was possible with the books.

 

And now bsmallpublishing  have added ebooks to the mixture! Priced £4.99 and available from the iTunes app store, there are currently 10 French and  2 I can read… Spanish titles, and then 3 Let’s read (aimed at older KS2/KS3 readers) eBooks in Spanish and French.

The eBooks all feature a helpful ‘tips and shortcuts’ page which explains how to interact with the book – the eBooks are intuitive but there are certain things, such as how to stop the book from reading in English and skip to the French/Spanish, that are best made explicit from the start.

 

Below are screenshots from two of the books – Soy demasiado grande and Le facteur spatial showing some of the features such as Read to me (press the green triangle), the thumbnail bar that appears so you can skip to the correct page, and the vocabulary/pronunciation page that highlights the key words in the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bsmall webpage explains –

We have been busy preparing ebook versions of some of our bilingual stories. Our bilingual books are designed as fixed layout, colour ebooks with read aloud capabilities in two languages. They are in the epub format. They are readable on your iPad via the iBooks App and will be available soon for Kobo Vox and Kindle Fire. We’re adding more and more devices/distribution options as we go along so watch this space.

Read a little more about our list’s journey from print to digital on our blog.

And here is a Youtube video demonstrating how the books work using George, le poisson rouge.

I think that the eBooks are great for individual pupil access which is after all the idea of a mobile device. The stories are simple yet appealing, and feature repetition of words and structures, making them very accessible to beginners as well as intermediate learners. If I were to use it as a teaching tool, I would want a way to choose between hearing the English OR the French/Spanish OR both, rather than having to ‘jump in’ as quickly as possible to isolate the French/Spanish story – perhaps a future update might allow this. The vocabulary section is great too – a clear picture dictionary makes it very accessible to personal learning. I might like to see some phrases added to this e.g. me gusta – I like / no me gusta – I don’t like or tengo – I have and quiero – I want in Soy demasiado grande; however, I appreciate that the idea of a picture dictionary is that it is visual and sentences are more difficult to illustrate clearly!

The other great thing about the eBooks is that, once purchased, they go into your iBooks library where you can use all the feature of that app too such as the ability to ask it to speak a word or phrase that you highlight (in any language for which you have the keyboard), define to find out the meaning of words  or the search facility to find every occurrence of a certain word.

There’s a part of me that still loves ‘proper’ books, and I’m not entirely convinced that I’ll ever completely abandon the joy of literally turning pages, but I have to admit that in the language classroom, eBooks are a great tool that allow independent access to stories (and information books of course!) in other languages, not just in written but also in spoken form.

Calliope, Queen of the Zebras

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Just found this lovely story app via my Google Reader. Called Calliope, Queen of the Zebras, it’s a very simple story that you can read or have read to you. And it is written in English, Spanish and French – you change language by clicking on the cowboy hat, beret and sombrero so you can read each page in a different language if you want. The book also has hidden animations and sounds, and a fun page on which you can dress Calliope. And it’s a lovely story too –

“I can sing or swing,

I can be or do anything.”

There are another two story apps from StoryBook ExpressDott Meets Watt and If I only had wings, both of which are in English Spanish and Vietnamese, and come with a parent’s guide of questions to get your child talking.

I’ll be looking out for more in the series too…

Passeport pour la Francophonie – Education Scotland

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

I was really interested to read the following press release this week  –

Education Scotland publishes new online resource for modern languages called ‘Passeport pour la Francophonie’ at the Scottish Learning Festival on 19 September 2012.

Passeport pour la Francophonie will support primary teachers to provide stimulating and exciting learning experiences at second level, developing skills for reading, writing, listening and talking. The website provides suggestions for exploring the other curriculum areas such as religious and moral education or maths and numeracy through the medium of French language and culture.

Announcing the launch of the resource Education Scotland Strategic Director Kenneth Muir said, ”Passeport pour la Francophonie’ will support teachers in building confidence to embed language learning across the curriculum in an integrated and interdisciplinary way in line with the ethos of Curriculum for Excellence.

The Passeport challenges and learning journeys are designed to develop and practice key vocabulary to deepen understanding of culture of the French speaking world and to allow learners to see the interconnected nature of languages.

The online resource promotes an approach to the learning and teaching of French that is active, collaborative and makes appropriate and effective use of ICT. Local authoriti

es will find this helpful when planning their provision of modern languages in primary schools.’

Practitioners can use Passeport pour la Francophonie to enhance their professional learning both in terms of their own foreign language skills and developing innovative approaches to teaching a language.

Learners will find that the activities bring languages to life by travelling through five different countries of the Francophonie. They will discover other cultures, meet children from around the world and gain an understanding and appreciation of their native language and culture.

Passeport pour la Francophonie will be demonstrated at the Scottish Learning Festival on the Education Scotland stand (D65, Hall 3, SECC) on Wednesday 19 September at 11.30am and on Thursday 20 September at 10.30am.

And looking at the website, it looks really great! There are ebooks, sound files, videos and clear lesson ideas and plans with links to the Scottish curriculum. I love the way that it’s not about the language in isolation but about experiencing the culture and the “sights and sounds” of different places that have a common language.

Below you can hear Fhiona Fisher of Education Scotland speaking about just that – ‘widening out’ the idea of French as European to go on a voyage in their imaginations to see it as a worldwide language, and how language learning can be done cross-curricularly.

Another part I really like is the Links between languages page, looking at language in general, and also the Using this resource section which gives helpful information to the teacher on using the resource and also some CPD videos on Primary Language learning (MLPS in Scotland) Lovely to see some familiar faces from Le Français en Ecossewho were so instrumental in helping me love French again (merci Richard et Elise)

MFL Murder mystery in the Midlands!

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I’ve just received an email about an exciting new venture from Lingua@Hillcrest.  Based at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form centre in Birmingham, Lingua@Hillcrest is already known for its virtual visits to France, Spain and Germany including passport control, currency exchange, shopping and refreshment experience as well as language games.

Now they are offering …

Murder Mystery? 

 in French, German and Spanish

Why not challenge your students to solve the crime at

lingua@hillcrest

Birmingham

 

Using their language skills students take on a role in a team of detectives in order to solve the crime.

Investigations include

  • examining the scene of crime
  • forensics   
  • scrutinising news bulletins, recorded interviews & CCTV
  • analysing suspects’ bank and telephone records
  • cross-examining suspects

 

Recommended for year 9 – 11

Available every Monday

Bookings before 31 December 2012 – £150 per session or £250 for the full day.

After 1st January 2013 – £180 per session or £330 for the full day.

For further details www.hillcrest.bham.sch.uk/lingua

Contact 0121 464 3172  or email lingua@hillcrest.bham.sch.uk

 

Sounds fun to me and a great way to learn and practice language that can become very ‘borong’ after a while – personal identification, descriptions and so on!

Details of other activities at Lingua@Hillcrest are below.

 

 

Do you want to get your pupils ahead of the game in MFL?

fun, hands-on activities for KS3 in

French, German and Spanish

lingua@hillcrest,  Birmingham

Half day visits include:

  • Passport control
  • Exchanging currency at the bank
  • A carousel of interactive language activities
  • Simulated shopping in our international shopping village
  • Collecting stamps for every transaction completed
  • Buying refreshments and souvenirs at the shops

 

 Available every Monday

Bookings before 31 December 2012 – £150 per session or £250 for the full day.

After 1st January 2013 – £180 per session or £330 for the full day.

Discover how your pupils could benefit from a visit at

www.hillcrest.bham.sch.uk/lingua

To book a visit call us on 0121 464 3172 and ask for lingua bookings

or email us at lingua@hillcrest.bham.sch.uk 

“We had a great time on Tuesday – thank you all very much! We hope to be back next year!” Victoria School
 “Very well thought-out structure with good timings. Great content… Year 8 students loved it and have even greater enthusiasm for MFL.” Heartlands Academy

Linguatrivia Spanish

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

 


Having been playing with Linguatrivia French ever since ILILC2 in February, I was pleased to see that a Spanish version has been released!

As with the French version, it features hundreds of questions at 3 levels with the difficulty and number of questions increasing with the level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the blurb says –

Put your Spanish knowledge to the test with this interactive quiz, based on Linguascope’s Linguatrivia competition. With a bank of hundreds of questions on Spanish language, culture, geography and more, this app will put you through your paces whether you are revising for a test at school or college, or just want to practise and improve your Spanish. As an added incentive, your correct answers will enable the little runner to jump the hurdles successfully – whereas incorrect answers leave him flat on his face!

I like playing the French version as I no longer teach French and I need to keep myself on my toes, especially as I never know when I’ll need to use it! And the Spanish one will also keep me on my toes – if I get less than 100% I’ll be back to heavy duty study ;o)
Linguatrivia Spanish costs £1.99 and works on iPod (3rd and 4th generation), iPhone 3GS and higher, and iPad – if you’ve got iOS4.3 or higher, you’re fine!

The blurb mentions a Linguatrivia Competition – this is in French and details of the next one, taking place next February, are on the Linguatrivia site. I wonder if there’ll be a Spanish version to come…?

 

Peux-tu marcher comme un canard? #ililc

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

At the MFL Show and Tell on Saturday night, I shared this song from the UpToTen website.

It’s a very simple song that can easily be adapted to include any animal – or noun in fact! – and any verb.

For example –

Peux-tu marcher comme un éléphant?

Peux-tu sauter comme un robot?

Peux-tu manger comme un dinosaure?

I’ve captured the song from the site here in case you can’t get online – Peux-tu marcher comme un canard

Games and activities for Primary Foreign languages.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Via my Google Reader, I was led to the following book published on Scribd.

Over 300 pages of games and activities for use in the PLL classroom.  What’s more, there are all mapped to the KS2 Framework objectives and helpfully split into sections for specific vocabulary areas, counting, literacy and language learning.  Plus there are sections of vocabulary in Spanish French and German to support those who are less fluent.

Looks a brilliant resource to enhance the learning of languages at primary – and I’m sure there are a few secondary pupils who wouldn’t mind a nostalgic game of Duck duck goose once in a while?
Games and Activities for Primary Foreign Languages

PS I am checking re copyright as the author is not the one who uploaded it!

Lesson starters – KS2 French from TeachersTV

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

TeachersTV is, I think, an increasing useful source of clips and materials, not just for CPD but also for classroom use.

Here they present some lovely lessons starters set in Martinique, set around preparations for carnival, the school and the local area.  Not only good for the language – for example, Une chasse au tresor  looks at vocabulary of directions – but also for ICU as the setting of Martinique allows comment to be made on the surroundings, comparing and contrasting, and also raises awareness of the Francophone world.

Another episode focuses on the preparations for Carnaval and the Carnaval itself – always fascinating to pupils in the UK where such festivities are unusual!

And another looks at the route Matis takes to school – an eyeopener in terms of what the route is like!

At about 2-5 minutes long, they’re a great way to open a lesson, or for those 10 minutes activities that can spread out over the week.

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