Monday, 30 June 2008

Getting ready for the new National Curriculum in Languages

I was asked recently about what we are doing to get ready for the new PoS…

We are now in the process of reviewing our schemes of work. Our review aims to provide students with motivating new contexts rather than concentrate on just covering a number of topics as in the past. Grammatical and linguistic progression is still the main focus but we are mindful of not diluting our language input and making it more student-centred through the use of ICT. Cross-curricular opportunities are highlighted in our Schemes of Works and more liaising is being done to establish overlaps and ensure seamless progression rather than repetition of the same topics in different subjects.

We have recently moved into a new building with state-of-the-art ICT facilities so we are in a strong position to make ICT the centre piece of our new approach. We already use the IWB for all our MFL lessons as a way to structure them. We also have a number of links abroad that we aim to integrate into our Schemes of Works to provide our students with real writing opportunities.

There are more plans to develop our student blog to showcase our students’ work and provide them with a “window on the world” as well as access to extension resources. Podcasting also is high on the agenda as a motivation tool to make listening comprehension and speaking tasks less threatening for students. It has already been used by students to revise for GCSE in Spanish.

However, before we get all our students ready to use ICT independently in day-to-day MFL lessons, my priority is to make sure all members of staff feel comfortable with it and are clear about our aims.

I have put together this teacher blog, My Languages, to support them by sharing resources and ideas on how to use ICT creatively. The response has been extremely positive as the foundations were laid some time ago with more electronic communication, use of ICT for administration and use of data projector to structure the delivery of lessons. I am also very proud that the commitment of each member of the Faculty to develop their own ICT skills to enhance language learning has been very high.

I now need to make my own ICT action plan to ensure that I can show how I am developing and therefore lead by example.

As I want to highlight that improving Learning must be at the heart of everything we do with ICT, I am planning to include the following:

1. IWB training (on-going) to ensure it is used more and more interactively. The training is not only for teachers but for students too, who must learn how to interact with the board in an appropriate and effective way.

2. Use of ICT room to enhance lessons with a focus on Listening and Speaking skills (use of audacity and training staff and students to use the ICT room for listening tasks)

3. Use of links abroad and ICT-like cartoon software or blogging- to develop writing skills

4. To develop independent learning skills-access to podcasts and suitable online materials

5. Use of Wikis for administration and to encourage collaboration within Faculty

Review of plans in September to see if it can all be fitted in with our school development priorities…

1 comment:

José Picardo said...

Hi Isabelle,

It appears that you have next year all sussed out. I wish I could be as organised as you are!

It very much sounds to me that the dynamics you have established in your department regarding the use of ICT are spot on. Keep up the good work!