Saturday, 27 March 2010

Creativity talks!

Rachel Hawkes is an absolute genius who I’m certain rarely sleeps or else has her own TARDIS as she can’t possibly have the hours in the day to teach and do all the things she does!

Her ‘Major talk’ was all about speaking - the most undeveloped but most important skill in terms of motivation as our perception of being good at languages hangs on our ability to speak.

If you want to experience the presentation, you will no doubt soon see it on Rachel’s blog, but some key points were-

Key strategies -

sound-written pattern

building a framework for spontaneous talk

providing opps for planned and unplanned talk

focusing on key structures

providing a range of stimulus materials to respond to

using tech to enhance interactions

Teaching phonics is very important - the first thing that happens in year 7 at Comberton. The phonics aare linked to a gesture and once learned, the pupils are given words to pronounce - it could be people’s names or shopping lists.

Other ideas for geting pupils talking were

  1. using a Morph clip and asking What are they saying? Can you give Morph and Chas some words? Or to give pupils the words and ask them to put them in order.
  2. an iPhone clip that practiced ‘Puedo.......’ and could be used to reinforce ‘¿se puede....?
  3. the Obama reggaeton rap
  4. posing a question eg ¿Tienes hermanos o hermanas? and stipulating ‘tu respuesta debe tener 7 palabras‘ then ¿Cómo puedes contestar con más de 10 palabras
  5. Odd one out connecting triangles
  6. pilla al intruso ; and, one of my favourites,
  7. what isn’t going to happen??? What didn’t happen?

All the clips Rachel used are bookmarked in her account there - RachelHawkes60.

Raising global awareness in a second language.

The first session I attended was Helen L. Walker presenting Raising global awareness in a second language and speaking from her experience as an early years teacher in the immersion programme in Canada.Helen asserted that we still tend to live within our own cultural bubble despite the immediacy of internet etc, and that global awareness, that is, an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, is something on which we still need to work. She talke dof how we can do this using books, experiences and contcts as well as global focus weeks such as thos edetailed on the SWgfl.

Whilst living in an English speaking part of Canada (Calgary), Helen taught a class under the immersion programme of pupils aged 5 who had no or very little French. they began their journey using the topic L’Afrique, and applying an enquiry based method of learning. They looked at elephants, had an Africa day and did lots of art activities. Questions were posed and the children looked for the answers with teacher help where needed.

One such question was ‘Does it rain in Africa?’ to which the children immediately answered ‘no’. Reading What the animals were waiting for, a book about the rains in Africa, challenged this view and shaped their understanding of what it might be like to live in Africa.

Another book Beatrice’s Goat had wide reaching effects on the pupils.

Beatrice lives in Uganda and wants to go to school but has no uniform as she can’t afford it. Then she’s sent a goat from a charity. The pupils empathised with Beatrice - and wanted to send a goat to her. Helen explained that Beatrice now had a goat, but that perhaps they could buy a goat for another child. The class discussed how to raise money to send the goat, and settled on creating items to auction off including the journal of Françoise the class teddy bear, booklets made in computer time in french about numbers, colours, animals and Africa. On an art trip they made a quilt with each child contributing a square - this too was auctioned . All in all, they raised sufficient money to buy a barn full of animals. Not only had they raised funds but also the awareness; the pupils were so proud of themselves and had a great joy in giving.

Helen offered a list of some of the resources she used, and of sites that were useful for this type of thing, and others shared ideas from their classes including a boys’ school where the pupils raised money by doing the staff’s ironing!

As a postscript to this, I overhead a conversation today about an article saying that by teaching ICU, we are producing racist pupils as we are presenting a ‘stock view’ of countries. This rang bells as I had had a similar experience in Liverpool at the PLS where someone had been challenged for portraying a very narrow view of life in Martinique. Good point i guess. How can we make sure we’re not reinforcing unhelpful stereotypes?

Language World 2010

I’ve had the privilege over the last two days to be in York - a beautiful city - for the annual ALL conference Language World.

Between dodging goose poo and trying to work out which bridge to cross, blowing bubbles and answering burning questions about the attractiveness of back hair and the point of mixed peel, we’ve been treated to many thought provoking and practical sessions on language teaching and learning. I’ll try and blog a few over the next few days.

Good to see friends, especially ones who have up until now been virtual, and make new ones. Already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Language World 2010

Lisibo Voki has a message for you!

For more details, here's the link to download a programme and application form.

Come to Language World exhibition.

Come to the Language World Exhibition!

University of York

Friday 26 and Saturday 27 March 2010

· It’s free, it’s big, it’s full of the best in languages resources – from books to IT solutions, from national support agencies to courses abroad. There’s something for every language teacher!

· The Language World exhibition is open on Friday 26 March from 09.00 until 18.00 and on Saturday 27 March from 09.00 until 14.00. You’ll find it in Exhibition Centre, University of York and there’s parking close by. Call us if you need further details (0116 229 7454).

· On Friday evening at 5pm we’d like to invite you ALL to join us in the Exhibition to celebrate ALL’s 20thbirthday this year – with a glass of fizz and a birthday cake!

Special offers for all visitors to the Language World exhibition from:

BBC Active: BBC Active is offering 30% off all orders placed at Language World.

CME Books Europe: 10% discount off all products purchased / orders placed at the conference. PLUS Free prize draw to win Mandarin textbook and work book of your choice from ‘Chinese Made Easy for Kids’, ‘Chinese Made Easy’ or ‘Easy Steps to Chinese’ series OR Set of “Celebrating Chinese Festival Series”.

ConnectED Education FREE PRIZE DRAW. Tell us how you would use CONNECTED BROADCAST in your school, college or university for a chance to win a FREE Broadcast for your establishment.

European Schoolbooks Ltd: European Schoolbooks Ltd is offering a 15% discount on all orders taken during the Language World Conference.

EuroTalk: Any EuroTalk title on an unlimited school network for £99 (from £220) Stand 46

Heinemann: Heinemann will be giving away some very special STUDIO mouse mats, a must for every language teacher and pupil so make sure you visit our stand to claim yours!

Hodder Education: Hodder Education is offering 25% discount on all Languages resources and 50 % off dictionaries.

Language Networks for Excellence: Special 15% discount on all orders placed through the ALL Language World show by quoting a discount code valid up until 01 June 2010.

Lexus Ltd: Lexus is offering half price for all books bought during the Show.

Links into Languages: Sign up to the Links into Languages mailing list to be entered into a prize draw for a free place on a Links Core Course of your choice and get your supply cover for this course paid. Return your mailing list card to the Links into Languages Stand (30) at Language World to be in with a chance to win!

Sanako UK Ltd: Sanako will provide a single user license of its popular Media Assistant Solo free of charge to all delegates who register at stand 50. This can be used for creating digital exercises and recording oral assessments.

See the ALL website for the full list of exhibitors

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Donde viven los monstruos

Another find today on Youtube.

Where the wild things are in Spanish! So useful as pupils know the story already so don't need to be hung up on meaning of every word.

Just proves something that Mark Reid from BFI showed us last week at the Primary Language Show - the context is key, and in film, it's the interplay between image, sound, dialogue, context and a bit of imagination that makes it!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Me gusta el jugo de naranja

I've been looking for resources about healthy lifestyles and food today, and came across this song on my travels around Youtube.

Very catchy and good for practising opinions about food - me gusta(n) / no me gusta(n)

Ojo - it's South American so uses the phrase 'el jugo de naranja' for orange juice instead of the Spanish 'el zumo de naranja'.

Another useful video on the same theme, and with the same 'quirk' is the one below. This time it's a rap that could easily be adapted to include other items of food, or other vocabulary too.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Waving the flag - official song of FIFA World Cup 2010 - Bandera ondeanado

I loved the official song of the FIFA World Cup 2010 when i heard it for the first time today. And now I've found this bi-lingual version too with K'Naan, the original artist, singing with David Bisbal.

The lyrics are below!

Waving Flag de K´naan y David Bisbal
Give me freedom
Give me fire
give me reason
Take me higher
see the champions
take the field now
youll be fighters
make us feel proud
En las calles muchas manos
levantadas, celebrando
una fiesta sin descanzo
los paises como hermanos
Canta y une tu voz
grita fuerte que te escuche el sol
el partido ya va a comenzar
todos juntos vamos a ganar
Seremos grandes,
seremos fuertes
somos un pueblo
bandera de libertad
que viene y que va (x3)
when i get older
i will be stronger
theyll call me freedom
just like a wavin flag
Now wave your flag (x3)
ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh
Danos vida
danos fuego
que nos lleve a lo alto
campeones o vencidos
pero unidos a internarlos
In the streets
are exalted people
as we lose our inhibitions
celebretion is around us
every nation all around us
Singing forever young, singins
songs underneath the sun
lets rejoice to the beatuful game
and together at the end of day
Seremos grandes,
seremos fuertes
somos un pueblo
bandera de la libertad
que viene y que va (x3)
when i get older
i will be stronger
theyll call me freedom
just like a wavin flag
Now wave your flag (x3)
ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh
Seremos grandes,
seremos fuertes
somos un pueblo
bandera de la libertad
when i get older
i will be stronger
theyll call me freedom
just like a wavin flag
Now wave your flag (x3)
ohhh ohhh ohhh ohhh
And everybody
will be singing

The Youtube page also explains -

El español David Bisbal y el somalí K´Naan interpretan la versión latina del tema Waving Flag, elegido para la Copa del Mundo FIFA Sudáfrica 2010.
La canción fue estrenada ayer, como parte de las celebraciones rumbo al Mundial.
"La música y el futbol unen al mundo, y a través de esta canción queremos contagiar el sentimiento de alegría que nos provoca este evento mundialista", explicó el artista español, al referirse a la canción inspirada en costumbres africanas referentes a la fiesta, y que aborda temas como el amor, la unión y el optimismo.
El tema presenta pasajes en español e ingles y un video en el que se pueden ver las pocas habilidades futbolistas de Bisbal, quien lucha sin éxito dominar un balón.
La canción de la Copa del Mundo, Waving flag, fue compuesta por el rapero Knaan Mogasishu, quien nació en Somalia aunque es ciudadano canadiense.
La canción es el tercer single de su álbum Troubador y meses atrás fue elegida por la organización del Mundial como su himno oficial.

What can eTwinning do for you? - PLS2010

My second presentation at the Primary Language Show this year was entitled

What can eTwinning do for you?

This was an extended version of last week's presentation, offering ideas of how eTwinning and addressing the International Dimension fits into the Key Stage 2 Framework and meets objectives for all years.

Below is the Slidecast of the presentation.

And also a video of me explaining why eTwinning is so good for the PLL classroom.

If you want to find out more about the project we did at Whitehouse Common, check out this previous post

Monday, 15 March 2010

Audaciously using Voices to make Voki - PLS2010

I was privileged to be asked to speak at the Primary Language Show once more this year. Having presented last year on El Carnaval de los Animales and You and Youtube, this year I had two new topics on which to speak.

The first of my presentations was entitled

Audaciously using Voices to make Voki!

During the session I aimed to explain how Audacity, Voki and Voicethread work, and how they can be used to enhance learning in the Primary Language Classroom. I gave examples from my classroom, made a Voki there and then and also drew ideas from others including Esther Mercier and Royds School.

Below is a Slidecast of my presentation, and here's a link to further resources to help you - a guide to making Voki, embedding on a Wiki and notes on all 3 tools - and others - including tutorials!

Hope you find them of use.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Vida Latina - Cross curricular ideas for the Primary Classroom

Here's my second presentation from Vida Latina, offering ideas for making Spanish cross curricular. Included are ideas from my classroom and also links to other cross curricular ideas such as Mira Miró and Jumping through hoops.

I sadly forgot to press record on my iRiver so there's no audio this time I'm afraid. However, if you'd like to ask questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and I'll try and reply.

Vida Latina - What can eTwinning do for you? Experiences from WCPS

Here comes the first of my presentations from Vida Latina last week at Aston University. The conference was organised jointly by Links into Languages and the ALL Spanish Committee, and focussed on Latin America.

AS part of the day, we had a session on International links - a double act between Liz Hitchcock of the British Council and me.

After Liz had talked about the Global Gateway and ePals, I shared some experiences of how we have gone about links with other schools at Whitehouse Common.

Here's my presentation as a Slidecast.

La araña pequeñita

Here's a Voki I made yesterday in my session at the Primary Language Show, using a song I'd recorded for a non-Spanish speaker to use with her class.

Sadly no spider avatar on Voki, but I did manage some rain.....

Click here to comment on this Voki.
Get a Voki now!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Coming soon....

I'm really aware that I have a backlog of posts awaiting publication.

Over the next few days, I'll be uploading presentations from
Education Show
Vida Latina
Primary Language Show

...and also reporting back from other sessions!

The audio may take a little longer though....

It's great to be busy - sorry if you feel I'm neglecting you!!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Dans ma trousse..

Another example of the wonder of animation from Oscar Stringer.

This clearly shows how animation can be used in the primary classroom to present and rehearse vocabulary as well as make 'pop videos'

Find out more on Oscar's blog.

And if you're going to the Primary Languages Show in Liverpool next Friday, you can catch Oscar sharing more ideas and examples of animating in the PLL classroom.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Still not had time to do that 'proper blog post' as I've spent the afternoon editing video of the tango demonstration and workshop we had yesterday at Vida Latina.

Below are the two demonstrations by Loyd and Sandra from TangoInBrum. Did you know that tango is all improvised? I didn't!

You'll also find a Slideshare I found tango.

And our efforts are at the bottom.


Saturday, 6 March 2010

Vida Latina - photos

A proper blog post will follow tomorrow, but here are the photos from today!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

ICT in PLL - Dotcom centre at Hillcrest

All a bit topsy turvy I guess, reporting on a course I ran on Tuesday after a presentation I did today but heigh ho!

Tuesday saw me heading across the city - or actually around it on the M6 lead by my motorway crazy SatNav- to Hillcrest School where I was delivering a day of training for Primary Language teachers on ICT in the Primary Language Classroom.

It was a really good day from my point of view with lovely food - bacon sandwiches for coffee break! - a great venue and marvellous enthusiastic delegates. And the added bonus of a visit to the Lingua centre at lunchtime.

To save on paper and also because I think online notes are more useful - click the link rather than type it in makes more sense to me - I made a wiki for the day on which all the notes, presentations and some of the outcomes are posted. I think that's the way to go - what do you think?

Top tips for absorbing language learning - Education Show

I had the pleasure and privilege of speaking at the Education Show today. I volunteered myself, admittedly, but I hardly thought they'd say yes! I'd attended a previous seminar there and had been rather unimpressed and thought 'I could do better!' - so I put my money where my mouth is - and hope I succeeded.

Below is my presentation which will shortly become a Slidecast once I've managed to find the time to download and edit the audio.

Comments and queries welcome :o)

Top tips for absorbing language learning
View more presentations from Lisa Stevens.
PS Thanks to @StephenDoBe for the simultaneous tweeting, and to my all the Twittermates who tweeted multilingual greetings to my audience!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


I did a day of ICT in PLL training today at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre. More of that in another post..

However, at lunchtime, we were able to visit Lingua, the language centre at Hillcrest. Similar to the Europa Centre, Lingua offers schools the opportunity to visit their shopping street which transports itself between France, Germany and Spain on a regular basis. groups can visit for a half day or whole day, taking part in activities for half the time and then venturing into the street to buy items - virtually, or in the case of souvenirs, actually!

Below are pictures I took today of the street - it's currently in Germany!

Have a look at the Lingua website for more details!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Story Making, and Higher Order Thinking Skills

Just received an exciting email from Kathy Wickstead, National Subject Lead for Languages.

She writes -
ALL (Association of Language Learners) is co-hosting a FREE workshop at the International Learning and Research Centre, South Gloucestershire, which will bring together teachers in key stages 2 and 3 to look at two inspirational approaches to language learning, Story Making and using Higher Order Thinking Skills. The workshop will show how these approaches engage pupils and can help to develop a smooth transition between key stages. Using actions and a 'story map', the story-making initiative takes pupils step by step from listening to participation, to story-telling and creating their own stories. It raises confidence in speaking and enables pupils to internalise key language patterns.
Date: Wednesday 17th March
Time: 9.30 - 12.30 (refreshments from 9.00)
Venue: The International Learning and Research Centre, South Gloucestershire
The Centre is located on the outskirts of Bristol, a taxi-ride from Bristol Temple Meads or Bristol Parkway stations.
A great opportunity - sadly I have a meeting and should be teaching anyway so I'll be unable to go. But if anyone does go, please be sure to share!!

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