Saturday, 27 February 2010

MYLO Update from CILT: Learn More About MYLO at The Education Show

(CILT Press Release)
At this year’s Education Show (4th-6th March), teachers of modern foreign languages will have the opportunity to see a demonstration of MYLO, an exciting new language learning resource due to launch on a closed trial basis at the end of the month.

MYLO (My Languages Online) will enable students aged 14 to 16 to learn French, German, Spanish and Mandarin through a wide range of challenges and activities, which include producing a computer game, working for a celebrity chef and marketing a theme park. It makes language learning creative and fun, and students can collaborate with peers to improve their ability and confidence.

MYLO has been developed in response to Lord Dearing’s recommendation in 2007 to create an Open School for Languages, which would recognise the growing importance of technology in language learning. It has been developed in line with the languages ladder, to complement the wide range of excellent resources already available for MFL teachers.

As well as specific challenges, MYLO has practice materials, online dictionaries, phrase books, background information and plenty of hints and tips, all of which have been developed with the input of educational bodies and MFL teachers and learners across the country.

Kathryn Board, Chief Executive of CILT, the National Centre for Languages, said: “A free resource as complex and innovative as MYLO, born from the collaborative efforts of some of the country’s top languages experts, is a gift to the modern languages world. With GCSE language take-up still in decline, we need to work together to give young people as many reasons as possible to want to continue with languages. MYLO will be a crucial factor in making this happen.”

MYLO will be featured on the DCSF stand throughout the show, so teachers and other members of the public will have the opportunity to try out the resource and offer their feedback. The presentation itself will take place at 10am on Saturday 6th March in the Secondary theatre, and will include a demonstration of MYLO as well as a Q&A session. The seminar will be given by Adrian Moss of Lightbox Education, and CILT Language Teaching Adviser Joe Dale.

“The success of MYLO rests on its capability to harness the potential of new technologies to create the sort of real, collaborative and personalised learning environment that young people find truly engaging and empowering for their own individual needs and passions,” said Joe Dale.

To sign up for MYLO, and get more information on how works, go to or visit the MYLO blog. To sign up for the Education Show seminar, click here.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Assessment For Learning

Amanda Salt, Head of Spanish at Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast put together this great presentation with many AFL ideas. Amanda blogs at

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Embedding Thinking Skills in your MFL Classes: Free Training Event at Bolton School, Monday 8th March 2010

I will be running a Free "Embedding Thinking Skills in your MFL Classes" Training Event at Bolton School on Monday 8th March, 4.15-5.45. Thank you for passing this on to colleagues you think might be interested...
Bolton Girls 8th March

Thursday, 18 February 2010

MFL and Technology: Collaboration At Its Best

I am extremely proud to be part of this project lead by Jose Picardo, Head of MFL at Nottigham High School. The contributors all know each other, if not face-to-face at least virtually and they are a good representation of our vibrant MFL online community. Come on and join us!

Technology in Modern Foreign Languages - A Practitioner's Perspective

Monday, 15 February 2010

MYLO Ambassadors Meeting: CILT, 8th February 2010

A lot of us MFL teachers met on 8th February at CILT to find out more about MYLO and offer practical feedback. The language teachers included Joe Dale , Wendy Adeniji , Lisa Stevens , Jo Rhys-Jones, Mark Pendleton , Louise Crossley , Lesley Welsh , Valerie McIntyre , Helena Butterfield , Simon Howells , Suzi Bewell , Esther Hardman and Andrew Balaam .

In the midst of what can be a depressing climate for languages, especially for secondary language teachers who have seen their role within the curriculum shrink year on year, the day turned out to be extremely positive and -I think-invigorating for all of us.

What is MYLO?

MYLO stands for MY Languages Online. MYLO aims:

*to provide 11-16 year olds with a new approach to learning languages that will engage their interest in exploring languages in an independent manner;

*to give teachers access to a range of flexible, compelling and innovative techniques and content to motivate learners in and out of the classroom.

The Key Partners in the MYLO project are :

The core learning for MYLO will be delivered through the “challenges”. A range of challenges will be developed, based on topics that 11-16 year olds have identified as of interest to them, such as art and design, sport, citizenship and music. The challenges I looked at included designing a menu in French, making a superhero in Spanish, designing a video game... and they all made references to real events and locations.

MYLO considers 3 strands of motivation: self-motivation, peer-driven and teacher-driven.The idea of the MYLO approach is to get the skills to complete the challenge through step-by-step activities and practise the new skills using a suite of multiplayer games in a competitive environment.

MYLO has a social networking facility to enable students to be part of a MYLO community, the MYLO "leagues",which means that they will be able to take the challenge on an individual basis or share work with peers, collaborate on and review each other’s work. Participation is also rewarded by "Kudos points" that count towards students' position in the MYLO leagues.

A lot of support material will also be available like a phrase book, a dictionary, research notes providing cultural background information and what I thought were very focused and engaging language-learning strategies videos. All the resources provided to prepare for the challenges will also be downloadable.

What does a MYLO ambassador do?

Ambassadors are a point of contact for local MFL teachers, giving advice on the use of MYLO and reflecting on the experiences of other thus disseminating good practice.

How can I find out more?

Go online to see things for yourself-but be aware this is pretty much work in progress right now. This is largely due to the feedback that is being given by different groups of secondary teachers involved with MYLO, including early pilot schools and MYLO ambassadors. As maximising the use of the resource is a key priority, piloting and feedback from the classroom are essential and everybody at the meeting seemed very impressed with the depth of the consultation process.

Sign up for MYLO newsletter at MYLO will be launched in Spring 2010 for French, Spanish, German and Mandarin at Breakthrough and Preliminary Levels.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Embedding Thinking Skills in your MFL Classes

I will be running a Free Training Event on Tuesday 9th March, 1-5pm at the Links into Languages Centre, University of Manchester (within walking distance of Picadilly Train Station). There wil also be a workshop on using the repurposed MFL Framework run by Jane Full, an AST from Cornwall.

To register for this free event please complete the registration form in the leaflet attached before 2nd March.Looking forward to seeing you there.
Links Manchester Training Event 9 March 2010