January 2010 – ¡Vámonos!

Month: January 2010

Japanese warm up!

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Primary language learning isn’t restricted to learning one language.

My pupils may learn Spanish, but they are also exposed to other languages in their lessons. Whether it’s for interest, comparison, to celebrate the languages spoken by pupils at our school or just for fun, those opportunities are welcome and add to their language learning experience.
Youtube recommended the following clip to me and I love it! In 90 seconds, I’ve learned half a dozen useful phrases in Japanese and am warmed up and ready to boogie with my kids who this weekend have discovered punk!!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-vPmoyoSgs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1]

A Storybird as a movie!

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Following a Twitter conversation this afternoon started by @josepicardo, I remembered that I had taken screen shots of all my Storybirds and made them into Keynote presentations.

Whilst I can export them to Powerpoint quite easily if they are just images, I had recorded narration on one of them, and this would not transfer. So, I exported it as a Quicktime movie – and here it is!
I’ll be making more ‘movies’ with my other Storybirds soon!
In the meantime, you can check out lots of language Storybirds here on a wiki started by @wizenedcrone.

Reason 2 – TeachMeet #TMBETT10
One of my main reasons for excitement about BETT is not the exhibition itself but the Teachmeet that follows after hours!
This year will be my third Teachmeet, and I am really looking forward to the experience this time.
The first year I was overawed and felt insignificant but inspired to do something to rid myself of that feeling.
Last year I was excited but also a little nervous as I wondered if I really did have anything worthwhile to say to this crowd of people about technology. It seems that I did as my seven minutes went down well and were described in rather lovely terms by @digitalmaverick. Such a sweetie!
This year, I’ve once more volunteered to speak. My title – ‘What Lisibo did next’
You’ll have to wait and see what I say this year but here are last year’s words of ‘wisdom’.
If you’re interested in joining in, you can attend in person (along with the other 177 who are signed up) by signing the wiki, (you don’t have to speak!!) and if you can’t attend in person, there’s a Flashmeeting you can join (URL to follow!)
And, whilst I’m unable to join in either event (due to the third reason why I’m excited about BETT) there are free events of Wednesday and Thursday night too.

Next week I will be mostly in London. And I’m very excited! There are lots of reasons and over the next few posts, I’ll tell you why!

1. Teachmeet Takeover
BETT is really a huge trade show with people wanting you to buy their products to use in your educational setting. This year, educators are taking over stands for half hour slots to share what they’ve done in their classrooms with free stuff. When I say ‘takeover’, the stand owners – including Scholastic, BrainPopUK, Adobe and NetIntelligence – have donated time so it’s not an aggressive thing, and that’s great as our ideas have probably got nothing to do with what their stand is showcasing.
I’ve volunteered to speak at 10.30 on Friday on the Rising Stars stand on ‘Ideas for tools in language learning including Voki, Wallwisher, Voicethread, Storybird‘. I’ll try to remember to record it – it’s about time for another episode of Lisibo talks!
Andrea from Rising Stars sounds lovely and has promised me a strong coffee before hand. Might need one afterwards too!
Here’s a link to the whole programme. If you’re at BETT, why not pop along to one or two sessions. There’s a goody bag worth £300 for people who participate and fill in some ideas they’ve gained from the experience so it’s worth it!
So that’s reason one why I’m excited about BETT.

Following on from my previous post about rediscovering Seesmic, another friend, John Warwick, asked me to share a little bit about eTwinning in the primary language classroom for an eTwinning presentation he was preparing. I decided to record him my answer as it’s easier to explain in person and I also thought it might be useful too! So here it is!

If you want to find out more, see my Slideshare and post here.

A while back – actually nearly two years ago – I became aware of a tool called Seesmic on which you could record video clips and others could respond by recording their own short clip. At the time, I used it to join in a few conversations and also to practice speaking Catalan / Mallorquin after a looong break. It was easy to do and fun as well.

I was asked last week by Chris Fuller to make a short video sharing my thoughts on using Twitter in the languages classroom and why it’s such a good idea in my opinion for a presentation he’s doing soon.
As I was home alone, I had to do it in a way that didn’t involve another person filming me, and my hand is unsteady at the best of times! I had never used the film option on Photobooth, and I was also concerned about delivering it to Chris via email in case the file was too large.
I had picked up a tweet at about the same time from Leon Cych asking for volunteers to be involved in a project this year called Remixing Education, and one of his methods of ‘recruiting’ was via Seesmic.
So, having been reminded of the existence of this site, and having recorded a response for Leon, I decided to use it to record my clip for Chris.
It’s very easy! Once you’ve signed up for an account, you press Create a video and start talking into your webcam (iSight camera in my case). Once you’ve finished you can review the recording and start again if you’re not happy. It’s then posted on the site – you can choose whether to allow it to appear on the public timeline or just to keep it on your page.
Once finished, I sent the URL and embed code off to Chris so that he could use the clip as he wished, editing it etc to his purposes.
I thought that would be that, but the ever eagle eyed king of RSS feeds, Joe Dale, picked up the clip on his radar and, having ascertained why I’d posted a clip to some mysterious ‘Chris’, blogged it!
And then I was astonished to receive a lovely response from a lady in Anaheim, USA who had seen the clip and wanted to tell me how good it was! A wonderful surprise and so exciting for someone unrelated to my life – real and virtual (Twitter, my blog etc) – to make such comments about my thoughts and ‘work’.
We all need a bit of encouragement sometimes, so thanks to Joe and Freida for giving me some to keep me going when I’m seizing up with all this cold ;o)
I’ve recently started following @singalingo on Twitter and been interested in several links that she has tweeted. This morning she posted the following-

When I checked it out,I was initially disappointed as I thought it was just a catalogue of books with information about where you might buy them. However, when I clicked on one, I discovered that the books are actually scanned onto the site and you can read them online.
Not only that, but you can read them in a number of languages. And as you can see from the title screenshot, you can search by word, age group, type of story, theme, character etc.
For example – the following book The Blue Sky is originally in
English but is available in a number of languages. The information on the book is written in Spanish and it has been contributed by a University in Croatia.

If you click on the book, each page is presented to you – the writing is a little small but on the English books, you can enlarge the text (not sure why it’s only one language that does this!)
By clicking on the top you can choose the language of the book – so you can read the story in English to make sure you know what it’s about and then read in another language with understanding already in place, allowing you to focus on vocabulary and structures.

Most of the books I’ve browsed have several sentences per page so might need some

simplification, but with ‘pupils accessing authentic texts’ one of the Framework objectives, these are a great resource.
And why not use the fact that many of the books are available in a variety of languages to compare and contrast languages. Are there similar words on the pages? Can you ‘recognise’ any words? How would you recognise a verb? A noun? This book features a dog that is called Schnitzel in Italian and English, Pompom in French and Popi in Spanish. why might that be?
I love getting something for nothing! And I do so love books!

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