April 2010 – ¡Vámonos!

Month: April 2010

Last week I was privileged to be asked to speak to MFL teachers from James Brindley, a very special school that covers the Birmingham Children’s Hospital as well as other centres around the city.

Here’s my presentation – possibly doesn’t make as much sense as it might with audio but I didn’t record myself this time I’m afraid!

Hope I’ll get to go back soon – especially as they’ve just got a whole room full of Macs!  And there’s a yellow bus equppied with them too….

Sharing an email from Julie Manandhar at CILT, encouraging people to register for the Primary Teacher’s project with Spain or Germany – closing date is Friday 30th April.

The deadline to secure a place on a two-week course in Spain or Germany is fast approaching.

The  Primary Teachers’ Project – a partnership between the British Council and CILT, the National Centre for Languages is a great opportunity for primary teachers to spend two weeks abroad to improve their language and pedagogical skills and to gain a greater cultural understanding of the country.

The courses involve a week of intensive language and methodology support, followed by a week of work shadowing in a primary school.

The first projects will run in Germany and Spain between 25 October and 5 November 2010, but the deadline to apply for these visits is this Friday (30 April 2010). Additional projects will take place in France and Germany during February 2011 and France and Spain during April 2011.

If you are a primary teacher then you are eligible for EU Comenius funding of up to 2,500 Euros to pay for travel and subsistence. A supply cover contribution of up to £525 is also available to support your school during the week of term when you will be abroad.

If you or any of your colleagues are interested in applying for one of these exciting projects, please visit the British Council website, and select the ‘In-Service Training’ Application form.

Or, you can find more information on the Primary Languages and CILT websites, where we’ve added a template application form to support applicants. Alternatively, email:ptp@cilt.org.uk


Do you know an amazing language teacher?

Tell us about them by nominating them to be Primary Language Teacher 2010.

Now into its third year, the Primary Language Teacher Award – launched by La Jolie Ronde Languages for Children and Scholastic – aims to celebrate the very best in language teaching. It recognises and rewards teachers whose creative and inspirational approach in language teaching makes a significant impact on children, teachers, schools and communities.

We want you to nominate the teachers that you feel are enthusing children and colleagues about languages across your school; the teachers who are successfully creating a language culture in the school and of course making languages fun! Nominated teachers don’t have to be language experts – just enthusiastic about language teaching and great at getting children learning and enjoying languages

Geoff Swinn, Deputy CEO of CILT The National Centre for Languages, has again agreed to chair the judging panel. He says, “I am delighted to have been asked to be a part of this Award for the third year running. Teachers do so many fantastic things for our kids but they rarely receive the praise they deserve. The work they are doing to promote language learning at Primary age is really important as young children have a keen ear and are very receptive. This award has shown how many teachers are already doing great work to make language learning fun and memorable and are laying sound foundations for continuing progress and success.”


  • An all expenses paid school trip to Northern France for up to 30 children & 5 teachers
  • over £4000 of educational resources

Nominating is quick and easy – simply visit www.primarylanguageaward.com and fill out the online Nomination Form.

The closing date for nominations is 4th June 2010, the finalist Award Ceremony will take place on 16thNovember 2010 at the House of Lords.

Remember …. Good teachers deserve recognition…. Nominate today!

Find out more here

Celebrate language learning with the

Primary Languages Classroom Awards 2010 (PLCA 2010)

Entries are invited from: primary schools, after school clubs, teachers, children and parents who would like to share excellence in language teaching in their school. For the overall winning school there is £1000 worth of resources and a class visit to the Houses of Parliament in London to receive the winner’s Award.

What are the awards? The awards are a way of celebrating the teaching and learning of languages in UK primary schools and to highlight its positive impact on both the whole school and the local community.

As language teaching is a relatively new addition to the primary curriculum (supported right across the political spectrum), we aim to have a positive impact on the enthusiasm surrounding and the uptake of Primary Foreign Languages in our schools. With many pupils and schools supporting a wide range of languages in UK primary schools the English as an Additional language (EAL) award is to celebrate teachers and schools that support language development in both English and the child’s home language.

Who organises and sponsors the awards? The Primary Language Classroom Awards are organised by EMAS UK and Manic Monkey with the help of BESA and Affinity Media. The Awards are supported by Golden Daffodils, Little Linguist, Rafiki, and we are pleased to be able to recognise representatives from the French and German Embassies, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, The Association of Language Learners, Dr Lid King (National Director for Languages.) and Gemini.

How are the awards judged? These awards are judged independently by a group of professional educational and language experts.

Who are the winners? There will be 5 category winners, one for each category who will receive certificates of excellence, and an overall winner who is judged to show good practice and an holistic approach to the teaching of language, they will receive the day trip for the a class of the school to the Houses of Parliament, £1,000 worth of prizes and a framed certificate.

If you want to enter, download this PDF

Closing date is 30th April so get your skates on!

Bricklaying for beginners – Building firm foundations

It seems months ago that I spoke at Language world and I apologise for my tardiness in delivering this post!  Sadly, although i posted my presentation to Slideshare some time ago, i’ve been unable to get at it for a couple of weeks as the site is being rather glitchy.  Added to that the fact that i have used up my free bandwidth on Podomatic and also my new website, there are been ‘issues’ with getting everything together.

Still not worked it all out but until I do, here’s my presentation in PDF form for you.  Audio will follow asap!


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People often ask me what eTwinning is all about, and, as an eTwinning Ambassador, I try to explain.  The eTwinning experience is tricky to put into words until you’ve experienced it, so this video is just the ticket.

It has no words and is therefore useable in any country, and it says a lot about what eTwinning can do for you.

As Alexander Meerkat would say ‘Simples!’


I was teaching Year 1 the days of the week this morning. We used the marvellous Days of the week song from Español Español but I’ve found this cute little clip on Youtube as well.
If you use it, though, you need to remind pupils that Spanish days of the week (and months of the year) have lower case initial letters and not capitals as we do in English.

Fast forward

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Image by Cristóbal Cobo Romaní

Fast forward is the (long awaited by many!) article  published today in The TES magazine about ICT in MFL.

Yojana Sharma interviewed lots of fellow MFL Tweeters a few months back, gathering our thoughts on the use and importance of ICT in language learning.  She’s done a good job to condense all our thoughts as she spent on average 45 minutes interviewing us on the ‘phone.

So, if you’re interested in what Helena Butterfield, Clare Seccombe, Chris Harte, Isabelle Jones, Joe Dale, Alex Blagona, Suzi Bewell, Jo Rhys-Jones and José Picardo think about ICT and MFL, as well as the wonderfully named Norbert Pachler from IOE, check out the article.

Oh, and someone described as ‘widely regarded as a trailblazer for ICT use in Primary Languages’ has a word or two to say as well!

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