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Posts Tagged ‘languages’

Language World 2017 – one month to go!

Friday, February 24th, 2017

It’s one month to go until the annual Association for Language Learning conference, Language World. Have you signed up yet?

This year the theme is Progress for All (like the clever logo!) As the ALL website says:

Progression in the teaching and learning of languages is a priority for all teachers and ALL as a professional association as we respond to significant curriculum changes and developments at all levels. Progress for ALL is a deliberately broad title, as we aim to serve the needs of all conference delegates. For example, we are including sessions on promoting progress in all aspects of pupils’ learning of languages, ensuring progression in curriculum planning, sustaining progress in curriculum leadership and celebrating progress in building a culture of language learning in a school.

During the two days there will be a mixture of plenary sessions, major talks and workshops with something for everyone from primary to higher education, and this year there is a slot for poster presentations which looks really interesting too.

This year the conference takes place in Nottingham at the East Midlands Conference Centre which is very convenient for me living in the Midlands and once more in the ‘middle’ of the country.

There’s a special ‘call out’ to primary colleagues issued on the ALL page with testimonials from a range of primary colleagues. Have a look at the flyer: 

I’m not speaking this year (apart from a contribution to the Primary Spanish Show and Tell) but I have a special (albeit rather daunting) role to fulfil:

I’m looking forward to attending sessions and trying to capture them ‘live’ ready to post to the timeline in the exhibition area; a shame I can only be in one place at a time though as there are several slots where I’d like to attend two or even three sessions at the same time.

If you’re interested in attending, the programme is below, and booking details can be found here.

Hopefully see you there?

I’m a Primary Language Teacher; help me out here!

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

babcockOn Wednesday I took part in the Babcock 4S conference at Horsley Park in Surrey. My presentation entitled I’m a Primary Language Teacher; help me out here! was well received and can be found below.

The main points were:

  • primary language learning lays important foundations
  • language learning is cyclical with topics being revisited but it is a continuum; it shouldn’t start again from scratch at Ks3.
  • teaching primary languages can be lonely but there is support out there.
  • PoS objectives need to be split into manageable chunks or stepping stones.
  • pupils need to become increasingly independent; phonics and language learning skills from comparing and contrasting languages help this.
  • it’s not just about vocabulary; grammar is needed (receptive and later productive) as cement otherwise it’s just a pile of bricks.
  • intercultural understanding is vital.
I’m a Primary Language Teacher – help me out here! from Lisa Stevens
I sketch noted the other sessions and will share them as soon as I have a moment to tidy them up a bit!

Babcock 4S Modern Languages Conference – Lisibo Talks 2

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

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

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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.

 

 

 

Language World 2016 #sketchnotes

Sunday, March 13th, 2016
LW2016 large logo 10247503_10154802425704152_2236117332103244839_n

Language World was held in Rugby at Dunchurch Park
, a beautiful setting made all the lovelier by the wonderful people who attended the conference. As René Koglbauer said at the (misty) start: ‘There may not be sun but there are lots of smiles!’ (The sun did come out soon afterwards as well!)

Below are the sketch notes for the sessions I attended. Wish I could have attended more sessions but it wasn’t possible without Hermione’s TimeTurner.

And I’ll share my presentation on sketchnoting later in the week.

Opening Address by René Koglbauer

Opening Address by René Koglbauer

The Language Magician: developing a tool for assessing young learners by Louise Courtney

The Language Magician: developing a tool for assessing young learners by Louise Courtney

A window on the world - PLL and SMSC

A window on the world – PLL and SMSC

Show and tell - Clare Seccombe

Primary Spanish Show and tell – Clare Seccombe

Primary Spanish Show and Tell - Jesús Hernández

Primary Spanish Show and Tell – Jesús Hernández

Mary Glasgow Plenary Lecture - Curriculum Innovation by Gareth Mills (NFER)

Mary Glasgow Plenary Lecture – Curriculum Innovation by Gareth Mills (NFER)

Curriculum Innovation: Challenges and Opportunities by René Koglbauer

Curriculum Innovation:
Challenges and Opportunities by René Koglbauer

#ALLConnect KS2 Coordinator's handbook by Katherine Monument and Kirsty Williams

#ALLConnect KS2 Coordinator’s handbook by Katherine Monument and Kirsty Williams

Language is all around by Nadine Chadier

Language is all around by Nadine Chadier

Tackling the issues in KS2 #ALLConnect with Steven Fawkes

Tackling the issues in KS2 #ALLConnect with Steven Fawkes

What's the point of teaching languages to pupils with SEND? by Alison and Patrick Organ

What’s the point of teaching languages to pupils with SEND? by Alison and Patrick Organ

Innovation requires resilience by Anne Lise Gordon

Innovation requires resilience by Anne Lise Gordon

Tartan CLIL by Fiona Moffatt

Tartan CLIL by Fiona Moffatt

Closing remarks with René Koglbauer and Anne Lise Gordon

Closing remarks with René Koglbauer and Anne Lise Gordon

If you want to compare and contrast sketchnotes, and see some from some other sessions too, why not look at Clare’s post too.

Building firm foundations for strong buildings #ALLMFLSW16

Monday, February 29th, 2016

IMG_8436On Saturday 27th February, I delivered a workshop at the #ALLMFLSW16 conference in Bristol. I’d been asked by Marie-France Perkins if I could talk about primary languages in the context of the new curriculum which is planned as a continuum from KS2 through KS3 and onto Ks4 and hopefully KS5. I called my session Building Firm Foundations for Strong Buildings, harking back to a talk I did a number of years ago called Bricklaying for Beginners!

Below is my presentation, and under that I’ve written a brief summary of what I said.

I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or send a message via the contact form. 

Firm foundations for strong buildings – the importance of Primary Language Learning. from Lisa Stevens
I began by talking about the importance of foundations, and the role they place in keeping buildings upright and stable. Although they are often unseen, they are the last things that are destroyed by time and erosion; I shared my own experience of primary language learning and how my 4 years of middle school French have stayed with me. We moved on to considering why starting language learning at primary is so important before considering what should be taught/covered at KS2, referencing a survey by Clare Seccombe and also a document compiled by the ESAGMFL group.
Looking directly at the Programmes of Study, we used Rachel Hawkes’ helpful “KS2 and KS3 side by side” document to look at the progression of skills and I shared the document below with participants, acknowledging the source as Rachel’s website.
Handout_1_Curriculum14_Overview
For me, my most important task as a primary language teacher is to nurture a passion for languages and an excitement about learning and communicating in other languages. That, however, does not mean that it’s all  ‘fun and funky singing, dancing, cutting and sticking ‘ with no substance. There is a clear rationale to what I teach and I shared some ideas linked to each of the four skills as well as grammar.
Listening
  • animal symphonies – clapping the syllables of words to encourage listening and awareness of word patterns
  • using rhymes to listen out for phonics and respond physically
  • using songs as a way of introducing topics e.g. ¿Cuántos años tienes?
  • stories as a way of encouraging listening carefully and responding – ‘safe’ due the familiarity and repetition
  • branching listenings or minimal pairs (slide24)- I first encountered these last year at ILILC in a session by Julie Prince, and I shared two examples from LightBulbLanguages – colours (Spanish)  and jobs (French) Learners listen to a series of words – or phrases – and at each step choose between two alternatives until they arrive at the bottom line and give the number they reached.
Speaking
  • PHONICS! So important! The keystones of the foundations as they enable understanding of the spoken word, pronunciation, enable learners to read effectively and also spell. Rachel Hawkes once more had burning ears!
  • vowels and setting them to DISCO by Ottawan
  • phonic islands and mats, referencing Sounds and Words by Lynne Erler and Julie Prince
  • “stress punching” to demonstrate intonation and stress patterns
  • “Spanish glasses” to read Spanish – chocolate is spelt the same in English and Spanish but pronounced differently (slide 30 ) also false friends like gift and Gift in German.
  • tongue twisters to practice ‘getting your mouth around’ certain sounds
  • using Trapdoors to practice sentences – learners will play long after you’d think they’d be fed up!
  • using board games to practice the question form (I shared a Snakes and ladders board game worksheet from Eurostars with learners asking a question when they land on a square rather than giving an opinion)

Reading

  • using poems like Doña Pitu Piturra that have a rhythm and a rhyme, and a pattern that can be followed – and the example also shows handwriting which fascinates and is worth discussion
  • using Tarsia and dominoes
  • using storybooks isn’t a bad thing – even Y6 like a story, especially if you link it to reading to younger pupils or making something to be shared.
  • books don’t have to be fiction – non fiction is important too. Books on e.g. planets can be accessed as learners have learned the facts in Science and can therefore make deductions about vocabulary etc. Plus there are diagrams and images to support.
  • the importance of making mistakes and discussing WHY you thought something
  • instilling the idea that you don’t need to understand every word, and linking in to literacy skills of comprehension: where will I find the answer? what are my clues? what’s the context? is there a word in the question that helps me?
  • making your own texts using storybird.com – I shared ¿De dónde viene el yak? There are other MFL Storybirds shared on the wikispace both fiction and nonfiction. Well worth a look.
  • dictionaries can be glossaries, picture dictionaries and encyclopaedia/thematic type ones as well as the ‘tradition’ bilingual ones. I shared an activity linked to a colour poem which Y3 had rewritten using a combination of picture dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries.

Writing

  • writing texts from other texts e.g. rewriting stories by substituting nouns and or adjectives (El bicho hambriento), or writing a story in the style of another (rewriting El Nabo Gigante to feature a teacher stuck in the PE cupboard who calls for help to pull him out!)
  • the value of whiteboards and technology to allow for quick correction without committing it to their book – rehearsing and making mistakes
  • giving structures using card, human sentences to physically demonstrate word order e.g. making sentences negative, or the noun-adjective order in Spanish compared to adjective-noun in English
  • scaffolding
  • memorisation – I shared another activity from LightBulbLanguages to demonstrate a way of supporting learners in memorising spellings by giving them the shape of the word

Grammar

  • Grammar is the cement that holds all the bricks together!
  • link it to English – and/or other languages e.g. making plurals
  • using songs is quite effective e.g. ¿Por qué es mi mochila tan pesada? introduces Es+ singular noun and Son+plural noun – learners picked it up without me saying a word!
  • I also shared songs for verbs in Spanish, German and French
  • using parallel texts to compare language
  • making verb spiders or flowers – if you teach South American Spanish you can use a hand!
  • verb drilling isn’t wrong – Y6 quite enjoyed it last year and treated it like a code or game that they conquered as they did it more!IMG_8437

I then talked about the importance of promoting language learning in general and that no one language is an island – let’s celebrate the multilingual nature of our schools and draw out the experiences of our EAL learners. Comparing and contrasting languages is one of the things my learners enjoy more than anything else, and it’s language learning skills that are going to be key for their future success, especially as most of my learners will start a new language at KS3. I briefly highlighted the importance of including culture in whatever you do as languages need a context and it’s jot just about words!

Finally we considered that not all foundations are the same – some are more basic than others i.e. some pupils will arrive at KS3 with less language learning, or perhaps with gaps in the expected knowledge (whatever that may be!) Some may have experienced lots of vocabulary and not much structure, some may have had a very sporadic language input, some may have encountered several languages and some only one. Whatever the experience, and however many ‘cracks’ there may be, my plea was to not destroy what has gone before but repair it, and shore it up.

 

The final part of my presentation (which I admit we don’t reach due to overrunning previous sessions) considered the need for Ks2 and KS3 to communicate. KS2 can’t moan about what happens at KS3 if they don’t tell their secondary colleagues what has been done, and KS3 can’t throw their hands up and say it’s impossible to deal with all these children if they don’t talk to KS2 and give an idea of what would be helpful to them. On p69 of Language Trends survey  it says:

“The need to promote effective transition in languages between Key Stages 2 and 3 is not yet high on the agendas of either primary or secondary schools….the introduction of compulsory language learning has not yet stimulated increased contact between language teachers in state primary and secondary schools.”

That has to change!

My final thought was from an article about building foundations:

“The three most important purposes of foundations are to bear the load of the building, anchor it against natural forces such as earthquakes, and to isolate it from ground moisture.”

I’d categorise those three things as future learning at KS3 and beyond, wavering confidence as ‘it gets a bit serious’ and the ‘rising damp’ of adolescence! Ultimately, we want learners to ride those storms and sit proudly atop their magnificent linguistic skyscrapers, not falling like Humpty Dumpty never to be put together again!

 

 

 

UnderstandingModernGov conference – June 16th 2015

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

IMG_4621A little bit delayed by end of term madness…

On June 16th I travelled to London for a day long conference organised by UnderstandingModernGov on the subject of Primary Languages – “Successfully implement the new Primary Modern Foreign Languages curriculum”. It was great to see Janet, Sylvie, Nadine and Julie, and to meet all the delegates to spend a day exploring how we can effectively plan, manage and deliver languages to primary aged pupils.

My part of the day was all about using technology; you can see the presentation below, and you can also access links to tutorials etc here.

I sketch noted all the sessions as you can see below.

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Policy to practicality – Janet Lloyd

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Phonics and Literacy – Julie Prince

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Develop an innovative approach to Primary Language Teaching – Sylvie Barlett-Rawlings with Nadine Chadier


Additionally, you can see what Janet said on her blog.

And here’s the Storify of tweets from the day!

TeachMeetWMLanguages #tmwml

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015
@simonehaughey

@simonehaughey

On May 6th I made the trip across Birmingham in rush hour traffic to attend TeachMeetWM organised by the irrepressible and absolutely bonkers Simone Haughey at her school Robin Hood Primary. I sadly missed the choir singing and the start of proceedings thanks to a staff meeting and the traffic, but I arrived in the end to be greeted by delicious Chinese food saved for me by Sim and lots of friendly faces including John Rolfe and AnaPaula Booth from the British Council, and the staff of Robin Hood who are obviously well used to Simone as they didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked if they had a couple of hula hoops I could borrow!

There were many great presentations on the night including a couple via video, and you can see what you missed by looking at the Storify of the tweets at the end of the post. However, my presentation is below as promised for those who were there. How I managed to explain it all in 7 minutes I do not know but I avoided being attacked with a cuddly toy! Do leave a comment if you have questions!

Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching #FLdyslexia – Week 2

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

 

Image from www.dyslexialincs.co.uk

Image from www.dyslexialincs.co.uk

Week 2 of the course focussed on understanding what aspects of language learning dyslexic students might find difficult and how we can assist in making language learning more enjoyable and less challenging for these students by making accommodations.

Below are my sketch notes of the videos; I’m enjoying sketch noting and finding that my own ‘style’ is starting to develop. (Still not happy with my drawings but I’m getting better!)

2.2 - Dyslexic students talk about their experiences

2.2 – Dyslexic students talk about their experiences

2.3 - Foreign language learning and dyslexia (Margaret Crombie)

2.3 – Foreign language learning and dyslexia (Dr Margaret Crombie)

2.6 - Accommodating dyslexic learners in the classroom (Dr Anne Margaret Smith)

2.6 – Accommodating dyslexic learners in the classroom (Dr Anne Margaret Smith)

2.10 - Using IT to teach students with dyslexia (Dr Margaret Crombie)

2.10 – Using IT to teach students with dyslexia (Dr Margaret Crombie)

 

I’ve now caught up with posts from the last two weeks so the next post will be a few days on coming whilst I finish week 3!

If you follow me on Twitter, you can get a sneak preview as I post each sketch note as I complete it. Otherwise, ¡hasta pronto!

 

Sketchnoting Language World 2015 #LW2015

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

IMG_3922
Last Thursday I headed to Newcastle for ALL Connected, the title of this year’s Language World conference taking place on 20-21st March at Newcastle University. I look forward to LW each year as it’s a conference that offers lots of ideas but also lots to challenge my “little grey cells” and make me think.

This year I decided to replace my normal note taking with Sketchnoting as started at #ililc5. I’d tried using Paper app on my iPad there and found it quite tricky to use to the extent that it was distracting me from the session content. I’ll persevere and practice further but for Language World I choose a different tool – the notebook and pen! Actually, notebook, pens and pencils! I’m a strong believer in choosing the correct tool for the job, be that an iPad, a pencil and pen or a slate and chalk, and this combination allowed me to write more easily, select colour at will and, most importantly, focus on what was being said rather than worrying about zooming in and out or accidentally drawing whilst trying to make the toolbar reappear!

IMG_3921

Below are my sketch notes created over the two days. I did them all ‘live’ – no retouching afterwards apart from one on which I’d made a mistake with someone’s name and felt I really should correct it as she’d won an award and deserved it!

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Bertram Richter and Rebecca Bolland – Planning for Progress @KS2

 

Vicky Cooke - Teaching reading in KS2: leading learners towards independence

Vicky Cooke – Teaching reading in KS2: leading learners towards independence

 

Jackie Rayment - Primary Languages Quality Mark

Jackie Rayment – Primary Languages Quality Mark

 

Bernadette Holmes - Interculturalism: The Power of 3

Bernadette Holmes – Interculturalism: The Power of 3

 

Clare Seccombe – Be a crafty languages teacher

 

Greg Horton - Talking the talk in the MFL Classroom

Greg Horton – Talking the talk in the MFL Classroom

 

Rachel Hawkes - ALL for all and all for ALL:  ALL CONNECT

Rachel Hawkes – ALL for all and all for ALL: ALL CONNECT

 

René Koglbauer - ALL Connected: a celebration of language learning & teaching and volunteers.

René Koglbauer – ALL Connected: a celebration of language learning & teaching and volunteers.

 

Nadine Chadier - It's all about the code

Nadine Chadier – It’s all about the code

 

Wendy Adeniji - How can your teaching be consistently good or outstanding?

Wendy Adeniji – How can your teaching be consistently good or outstanding?

 

Roma Franziska Schultz and Emma Whittle - Ideas for using literature and developing literacy in the Primary Classroom

Roma Franziska Schultz and Emma Whittle – Ideas for using literature and developing literacy in the Primary Classroom

 

Rachel Hawkes - Memory and thought: why we can't have one without the other.

Rachel Hawkes – Memory and thought: why we can’t have one without the other.

 

Steven Fawkes - Now we are 25

Steven Fawkes – Now we are 25

Looking back on them, it’s amazing how much more I can recall about the sessions than I would following my more traditional note taking; my page was smaller than A5 so I had to carefully consider each word/phrase I wrote or picture I drew. I successfully kept to one page per session (45-50minutes) apart from two sessions where there was just too much to fit onto one page.

I’m still learning and developing my own style and I certainly need to work on my drawings (there’s a tortoise on one that looks like a sheep!) but I’m pleased with the way it’s going. I intend to keep working on it, and I’ll persevere with my iPad but I’ll save that for times when there’s no ‘time pressure.’

If you want to see someone else’s take on many of the same sessions as sketch notes, have a look at Clare Seccombe’s post that includes hers. And you can see many of the actual presentations by clicking on Friday programme or Saturday programme.

 

 

Cooking on gas – #ililc5

Saturday, March 7th, 2015
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Thanks for the drawing, @catairf 🙂

I was rather gobsmacked when Zena asked me to do the closing keynote at #ililc5. An offer I couldn’t refuse but daunting nonetheless. Especially as there was no ‘theme’ this year so I could talk about ‘anything’ according to my instructions!

As Christmas came and passed and I still hadn’t really been inspired, I grew more concerned. It wasn’t until mid January that a seed of an idea formed in my head. I’d been prepared to talk about Cupcakes and Smiles at TeachMeet BETT, a short presentation on education being about ‘feeding’ minds but also celebrating and rewarding learning, and that we did it for those ‘smiles’ that happen when the lightbulb goes on, when the unexpected happens, when you’re speechless at something a child has said and so on. There was no time for my presentation then – although I still shared my cakes. I was a bit annoyed as lugging a few dozen cupcakes from Birmingham and around London on the train and Tube is no fun and nor is being told off for daring to ice them in the presence of Sir Ken Robinson but that’s the way it works. Still, I liked the idea of cupcakes and when there were queries as to why I made cupcakes for TeachMeetBETT but not ILILC, the idea began to germinate.
Over the next few weeks I still wasn’t entirely sure what I’d say but a thought here and there occurred to me. Stupidly I didn’t write them down and I’m sure some ‘got away’. However, with help from my husband John (who must be fed up of my food/language analogies!) who told me to get a grip (and a notepad), Cooking on gas (other fuels are available) grew.

Ready to start?

On the day, armed with new shoes and an assortment of cupcakes, I shared my thoughts about language teaching and learning with the remnant that had managed to survive to the (not so bitter) end. And it was recorded! (I’d forgotten about that part until I was standing there.) You can watch it here.
As my presentation was in Keynote and delivered from my own MBP, the slides don’t show up in the recording but are all synced and appear alongside (thank you to the lovely Matt for doing that!) I’ve added the videos that you can’t see but can hear at the bottom of this post; I know that the Intermarché one about Les fruits et légumes moches has already proved helpful to more than one person!
I summarised some of the main messages right at the end (go to 45 minutes) if you don’t have time for the whole thing, and I’ve also added a Storify of the tweeting that was going on during the presentation; I certainly found it interesting to see what people had taken from my words and thoughts. And I was gobsmacked by the sketch notes too. Thank you Clare, Simone, Jane, Rachel and Catrin, and Alex, Jonathan and Ceri who had a cupcake in their ILILC5 summary sketch notes too. (If I’ve missed any, apologies and please tell me; I’ve been in a bit of stupor all week!)
It’s very different when you’re sharing your personal thoughts, reflections and passions; it made me feel very vulnerable so I’m really glad that people picked up on and identified with the key messages I wanted to share.

Start at 1.10 until 1.30 for the key bit:

PS At 23 minutes, I start talking about my language hero, and whilst I think I communicated that she was special, I didn’t share all that I might have done as time was pressing and I was getting choked up. So in my next post, I’ll tell you all about Luz Sánchez-Richardson, my language hero!