Sunday, 28 February 2010

Primary Languages, Literacy and EAL.

Last Wednesday I took part in a day for Language Coaches in Birmingham. The afternoon session was given over to looking at links between Primary Language Learning, EAL and literacy, and we were fortunate to have Joe Brown from CILT to address us.

I did try to blog as I went along but kept getting distracted from writing by getting involved in the talk so, when I looked back at the pictures I'd taken, I decided to reflect back by making a slideshow in Keynote.

At the end, it seems a minute of audio has disappeared - probably because I hit a button prematurely! - in which I was saying that Joe told us about a number of research projects going on, looking at PLL and literacy.

  • storytelling
  • the language of Maths
  • APP writing
  • motivation
  • talk for writing
  • Training the Trainers Module 9

All sounds very exciting and I await the results with anticipation. You can catch Joe speaking at PLS in Liverpool in two weeks time!

(This post has taken over 24 hours to be published. Note to self -
Blogger doesn't like my videos, Youtube don't like 17 minute clips, Slideshare is very temperamental and thank heavens for Garageband!)

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Imagiers on Youtube

I subscribed to the channel belonging to Imagiers a while ago.

Originally, I saw the traditional songs below -

Today I saw that there was new series - Les comptines de Gros nez. This is a series of 63 French rhymes / songs 'sung' by a cartoon blue man with a big red nose. For example -

Alternatively, you could use Les comptines de la souris -

Also on Imagiers are many vocabulary videos like the one below -

There are thousands of videos on the channel - some are more advanced grammar and so on, others are simpler vocabulary presentations. And some are not French at all - eg there are several clips about Helsinki!

I'm a WebFox!

Yesterday I took a Web Behaviour Test as part of BBC's The Virtual Revolution - investigating how 20 years of the web has changed our lives.

I was asked questions about my Internet useage, how much time I spent online and doing what, how much 'multi tasking' I did and my response to a number of statements.

Would I be a bear, an elephant, an octopus, a hedgehog, a fox, an elk, a leopard or an ostrich?

My result is below - not a bad appraisal. Why not take the test and see which animal you are!

If you like to know what this quiz is hoping to achieve, check out what the scientists say.

Lyrics training

Not one for Primary language learners perhaps, but nonetheless a find, I think!

Via my Googlereader I read a post on Lifehacker about Lyric Training and thought - 'what fun!'

As Lifehacker says

Lyrics Training is a really fun approach to helping you pick up a foreign language. Choose a YouTube-hosted music video and select one of three mastery levels; Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert. As the video begins to play, the song's lyrics appear underneath with several words missing. Your job is to fill in the missing words as they're sung.

If you get stumped, the video stops playing until you can come up with the word, but don't take too long because the app keeps track of the time it takes you to fill in the blanks. Click the "Give Up!" button to see the words that elude you.

Videos are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Dutch, and are rated easy medium and hard. You can then choose easy medium or hard tasks. Having said that, I chose easy and an easy task - and it was quite tricky as you have to type as you hear. I think if I listened to the song first I might have had a better chance. There is help - you can rewind the last line with the back space and use the tab to skip words you really can't get! At the end you're given a score based on how many words you successfully filled in and the time it took you in comparison to the actual length of the song. This is how I got on with Himno de la corazon

Good fun! Practises your
listening skills and also your spelling as it won't accept the wrong spelling, letter by letter!

Have a go and see how you do!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Technology in Modern Foreign Languages - A practitioner's perspective

Technology in Modern Foreign Languages - A practitioner's perspective is a post by José Picardo in which he announces the online publication of a series of blog posts that originally appeared on his blog Box of Tricks over December/January, written by a wide variety of language practitioners about their experiences of and advice for using technology in the MFL classroom.

If you didn't read the original posts, they're well worth a read (even the one I wrote!) - and now they're downloadable in one go.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Veo veo

At the ELL Local Support Group (LSG) last week, we were talking about short activities that needed minimal preparation and could be used for the 'little and often' model.

One of the activities discussed was I spy...

In Spanish there is a lovely little rhyme that goes with the game - check out the East Riding site for sound files, instructions and words. A good game for playing with kids who have a wider vocabulary, but also for discrete groups of words eg food, sports, colours. You could change it to 'tengo tengo' (I have..) and play with items in a bag even.

Veo veo I see, I see,

¿Qué ves? What do you see?

Una cosita. A thing

Y ¿qué cosita es? And what thing is it?

Empieza con la ……. It begins with ………

¿Qué será? ¿Qué será? ¿Qué será? What can it be? (x 3)

I also came across this catchy sung version of the rhyme - here I've chosen the kiddies version rather than the tropical island and bikinis! Lyrics below.

Veo veo ¿qué ves? una cosita ¿y qué cosita es?

empieza con la "A", ¿qué será?, ¿qué será?, ¿qué será?, alefante

no no no eso no no no eso no no no es así

con la "A" se escribe amor, con la a se escribe adiós

la alegría del amigo y un montón de cosas más

Veo veo ¿qué ves? una cosita ¿y qué cosita es?

empieza con la "E", ¿qué seré?, ¿qué seré?, ¿qué seré?, eyuntamiento

no no no eso no no no eso no no no es así

con la "E" de la emoción estudiamos la expresíon

y entonando esta canción encontramos la verdad

Veo veo ¿qué ves? una cosita ¿y qué cosita es?

empieza con la "I", ¿qué serí?, ¿qué serí?, ¿qué serí? invidia

no no no eso no no no eso no no no es así

con la "I" nuestra ilusión va intentando imaginar

cuan insolita inquietud una infancia sin maldad

Veo veo ¿qué ves? una cosita ¿y qué cosita es?

empieza con la "O", ¿qué seró?, ¿qué seró?, ¿qué seró? oscuela

no no no eso no no no eso no no no es así

no no no eso no no no eso no no no es la hora del final

Veo veo ¿qué ves? una cosita ¿y qué cosita es?

empieza con la "F", ¿qué seraf?, ¿qué seraf?, ¿qué seraf?, final

si si si eso si si si eso si si si es así

si si si eso si si si eso si si si llegó el final

cha cha cha

photo from Look Into My Eyes on Flickr

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Primera Escuela

My love of trees is becoming very well known now - I now get sent all sorts of tree related links.
Clare Seccombe aka @vallesco sent me one such message this afternoon -

I'm glad she did as it reminded me of this wonderful website - Primera Escuela.

Clare had actually linked to a page entitled Las árboles, a whole page of activities linked to trees. What a joy! You can 'contar bellotas' (count acorns), make a tree from shapes - un árbol de formas - colour in a tree online - colorear en linea - or do an online jigsaw - rompecabezas.

And there's a link to the Universidad de Illinois 'Los árboles son fabulosos...aprende más con Pedro' Pedro is an acorn who teaches you all about trees. A great resource for CLIL lessons interesting science and Spanish.
'Las árboles' is a mini-tema on the site which means it has numerous actvities linked to it. However, there is a wealth of other activities on the site including
  • downloadable sheets for every letter of the alphabet;
  • animals from various habitats; songs and rhymes;
  • animated stories;
  • activities for special days such as San Valentín and also cultural events.
Particularly catching my eye were the resources linked to the Winter Olympics - very topical! There are colouring pictures and posters for all the events at the Juegos Olímpicos - that would've saved me trying to act out luging on a tray!!

A site well worth checking out if you teach Spanish, or even if you want to introduce a little bit into FS/KS1 through colouring activities or stories.


A beautiful, moving video of the Picasso painting Guernica, presented here in 3D. The music makes it all the more haunting.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

WCPS Spanish

It's a long time since WCPS Spanish was updated - very
remiss! However, we've been recording all sorts of things, and i've finally got around to podcasting some of the soundfiles this evening, having downloaded 140 files from our Easispeaks - and there are still two Easispeaks 'AWOL' ;o)

So, check out Year 4 talking about their freetime, Year 5 speaking about the planets in Spanish - our first tentative steps towards CLIL - and Year 6 talking about their town.


Today is Shrove Tuesday - I'll be making pancakes very soon for my hungry 'bichos'. However, in Spain and other Hispanic countries, they celebrate differently - as we found out at WCPS during our eTwinning project.

This time of year in Spain sees 'carnavales' . Coming from 'carne' = meat and 'valle' = farewell, festivities mark the start of Lent with parades and dressing up. The event was banned under Franco's rule and recovered once democracy was established in 1981.
Check out this guide for more information and to find out about celebrations in different places around Spain.

Carnavales are not just celebrated in Spain however. Carnaval de Barranquilla in colombia is very famous and boasts a magnificent website full of information about traditions and actualities. Meet la Reina del Carnaval, elRey Momo and los Reyes Infantiles; check out some of the magnificent float designs , and check out what's been and will be happening in Barranquilla.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, 12 February 2010

¡Viva la Vida Latina!

I'm Secretary and 'web guru' of the ALL Spanish Committee and would like to bring your attention to the following event that's fast approaching.

¡Vida Latina! will be held at Aston University, easily accessible by road and public transport, and will be a day of celebrating all things Hispanic.

As you can see from the flyer, there are a variety of sessions covering travel, dance, literature and teaching ideas. Guaranteed to be a good day with things to entertain and also make you think.

More details can be found on the Links in languages site.

Excellent value - especially if you're a student!!

I'm looking forward to learning some Tango. Must find a red rose....

Lisibo @ BETT

BETT seems ages ago - but it's only a month.

However, it's a very long time to have neglected to blog my thoughts. I have been exceptionally busy since then - excuses excuse! - so much so that I've been struggling to keep up with life let alone blogging.

However, I was reminded that there is a clip of me doing what comes naturally - talking! Leon Cych asked me if I'd record a minute of my impressions of BETT - well, it's a bit longer than that! Excuse me if it rambles a bit - I was very tired and had an excruciatingly sore back!

I think what I said having only been at BETT for 2 hours was still true after a day and a half. What makes and made BETT special for me is meeting people and sharing ideas. I did see a brilliant weather making green screen thing on the Kudlian stand - Jo Rhys-Jones and I got rather excited about the prospect of using it in language learning - Chris Fuller disowned us at that point!! And I had a marvellous time on the 2Simple stand - their products are brilliant (please could they make them Mac compatible though ;o)) But mostly it was TMTakeover, Teachmeet and meeting up with random people that made my BETT.

There are lots of other OSS videos with Dawn Hallybone, Zoe Ross, David Noble too. Check them out on the OpenSourceSchools channel on Youtube.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

You can't be my teacher.

Very challenging video that I've seen all over, but originally on JessMcCulloch's blog.

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