Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Language Show

On Saturday I'll be in London at The Language Show. So excited!

There is so much to see and do - check it out for yourself here!

I've been asked to do a seminar this year - so if you want to know How to Survive Primary Languages, pop by to see me in room 3 at 1pm. And there are so many more too.

You can get in free by registering on the site so whatever your interest in language learning, if you can get to Olympia over the next three days, it's well worth the effort!

Of course, I'll post my presentation here straight after the show, and I'll be tweeting all day too.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Mis amigos Pooh y Tigger

I've been having a little look at Youtube resources again, and, inspired by the session last week on teaching Infants languages, I've found some sweet little videos featuring Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too! Now, Winnie is always a winner in my books - I just love that bear of very little brain! - but talking Spanish is even better.

A couple of ideas.

This clip is called Estrellita abrillar and is a version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I know other words). The story seems to be that Lampi, the Heffalump can't sleep and they sing to him. However, his Mummy sings different words so he sings them to the friends then goes to sleep. A cute little story in a song in just over a minute.

The words are:

Estrellita ¿cómo estás?

me preguntas ¿qué serás?

en el cielo brillas tu

como un diamante es tu luz.

Estrellita ¿cómo estas?

me preguntas ¿qué serás?

Lindo lampi ¿cómo estás?

No te quejes; duerme ya

La noche es para soñar

Pon su trompa, descansar.

Qué se acabe mal humor

y no ronques por favor.

Lindo lampi ¿cómo estás?

Es mejor que duermas ya

Then there's this clip called Es la hora de pensar and is a little song to signal thinking time. I think it would be a lovely cue to send children to their desks to work on whatever they are doing, or as a signal to change activity. And not just in language lessons but as one of those 'embedded' ways of making language an everyday, incidental thing.

Hope you like them!

Any other ideas people have found?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Lisibo Talks! latest

I've spent some time over the weekend doing something that I find rather uncomfortable - listening to my own voice! Whilst it is much better than watching myself on video, I find myself cringeing at the sound of my accent and speech habits. In my head I don't sound like that - my 'self-image voice' speaks much more 'properly' and sounds less Brummie!

So why do it? Well, I was catching up with editing the audio from my presentations at two recent conferences - in Hull and in Basingstoke, Hampshire - before adding it to my podcast. I kept reminding myself that I wouldn't have to listen again once I'd finished, and then remembered that I'd have to listen one more time to synch the audio to my Slideshares to make Slidecasts.

So - I'm pleased to announce three new episodes of my podcast Lisibo talks! But does it make sense?

You'll also find that my Slideshares in previous posts on Hull Primary Language Conference an
d Hampshire Language Conference are now Slidecasts with the audio added.

So, I hope my agony was worthwhile and that people will have a listen and perhaps learn from the presentations - even if it is how to talk Brummie ;o)

Monday, 19 October 2009

25000 not out!

¡Vámonos! hit another milestone at some time between 10am and 2pm when it received its 25,000th hit. That is to say, my blog has been accessed more than 25,000 times- my previous counter mysteriously disappeared and, as I had no idea exactly how many hits I'd had when it went, I reset it to the last milestone I recalled.

So thank you for your continuing readership and support. It's really exciting when people meet me and say 'I read your blog!' or 'I used that idea you blogged' or 'thank you for your inspiration.' It is so encouraging and keeps me going when things get on top of me.

Lisa xx

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Teen idols sing in Spanish!

Here's one for your older 'pop' loving pupils. The Jonas Brothers of Disney Channel fame learning a (devilishly tricky it has to be said!) song - and not doing badly!

And here's Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical singing When there was you and me including a Spanish section in the middle - subtitled.

Some clips to help teach numbers to young learners.

Very sweet - love the graphics. And it's short too.

This looks like the Spanish version of Ten Town!

I like the repetition in this one.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Storybird - update!

Further to my previous post about the wonderful STORYBIRD site, I've got good news and bad news!

The bad news is that, as the site is still in its infancy, if your story is written in a language other than English it cannot be published (ie put in the public gallery) as it cannot be moderated. As the site grows, this will change.

The good news is that you can still write stories and save them on the site, and that these can be shared via the 'Send to a friend' link.

Saira Ghani has just written a story too and I'm about to write another.

Here's the Tweet conversation I had with @storybird

So let's keep making stories and hope that the site grows at an amazing rate!


I'm on a blog writing roll this week aren't I?

I picked up the following earlier -

which was followed by this tweet -

And being an inquisitive gal, I went and had a look.

What a brilliant tool! You're provided with a vast array of images from different artists that you can use to make story books. You just choose the images and write the story. SOOOOOO exciting!

I wrote a story - click below to read it!

I'll be writing more soon too.

And I can see pupils enjoying this too - lots of scope for description, imagination and creativity! For example, there are many monsters that could be used for physical description. There are animals for stories of the jungle and savannah and quirky characters just asking to be written about.

Not only a great tool for creating though - when you write a story you can choose to keep it private or make it public - and there are many many public stories so you need never be stuck for a story again!

Animated languages

Another highlight of the Hampshire Language Conference was Oscar Stringer's session on Animation. So popular it was put on twice, and had to move rooms to accommodate the number of people wishing to attend, from the conversations I heard, Oscar and his ideas were a hit!

Using I Can Animate and a Hue webcam, Oscar guided the assembled throng through how to animate using fuzzy felts before adding voiceover using iMovie - bet he had no shortage of volunteers!

You can see the finished movies - made in 20 minutes!- on Oscar's blog, along with other examples of animation using languages such as the ones from Wednesday in Gloucestershire, and the lovely animations made with a Reception class last year. You'll also find plenty of tips and guidance on how animation can be used right across the curriculum and beyond.

Animation is such a brilliant way of getting kids to be creative, to collaborate and to be independent - and it's such fun!

Exciting ICT in the Language Classroom - Hampshire Language Conference

As Jo Rhys-Jones kindly pointed out last night, in all my blogging I have failed to post my own presentation!

My session was entitled Exciting ICT for the Language Classroom and looked at (mainly free) ICT tools that can be used to enhance and support language learning. The Internet played ball this week which is always a bonus, and I hope that everyone who attended went away with at least one idea that they could implement in their classroom.

Below is my presentation to which I've added the audio so you can watch and listen! Aren't you lucky?!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Languages at KS1

As pupils at Whitehouse Common learn Spanish from Nursery to Year 6, I was very interested by this session at the Hampshire Conference. Fiona and Naouele spoke persuasively about the benefits of language learning at a young age.

They shared the story of Le Chasse à l'ours. As we listened to the story, we had three tasks.
1. to pass a bear every time we heard the word 'l'ours'
2. to repeat 'la vie est belle' everytime we heard it
3. to repeat the sound effects

Some of the techniques they suggested are familiar to any primary (and even secondary) teacher - repetition, using actions and mimes, looking at language and punctuation, being animated and expressive and so on. Some activities mentioned included Bang Bang - also known as Splat! - Fruit Salad, matching pairs, dressing up games and chopped up text.

We looked at Talking tins, Easispeak microphones and Chatterblocks - dice with six recorded sounds and pics, one on each face. All these resources are great for speaking and listening activities. I think some of those Chatterblocks will be on my shopping list.

CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning

CLIL is - Content and Language Integrated Learning and basically involves teaching cross-curricularly, delivering other subjects through the language. Do Coyle is the driving force behind this. The ideal is that the subject specialist delivers the lessons in the language, but it's more likely that the MFL specialist will deliver eg history, or possibly the subject and the MFL teacher team teaching. You might also use the FLA to support the subject specialist. I'm interested in this as Whitehouse Common is involved in a project with three foci, one of which is CLIL.

Schools that use this include Hockerill Anglo-European College, Tile Hill Wood School, Ridgemeadow Community College.

Why CLIL? There has historically been a focus on grammar and the content of the exam. that they need to pass, rather than on content and interest, on creativity and relevance. The New Curriculum talks of real purposes, creativity, imagination, personal interest, intercultural understanding. CLIL is also a good potential 'solution' to transition as pupils will be arriving in KS3 with knowledge of languages - whichever it may be.

I'm really excited to see details of how Ringwood Junior School where they use CLIL for aspects of the curriculum eg in Year 5, the Science scheme of work is linked to the French story Mimi, le fourmi d'espace. This is the sort of thing I'm trying to do increasingly at Whitehouse Common, making language learning part of pupils' day to day experience and not just a discrete subject. Louise Wornell, the presenter, is from Ringwood School, and shared what her school did - for example, in Yr7 they do 3 modules including Citizenship - the right person for the job
and History - Castles. In KS4, topics include climate change based of 12 French speaking countries and Paris through the yes of the Impressionists.

It seems to me that CLIL is something that is actually quite easy to start - there is already a teacher at my school who has taken on my attempts to link language learning to e.g. Science and has labelled all her displays in Spanish as well as English. Taking that further step and teaching entire lessons of the scheme in the language might need a bit more courage, but small steps are how we start to walk....

The delegates came in 2 by 2

I was somewhat disappointed to discover that the Hampshire Language Conference this year was not being held at Marwell Zoo, and excited to discover that it was to be held at The Ark. So far no animals have appeared and its a lovely day so you might guess that it's not a big boat.

Lid King has just addressed us all and we're listening to our first seminar - I'm in a session led by David Hicks aka Monsieur X, showing us how to encourage pupils to use target language through action, rap, song and movement.

Better stop blogging and join in!

More later!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Happier richer and sexier?

I Love You In 100 Languages by michelleoshen
Attribution License

Just caught up with an article in The Independent on Monday with the headline -
Speak a second language for money happiness..... and sex.

Apparently, in a survey commissioned by Michael Thomas,
Britons who learn a foreign language are richer, happier and are regarded as sexier than those who can only speak English, according to a new study.

An average of £145,000 more earned over a lifetime? Linguists easier to match for dating agencies as they are seen as more intelligent and sexier? Can this be true?

I don't know but I like the sound of it!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

El Mundo de Pocoyo

I have declared my affection for Pocoyó previously on this blog and have subscribed to the Youtube channel dedicated to this lovely little chap. His latest clip is above and announces Mundo Pocoyó.

As the blurb says -

Un mundo virtual donde los niños pueden compartir experiencias y aventuras con sus personajes favoritos: jugar con Pato en el parque de atracciones, visitar la boutique de Elly o pintar y colorear con Pocoyó.
Actividades didácticas y amenas que ayudan a conocer el mundo, juegos que estimulan la habilidad, capítulos y melodías siempre disponibles para disfrutarlos online, miles de posibilidades al alcance de todos con un claro objetivo: aprender riendo.


Welcome to Pocoyo World!

A huge virtual world where kids, parents and carers can share adventures with their favourite characters: play with Pato in the theme park, visit Ellys shop or paint and colour with Pocoyo.

Educational activities, games, puzzles, episodes, music and dancing, all available in a totally secure environment, with one simple objective: learning through laughter.

Available in English or Spanish, the site seems to function much like Club Penguin, with you having your own character - a Pocoyó like personaje- and, by earning tickets by completing games, you can buy pets, furniture etc. It's a social place as you can interact with other members.

Fun place to visit - and good for playing with another language.

Friday, 2 October 2009

¿Ganará Madrid 2016? ¡Vénte pa' Madrid!

So, the decision about to whom London pass on the Olympic flame at the end of 2012 will soon be made. And much to everyone's surprise, Chicago (despite Obama) are out and Madrid are still in to fight it out head to head with Rio.

The smart money is on Rio but Madrid can dream for a bit longer. Here is their promotional video.

The third clip is poorly synchronised with the subtitles unfortunately!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

It ain't grim up North!

Just spent a lovely day in Hull at their primary language conference. The sun shone, the trees were very autumnal and it was far from ‘grim’

About 90 delegates attended the day which focussed on Using ICT in Primary Language teaching, attending workshops on film in education by Mark Reid of BFI, the use of animation for improved speaking and listening in language learning led by Oscar Stringer, using school networks to support language learning led by Dorolyn Parker and cross curricular collaboration, led by me.

I’m becoming more used to presenting seminars now and, whilst the adrenalin rushes and I have butterflies, it is not as frightening as it once was. However, Hull presented a new challenge as I’d been invited as keynote speaker as well - a first! Anyone who has been following my tweets this week may have sensed the growing anxiety I experienced as the ‘big day’ approached; that was but nothing compared to my state this morning. However, once I’d cracked a joke and got everyone doing a ridiculous warm up dance, I felt much better and, despite one or two issues with projector not wanting to talk to my Mac and then the Internet failing to connect, I think the session went well. I even think my use of a Fernando Torres clip (a mere four days after he scored a hattrick in the 6-1 defeat of Hull City by Liverpool) may have been forgiven by 95% of the delegates.

My Keynote was entitled Inspiring Creative Teaching in the Primary Language Classroom and centred on what ICT can do to enhance and support language teaching and learning. As Ewan McIntosh said - it’s not about the tech, it’s about the teach.

My seminar was entitled Don’t be mad, get cross curricular with ICT and PLL and focussed on embedding and entwining language learning into the existing school curriculum, making links and collaborating, and tools that might help in this. We talked eTwinning, eLanguages and it was also pleasing to see that schools are working collaborativel on a local level in clusters to support one another.

Below I’ve posted my presentations - pop back over the next couple of days to see the screencast with audio. I’ll also post both sessions on Lisibo talks! as soon as I have a spare moment!

Any queries, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly - my details are at the end of the slideshow.

A couple of things I mentioned that weren’t in the handout (also below)

The wiki sites I mentioned were Wikispaces, Wetpaint and PBWiki.

For ways of using Youtube, and/or downloading clips where it is blocked, have a look at a previous presentation You and Youtube where I mention RealPlayer, Zamzar, MediaConverter and Firefox widgets.

You can obtain Take Ten en français or en español from Devon Education Services or from Little Linguist.

And finally, check out this post for details of tutorials for some of the tools I mentioned today.

Thanks for a great day Hull! You’ve definitely made an impression on me!

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