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!
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!)
Storybird wiki Watch this space for what happens to this when Wikispaces shuts later this year!
Blogposts on books on ¡Vámonos! – lots of posts!
This year at Language World I was invited to present some ideas for using technology for collaboration in language learning. I teach primary so the focus was on that age group but there are many ideas and tools that are equally applicable for young and old! In spite of some technical hitches and running out of time as there was so much to share, the ideas were well received and I hope that this will serve as a reminder/update for those who attended, and a snapshot for those who didn’t.
Below is my presentation. Whilst all the links work, the videos don’t I’m afraid but you’ll find some below to give you a taster.
Link to BetsyBelle’s webinar Out of this World on using apps in the Primary Language Classroom. Highly recommended viewing especially if you’re interested in the how as much as the why.
A little later than planned, and with huge apologies, here are my presentations from the East Midlands Primary Languages Conference held on Nottingham on 5th December!
Más vale tarde que nunca. Mieux vaut tard que jamais! Besser spät als gar nicht.
Firstly, my presentation on Crosscurricular links:
And here’s the presentation on Technology for collaboration:
It was a pleasure to speak, and I was also able to attend a few other sessions which are sketchnoted below.
A marvellous keynote by the ever effervescent John Rolfe.
An inspiring session by Chris Henley about being BRILLIANT – finding my WHY? and being Ms Different.
A Taste of Spain delivered by Carmen Santos from the Consejería de Educación in Manchester – loved making – and eating – my brocheta de fruta!
And Elaine Minett charing her Healthy Eating resources based around the story ¡Hoy no, Claudio!
Now that term is at an end I have finally got around to uploading my presentation to Slideshare and writing this post!
As I said previously, it was a very successful day and I hoped that what I had planned to share would live up to that which had gone before! There were lots of encouraging noises made as I was speaking and also some lovely messages afterwards so I think there were at least a few nuggets of gold!
You can find supporting links on this wikipage (link also on the penultimate page of the presentation) including the URLs of the quizzes that we didn’t have time to complete including my Classtools bin sorting and my Kahoot Schwytzerdütsch quiz!
If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me a message via Twitter, LiPS or email!
On Thursday, I had the privilege – and it really was a privilege – of delivering one of the keynotes at the Primary Languages Network conference in Lymm. It was a day jam packed with ideas and demonstrated the power and value of a community of teachers and learners, bouncing ideas of each other and sharing their light bulb moments. And celebrating those ideas too.
I did my best to sketch note all the sessions, including the Spotlight sessions, and you can see them below. I would recommend that you follow the PLN blog to keep abreast of all the fantastic ideas that spring out of the network (This post was inspired by the day), and even consider joining for further support and inspiration!
Thanks to Janet for inviting me – I had a wonderful day! You can see some of the highlights in the video at the bottom of the post!
Details of my session will follow in the next post!
Keeping it Primary – the wonderful Therese Comfort shared what makes Primary language learning so special, with special stickers from La Petite Souris/El Ratoncito Pérez/ die Zahnfee.
How to identify progress – Dan Alliot talked about what progress looks like in primary language learning, and challenged us to flip the triangle so it’s not always point first!
Embedding phonics in Language Learning – Sue Cave challenged us to pronounce Hungarian words using phonics to support us, talking us through the 7 stepping stones to ‘code breaking’ and sharing ideas of how to practice and reinforce phonics in French.
Throughout the day there were Spotlights – shorter presentations of one or two ideas each from PLN associates and also exhibitors. I’ve tried to capture them all in the above – some with more success than others (spot the pig that looks suspiciously like a cow!) Ideas included songs for EDL, games, purposeful writing activities using technology, AR dragons, using actions and creating raps and poems.
My session at the wonderful Practical Pedagogies conference centred around the use of technology to enhance Primary Language Learning.
Key points I made included:
I went on to suggest online tools as well as apps that might be useful in a range of contexts and situations.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I sketch noted all the sessions as you can see below.
Additionally, you can see what Janet said on her blog.
And here’s the Storify of tweets from the day!
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