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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.

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

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!

Come to #ILILC5!

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

ililc speaker badgeIt’s now February so it’s time for the next instalment of the ICT Links into Languages Conference commonly known at #ILILC. Inexplicably pronounced like a symptom of chicken pox, it is the place to be for language teachers.

With two days of seminars and workshops plus a Saturday evening Show and Tell, there’s plenty for everyone irrespective of  language or phase taught, experience or confidence. Joe Dale will open this year  ‘Capturing the zeitgeist’ with what’s new in the world of technology in MFL and someone called Lisa Stevens is closing the conference ‘Cooking on gas’ (other fuels are available).

I am always very excited to attend ILILC as it’s the only conference I  managed still to attend when I was in Switzerland, I have been to every single one (I think there should be some kind of commemorative badge for us?) and I can literally say ‘been there, got the Tshirt!’ I wonder what colour it will be this year… (orders to @elvisrunner asap!)

If you haven’t already booked, do have a look at the Links into languages SouthEast site to find out more. Too many I’d like to attend, including one whilst I’m presenting (about Twitter) which always happens! You can see the programme and abstracts by scrolling to the bottom of the page (the programme is at the bottom of this post too) and also links to posts from previous years!

I’d especially encourage you to attend if you aren’t going to Language World in Newcastle in March as it is too far away. Several of the sessions will be repeated there so you can get a preview 😉

See you there – for inspiration, discussion, running and cupcakes!

Saturday programme

Sunday programme

ICT Conference 2015 Draft programme with session descriptions

 

2014 #ililc4

Reflections on #ILILC4  – post event summary!

A beginner’s guide to iPads in the primary language classroom – my presentation, as it says!

Something old, something new – my take on the new KS2 Programmes of Study

2013 #ililc3

I want to break free – my presentation on breaking free from chalk and talk using technology

Let out for good behaviour – my presentation on virtually and actually going outside  the classroom walls

Tools for educators  and El polite pio – Show and Tell

2012 #ililc2

Barça, Barça, Barça! – my presentation about the Comenius Regio project between Birmingham and Barcelona, and the impact on my school

‘Appy learners – my presentation on iPad apps for the language classroom

Das Fliegerlied and The shoe’s on the other foot – Show and Tell

2011 #ililc

Reflections on ILILC 

Tell me a story – my presentation on storytelling including sites

What can eTwinning do for you? – my presentation on international links

Peux-tu marcher comme un canard? – the song/website I shared at the Show and Tell

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!

TeachMeetEdShow – my 2+7 minutes

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Last Friday (21st) saw me charging from Stafford to Marston Green, and then running at high speed (wearing inappropriate shoes obviously!) from the carpark to Hall3 for TeachMeetEdShow.

Fortified by hugs from various people including Simone (who is as bonkers as me which helps) and Buncey (who is exceedingly clever but also daft as a brush) as well as a bottle of beer, I soon recovered and managed to speak (sort of) coherently for 2 minutes and then 7 minutes.

My slides are shared above – I’ll summarise what I said as the slides alone don’t really speak for themselves (especially the first part)

Keeping in touch

In my two minute presentation I shared the importance of staying in touch at a time when teachers feel very ‘got at’ and need all the support they can get. I shared how social media was wonderful when I was in Switzerland as distance didn’t matter; I knew what was going on, and felt included despite my physical distance. I talked about the support and advice offered, and the care given by people who you’ve never met but feel know and understand you, who notice when you’re a bit quiet or disappear for a while and send a quick “you OK?” message to check. As a community was laugh together, rant together and we cry together. And in the week that we lost Bev Evans, the most selfless caring generous positive star, I encouraged others to join in the community of support, on Twitter (or anywhere else actually) and look out for each other. I’m @lisibo if you fancy following! (Seems very appropriate that I post this on the day that we say #goodbyetoBev)

Felt a bit shaken after that and the discovery of a half eaten dark chocolate Bounty didn’t help. However, I blew my nose and the evening continued with great presentations about exciting science, reuseable QR codes and Whipsnade Zoo. And a real hedgehog.

Using the right tool for the job

My seven minute presentation was about choosing the right tool for the job. I shared the series of lessons with Year 3 Spanish on the theme of Mythical Monsters. We began with learning parts of the face with a song – and I made everyone sing which was amusing! I explained how song is a great tool for learning as, combined with gestures, all the learners could recall the words simply by singing in their heads and gesturing to bring the word to mind before sharing the book that inspired the next part of the sequence. Based on Go away Big Green Monster, I wrote  a simple story called Señor Cabeza Naranja using auto shapes on Smartboard which repeated greetings, parts of the face and adjectives. From this learners used 2D shapes to make their own Señor and Señora Cabeza (insert colour) on large paper, photographing each step with an iPad and annotating the picture as they went along. We then used BookCreator app to create eBooks; we imported the photos, added the text that learners had rehearsed on the large paper, and then added sound as the pupils told their stories. The result wasn’t perfect but that wasn’t the point. It was a journey that continues using the right tool for the job to move forward.

I also managed to win the raffle (a Hue webcam) which was nice with my Twitter comment about the event Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 17.53.49

 

Stafford Primary Languages Conference – Tip Top Language Learning

Friday, March 28th, 2014

As promised, my presentation from Stafford last week! A quick whip through some of my favourite activities with a view to inspire and also keep everyone awake after lunch 😉

Links –

Rachel Hawkes’ phonics

Music for Los vocales D.I.S.C.O.

Rhabarberbarbara

Jo Rhy Jones phonic activities 

Oso Pardo pdf

Boowa et Kwala – Peut tu marchez comme un canard? Fingerpaint song

Padlet.com – for collecting ideas (online post it notes)

Storybird – make up your own stories using illustrators images. MFL Storybird wikispace

I also mentioned Tellagami, Pic collage and Book Creator app. Check out this post for more details!

Again, if I’ve forgotten to upload something that I promised, please let me know!

 

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

A beginner’s guide to iPads in the Primary Language classroom #ililc4

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

My first session at #ililc4 was aimed at beginner users of iPads in the Primary classroom.

My presentation is below, and under that I’ll briefly recap the session.

You can find helpful links, ideas and tutorials at bit.ly/lisiboipad

Beginners guide to iPad in the Primary Language Classroom from Lisa Stevens

After looking at some of the pedagogy behind using iPads in the classroom, we watched a video from Cedars School that outlined some of the reasons that such technology is so helpful. And then it was on to the iPad itself.

We talked about how to take screen shots (hold down on/off switch and home key) how to add websites to your iPad as a bookmark and also with an icon so they appear as an app (use ‘box with arrow coming out of it’ icon and Add to home screen) as well as how to add images to the camera roll (hold finger and Save image) as well as copy and paste images and text (hold finger and Copy; hold finger where you wish to put it and Paste) I also explained how to add accents to letters by holding the letter until a popup menu of accented letters appear and then sliding to the option you want, and how to add different keyboards in General – International – Keyboards – add new keyboard then scroll between them using the globe icon next to the space bar when typing thus avoiding auto correction of your Spanish into English for example.

I shared how you might project the iPad in the classroom using Apple TV, Reflector / AirServer or a VGA/HDMI adaptor, and we discussed the advantages/disadvantages of each (I demonstrated the importance of having two options as Reflector wasn’t working so my adaptor was essential!) I also explained a variety of ways to get things off your iPad using email, Dropbox and Foldr for example. We might also have discussed Showbie but it was for beginners!

Then we talked apps – we looked at some specific language apps like Mindsnacks French for French vocabulary learning,  Lectura Mágica for phonics in Spanish and Wortzauberer for German spelling/phonics. There are lists on the wikispace of specific language apps.

I made my love of generic apps very clear however as they are so much more versatile and can be used across the curriculum so it’s easier to justify any cost.

We looked at Popplet as a mind mapping tool, useful for vocabulary lists, sharing plans for units, mapping ideas, planning work. We discussed how you can add images from the camera roll or take a picture as well as text, and how to change the colour of the bubbles, and then how to export it as a jpg or pdf via email or to the camera roll as a jpg.

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Then we explored Tellagami (which was behaving contrary to reports that morning and unlike Popplet which kept crashing!) an app that allows you to make an talking avatar using text to speech (not so good for languages other than English) or by making up a recording of up to 30 seconds. I explained how I use it in the classroom to record pupils speaking as it allows me to record their task and review it later, and is also very motivating for them, allowing them to rehearse and refine their speaking. I also warned that it is quite addictive making Tellagami avatars so to make sure that the objective of the exercise is clear to learners – to speak Spanish (in my case) not to make a beautiful avatar! We also  had a quick look at Morfo Booth, another tool that encourages speaking, and I demonstrated how you could animate a picture – the result was rather scary I have to say!photo

Then I shared my favourite app, BookCreator. So versatile and useful, not just for writing stories but for all kinds of writing – making speaking word books, dictionaries and glossaries, information books, stories, explanations and so on. The ability to add text, sound, videos (directly from the camera roll), hyperlinks to URLs and also the ability to merge books to make a collaborative book makes it a really powerful tool, not just for language learning. And in BookCreator version 3 you can even draw and write on your book using the pen tool! I’ve talked about how I’ve used this app with Year 3 to write their own ebooks previously, and I’ll be sharing more at Language World in April in Lancaster in a session with Joe Dale and Helen Bates. Books can be shared in a  variety of ways and can be easily shared as a PDF. However, this does not allow for audio/video to function and you need either an i-device or Chrome and the app Readium to read the books as fully functional eBooks at present.

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And that was it as it was time for tea!

I also wanted to share Pic Collage, Puppet Pals HD and Sock puppets but we ran out of time so here are a few notes!

I’ve used Pic Collage a lot recently to encourage learners to write in Spanish; some of my pupils have only had 6 weeks of Spanish so far and their repertoire to write is limited. They used PicCollage to make a poster using what they knew (and bits that they’d found in the front of their exercise books – impressed me!) They enjoyed it and felt confident, and they were proud to see their work projected onto the IWB.

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Puppet Pals HD (with Director’s Pass) and are great digital storytelling apps, taking my use of puppets to a different level. Both allows you to make ‘puppet shows’, SockPuppets with socks and Puppet Pals HD with characters within the app.  In Puppet Pals you can also add your own characters from images from camera roll, cutting them out as well as backgrounds. In SockPuppets you can change your voice, higher or lower according to the level you set for each puppet.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 21.01.43

And the final slide said – it’s not the technology that’s important, it’s what you do with it as this video demonstrates!