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Tag: languages

Books from Italy

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I didn’t buy any of these but I was sorely tempted!

Just back from a family holiday in Italy where I once more had to struggle with not being able to communicate as I wished. I understood quite a bit thanks to Spanish and, to a lesser extent, French, but couldn’t formulate sufficiently coherent sentences to say what I wanted to communicate most of the time, thus resorting to a few words and a gesture with a pleading smile. In fact, I found that German was more helpful at times for the first part of the holidays as we were in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and often people didn’t speak English but understood German. Added to my ‘angst’ was the fact that all my attempts at Italian were met with replies in English, particularly in Bologna – I guess they thought they were being helpful but I was trying hard and it was a little disheartening!

However, I was in my element when I found the bookshops! My poor family tolerated me dragging them into at least four on our wanderings without moaning although I actually think they were glad of the air conditioning and a rest! I had my eye on a children’s book shop in the Piazza Maggiore but it was sadly shut when we returned to Bologna for holidays! Chiuso per Ferie was a phrase we learned very quickly! Nonetheless I still found others and treated myself to three books – I could have bought far more but as I don’t teach Italian, I was restrained and really thought hard about my choices.

ISBN 978-88-6189-548-5

Tu (non) sei piccolo is a bilingual book with the Italian in large type and the English a little smaller below. It’s a really simple book about some bears who are arguing about being big or small. What I particularly liked, apart from the bilingualism, was the repetition for the verb to be in 1st and 2nd person singular (I and you) and 2nd and 3rd person plural (you and they) as this gave me a good idea about how the verb ‘works.’ Additionally, the same two adjectives are used which meant that I could draw some conclusions about the behaviour of adjectives – much like panino/panini and cappuccino/cappuccini! It’s amusing too and I liked the illustrations of the different bears. It would be easy to adapt by changing the adjective and/or animal.

ISBN 978-88-8362-353-0

I chose Mio! Mio! Mio! as it’s also very repetitive and easy to understand. The little frog finds an egg and claims it as his own – Mio! But all the other animals say it’s theirs until it ends up hitting the elephant on the head – then nobody wants it and frog at last can have it. Then it hatches…
I enjoyed comparing animal names with the Spanish – l’elefante, l’aquila, il serpente – and discover a new one that none of my translating apps could work out – il varano which is a monitor lizard! The grammar was also similar – è mio! / ¡es mío! for it’s mine ; è suo! / ¡es suyo! meaning it’s his; I saw a similarity between chi for who and qui in French, and Allora te lo restituisco was easy to decode as I’ve give it back to you with the link to restitution. Finally, it also tickled me that it featured ‘un uovo’ as the boys were asked every morning if they’d like one in our wonderful B&B (if you’re ever going to the Dolomites, I can thoroughly recommend Agriturismo Florandonole )

ISBN 978-88-04-70392-1
The blurb on the back

My final choice recognises the wonders of Italian food and drink. Non piangere, cipolla (Don’t cry onion) is a book of poems and verse organised in alphabetical order starting with Acqua and ending with Uva. These poems will need more concentration (and a dictionary!) to translate but I can get the gist of many of them. A couple of my favourites are below.

I like the ‘playing with words’ style of this poem about tomatoes. Seemingly simple but very clever!
And this one about milk. I like the opening verses using similes and the last verse talking about making butter, cream and cheese, but it still being milk.

I’ve enjoyed reading all these books aloud, trying out my Italian pronunciation (which still needs work) and listening to how they sound. I’m looking forward to reading them ever more accurately, and also to understanding a little more as I reread them.

At the end of July, my husband and I popped off for a short break in Copenhagen in celebration of our silver wedding anniversary. We had a lovely time exploring and sightseeing, and as usual at various points my ‘teacher brain’ or as I prefer to call it ‘lifelong learner thinking’ engaged and I was struck with thoughts and ideas for the classroom.

Firstly I really struggled with not being able to communicate in Danish. I really didn’t need to as everyone spoke English but it made me feel bad not being able to speak. I found that I could understand to a certain extent if things were written thanks to having done some Swedish on Duolingo, plus managing find some similarities at times with German and/or English, but understanding speech was very problematic and speaking more so! My son (who’s studied Swedish for the last two years at Uni) and my husband (who works with Swedes and Danes) tell me that part of the problem is that people ‘swallow’ consonants in spoken Danish making it harder to understand than Swedish. However, I did persevere with my trying to understand and had some success.

For example, I discovered that the word in Danish for an hour is timer. I liked that!

And, as usual, I couldn’t leave without a book for my collection. I had a good look and decided that whilst I’d love a storybook, my level of understanding wasn’t high enough yet, so I settled on a simple word book.

My new book!

Min første bog om Farver is a board book all about colours. Each page has a different colour until the last page which has a rainbow colours. I can see the likeness of farver and Farbe in German. Some colours look – but don’t sound! – like English (pink, orange), some are like French (brun) and others wouldn’t be recognisable to me without the images – sort is black and hvid is white. The last page is about rainbow colours which again reminds me of German Regnbuens farver although I wouldn’t have guessed that er flotte meant ‘are great.’

I’m looking forward to using this when I next look at colours in Spanish as children this year have enjoyed all the comparative exercises we’ve done with multiple languages, finding similarities and differences.

Wishing I’d bought this one now though – I do love the Moomins – but books are so expensive!
PS I found a resource on TPT that is advertised with this screenshot – very interesting to compare the three languages.

I’ve just got back form London and the Language Show at Kensington Olympia. A lovely couple of days catching up with people, finding out about university courses and qualifications for Stevens Junior, visiting stands and learning from others – and then some more catching up with people!

Below are sketchnotes of the seminars I attended – minus the EU one as I only attended half of it! I was travelling light and using my mini notebook plus a limited palette of black pen and six coloured highlighters so apologies that they are a little more squashed and monotone than normal!

 

Joe Dale’s session on Using tecnology. Sadly had to leave early as I was in pain! You can access Joe’s whole presentation here

 

Wendy Adeniji talking Mastery at GCSE.

 

The Show and Tell was full of great ideas that I quickly tried to note down. Didn’t catch all names I’m afraid! Do tell me and I’ll add them.

 

The lovely Catherine Cheater sharing about The Primary French Project. A great resource – that’s free! – and a wonderful presentation.

 

The Primary Show and Tell was also amazing, packed with great ideas about word classification, poetry, story telling, heritage language teaching and facilitating pupil understanding through framing.

Sunny Bognor Regis!

I was happy to be asked to present at the annual University of Chichester MFL Conference last week, and as I noted in a previous post, thoroughly enjoyed the positive and inspiring sessions I attended.

I delivered two sessions. You can access the resources and ideas from the session entitled Using Technology for collaboration in a previous post  Sadly, TodaysMeet no longer exists but otherwise the ideas, recommendations and apps are the same!

The second session was entitled Tell me a story! and concerned the use of stories and books in the languages classroom.

The presentation is below to view. You’ll also find the links to some helpful posts and bookmarks below. I hope those that attended found the session helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment on the post if you have questions or comments!

Mi Madrid (including newly published videos of the songs!)

Link to resources for El artista que pintó un caballo azul as a text to discuss diversity.
The book I mentioned that was recommended and demonstrated by Nathalie Paris at Language World was called Poux by  Stephanie Blake – check out the sketchnote of her session here, and follow her book blog and podcast here for more great book ideas!

Storybird wiki   Watch this space for what happens to this when Wikispaces shuts later this year!

My Storybirds

ALL Literature Wiki

Pinterest links to research on Storytelling and stories in language learning

Pinterest board of online stories

Blogposts on books on ¡Vámonos!lots of posts!

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!

#LW2018 Sketchnotes

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This time last week I was mid sketch note at Language World 2018, the Association for Language Learning annual conference. After a jam-packed, fun filled inspirational weekend, my mind was spinning with ideas and coupled with the last week of term, it’s taken this long for me to get my head together and get posting! So here goes a blog-fest over the next few days!I was thrilled to be asked to be Language World’s official Sketchnoter for a second year. Armed with pens, pencils and paper, I ‘live sketch noted’ each session I attended, before the finished product was whipped away to be displayed for everyone to see. I was pleased to see that there were lots of people looking at the notes as the conference went on, and it was really amusing to hear people talking about them in the dinner queue, not knowing that I’d done them!

I took photos of (most of) the sketch notes before they were displayed, but below are my sketchnotes or visual notes that ALL have now scanned and published on their site.

Opening of Language World 2018 – AnnaLise Gordon

 

The Language Magician – #LMagic Steven Fawkes (Too much to fit onto one sheet!)

 

The Mary Glasgow Plenary – Language Futures and the future of Language Learning.
Dr Rachel Hawkes
(Again far too much to squash onto one page!)

 

Primary Spanish Show and Tell
It’s hard to sketch note whilst presenting, singing and playing games but I did it!

Planning for progression and transition. Liz Black once more filled my head with brilliant ideas!

 

The amazing things you can do with just a handful of books.
Nathalie Paris aka @nattalingo

 

The official launch of The LANGUAGE MAGICIAN

You can view all of Friday’s sketchnotes in one place by downloading this  – Friday PDF

Saturday morning Opening Plenary including the Primary and Secondary Language Teacher of the Year awards
AnnaLise Gordon

 

Putting pen to paper.
Clare Seccombe talks writing! (I learned from yesterday and used a big piece of paper for this one!)

 

A celebration of languages.
Danielle Dion-Jones

 

Language Detectives
Sue Cave

 

Lights! Camera! iPads!
Joe Dale

 

Embedding languages across the curriculum.
Richard Tallaron

 

Closing comments by AnnaLisa Gordon and Jane Harvey.

You can view all of Saturday’s sketchnotes in one place by downloading this – Saturday PDF

I loved sketch noting the conference. I hope that those who attended enjoy the reminder of sessions you attended and that those who didn’t get a flavour of what they ‘missed.’ I’ll certainly be having a look at Clare’s notes too as there were several clashes that meant I couldn’t attend sessions I would’ve chosen (Nigel Pearson for the second year running was speaking at the same time as me for example!)

You can also catch up with the Twitter buzz from the conference via this Storify .

 

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As I reported in February, at this year’s Language World conference in March I was asked to be Resident Sketchnoter and record all the fun and excitement as well as as many sessions as I could possibly attend. It was a challenge as I normally go back to my sketch notes later to ‘pretty them up’  but in this case the sketch was immediately posted on the display board so I had to just go for it! I was really pleased that people took time to look at the display and there was a buzz of discussion and excitement as people paused to discuss what they’d seen. My hand was really struggling by the end of Saturday but it was all worth it!

I’ve deliberately delayed posting them until ALL had done so (although they were all tweeted as I finished them!) and today I received notification that they are now uploaded and ready to view! And they’ve kindly made them into a PDF!

So, here’s the PDF of them all: http://www.all-languages.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Lisa-Stevens-LW-2017-Sketchnotes.pdf (too big to upload here!)

And here they are individually with comments and links to the presentations where available!

DAY 1

Tried to capture a few of the exhibitors before the conference started in the top section then AnnaLise’s opening words in the bottom section.


 

Assessment without tears – Jackie Rayment and Yvonne Kennedy

 

Now here was a challenge – sketch noting and presenting simultaneously! Also presenting with me, Jesús Hernández from the Consejería de Educación and Sara Montero, Primary Language Teacher of the Year 2016      Presentation

 

Mary Glasgow Plenary A period of calm and stability – Bill Watkin    Presentation

 

Julie Prince talking about primary language learning supporting Grammar Punctuation and Spelling (not navigation as the title might suggest!)   Presentation

 

Suzi and Lynn presented AIM methodology to us in this session.   presentation

 

The poster sessions – lots of exciting projects were highlighted here – I suggest you check out the ALL site to find out more! (scroll down to Poster sessions then click on the + for the abstracts)

 

How do you sketch note a wine reception? Thanks to Vicky Cooke for my inspiration, and to all my vox pops!

 

The national treasure that is Steven Fawkes had us all crying with laughter at his witty speech including references to jelly, taxis, triangles, and of course, his trousers!

 

The Conference Dinner – scribbled on a napkin then ‘done in neat’ later 😉

DAY 2

A summary of The Teaching Schools Council Review of Languages Pedagogy, delivered by Ian Bauckham. Very interesting! (Not often I have to use another sheet, and as you can see, a little hard to represent very visually!   Presentation

 

ALL President AnnaLise Gordon was up again to talk about Progress and present the awards for Language teacher of the Year.

 

The super fantastique Richard Talleron went fruity in his session on embedding languages across the curriculum.  Presentation

 

Starr Green spoke about Languages for ALL and gave advice on teaching languages to pupils with SEND   Presentation

 

The always inspiring and incredibly clever Dr Rachel Hawkes helpfully talked about creating a positive learning environment, pointing out that sometimes staff can not give or do any more than they already are so something else has to change!    presentation

 

 

 

 

Lovely Nathalie Paris aka Nattalingo shared some ideas and research on the important two way relationship between literacy and languages.  Presentation

And finally it was time for thanks yous, AnnaLise’s quiz (foiled on the last question!) and the revelation of the date and venue for next year – March 23rd and 24th at Jury’s Inn Hinckley Island near Leicester. presentation

If you want to access any of the other sessions at the conference, many of the presentations have been uploaded to the ALL site Friday and Saturday, and you can read more about it here (also more sketch notes) and here. If you were there and have any reflections, please leave a comment and I can update the post!

And here’s a summary of the tweets!

 

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?

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 sketch noted the other sessions and will share them as soon as I have a moment to tidy them up a bit!

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.

 

 

 

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