Saturday, 14 August 2010

ALL London Event, 19th June 2010

It seems such a long time since I attended this wonderful event but, as I am putting together my action plan for the new academic year, some ideas-most of them sparked by Rachel Hawkes and Michael Wardle’s presentations-are definitely worth revisiting...

I really enjoyed Rachel’s presentation and looking at her initial checklist for success is a great way to re-focus for the new academic year:

Learning languages should be about ...

• Fun/ humour
• Communicating
• Learning new things
• Feeling successful
• Being part of a community

Rachel presented her “10 ideas that worked for me” but my own "hit list" only goes to 6! Well, I start somewhere...

1. I really liked the idea of electing “co-teachers” for students to support the development of speaking in the classroom. This is a great strategy to develop student’s independence in the classroom, turning it into a reward and giving it a high profile.

2. Phonics: This is the key to student’s confidence and feel-good factor when tackling speaking activities. Phonics need to be introduced into SoWs, integrated in classroom practice and student feedback must be obtained to gauge impact across the ability range.

3. Developing students’ ability to ask questions: If it is always the teacher asking questions, this is going to be an interrogation rather than a conversation... A quick starter consisting in a range of answers can be used to prompt students to ask questions:

Oui, bien sûr. Et toi?
Je suis allée au cinéma et j’ai vu un film super
J’aimerais vivre en Ecosse
On peut aller au marché e jeudi
Hier, je suis restée à la maison
Quand il fait beau j’aime me promener à bicyclette

4. Look at ways to develop students’ SEAL through languages initiatives targetted at specific year groups eg. Y9 visiting primary school to teach the language, exchange students teaching a different language, using links abroad and primary links or delivering a language leader programme as Rachel did in her own school.

5. A wider variety of snappy connect starter activities e.g.

Say the name of a category in the Target Language and give students seconds to draw something e.g. un animal

Tu as des frères ou des soeurs? Answer in 7 words exactly, in more than 8 words, include opinion etc...

Discuss school life for 3 minutes: when? What? Where? How? Why? How often?

Discuss a picture using the same questions

Find out about a character and use dictionary

Get students to make their own flashcards on a specific topic

6. A wholeschool language/literacy project: The Spelling Bee
This could be set up as a school competition or for a group of schools in the same area.
More details are available on the wiki 

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