Wednesday 26 October 2011

ALL French Day at Gosforth High School, Saturday 15th October

The first session was delivered by Jacqueline Turner who is a Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning  at Gosforth High School (now part of Gosforth Academy). The focus of the session was to look at different strategies to enable students to give extended answers for their controlled assessments.
The strategies included maximum participation and engagement in class, opportunities for language manipulation e.g. re-ordering of sentences and sequencing, Peer/ self –assessment, grammar auction-when students bid and find mistakes in a text, Running dictations as well as scrolling activities as a starter or plenary to encourage students to proofread and read for specific detais.
Other examples of activities included:
Verbs in different tenses are identified and need to be attached  to the correct person/ infinitive. They can be colour-coded e.g. black: present/ blue: past tense / red: future tense
For kinesthetic learners, students are sent to different parts of the room and blindfolded. A partner reads a text and the student has to demonstate understanding of the tense: a step forward is  a future tense and a step backward is a past tense.
20-sided dice can be borrowed from the Maths department. Each side is allocated to a different word to get a choice of 20 words.
e.g. 1. Regarder-je/ nous, 2. ecouter-tu/ils etc…
Students work in pairs with the partner challenging the other student: what is the ending? How is it spelt?...
Russian roulette: Use a random name generator with different verbs and people to create competitions
Just a minute: Speaking challenge-if they pause/ repeat/ stop, their partner takes over. Whoever is talking at the end of the minute wins.
Talking trio: 3rd person listens and assesses: e.g. “got the passé compose” wrong
Speed dating: rows, move down 2 to change partners. Speed dating can be use to revise vocabulary or questions/ answers for the speaking controlled assessment.
Writing race: Students can be given specific feedback e.g. look at the tenses, focus on verb ending...
Working as a team can give confidence especially before the actual exam.
Translate together: Students given a model paragraph in English in pairs they have to translate –can be differentiated. This activity is good to free up the teacher for individual feedback and it is effective to teach students back-up phrases-several ways of saying the same thing.
Blankety blank: Students fill in the gaps, use different phrases. This activity done with mini-whiteboard ensures maximum engagemen from the students.
Change the variable: e.g. mon père s’appelle Dan, ma mère s’appelle Marie sa mère s’appelle Marie ( change one at a time)
The next session was delivered by Steve Mulgrew, an educational consultant who is also currently supporting a local school as interim Head of MFL. The session focused on the use of ICT and “gadgets” to make language lessons more engaging.
The spotlight  tool from the Interactive Whiteboard was used to introduce the rooms in the house with the spotlight revealing different squares representing different parts of the house. One obscured square was used to carry on practising with a kim’s game, where students need to identifiy the room that is hidden by the dark square.
Stickers can be used to enable to show understanding of where the different rooms are.
Promethean activexpression handsets can be used with students having to fill in gaps to demonstrate understanding of gender, number, names of rooms, verb endings etc...Students just key in the missing words and feedback can be provided immediately.
Bells can be used to show understanding or to focus on a particular word/ tense
Easi-view (visualiser) can be used instead of using individual textbooks.. hhe visualise is also a great tool for AFL and students to look at each other’s work
Beach ball with questions for talking (talk ball) can be used as a starter to drill basic questions or revise question words.
Digital photo frames can provide a dynamic and personalised display with text saved as pictures.This ensure that students are constantly visually stimulated with relevant key words and phrases.
Session 4 was delivered by The Newcastle University Language Resource Centre
Linguacast, teachers’ toolkit and Universed were the 3 main resources featured.
Linguacast is a free podcasting for language learning site with references to specific vocabulary.
Teachers’ toolkit is a site with teacher’s  videos with worksheets/EFL worksheet too.  
Universed is a free aggregator with safe sites that can be used for student viewing-possibly lso for homework. All materials are tagged to make it easier to find relevant materials quickly.
Free apps will also be launched soon, so watch this space...
Last but not least, Lesley Welsh, an Assistant Head and Director of MFL and International Coordinator at Manor College of Technology in Hartlepool, gave an inspirational presentation showcasing 3 language projects.
The first project, “Les pirates arrivent” is a KS2/KS3 6 weeks transition project. Y7 French teachers were observed by and observed  Y6 literacy lessons. There was also a workshop day to create resources with the aim to re-cap, consolidate and extend what may have been done at primary. The project also included a baseline assessment in all four skills at the end.
The project included an overview of “Le monde francophone” with:
Food from French speaking countries : bananes plantain ananas etc… and “Le carnaval en Guadeloupe”.
The second project was about the Republique du Congo and included 2 workshop days to create resources. The project was for 8 lessons and 1 launch assembly, with the SCIAF (Scottish CAFOD) providing links for charity work.
A Domino activity was used to introduce key facts about Congo (in French): mortalité infantile, alphabétisation, Espérance de vie, exportations, la monnaie
The Listening resources from the SCIAF website were used: e.g.  Joseph: video with/ without subtitles
There are many issues including children soldiers and AIDS but it is important to avoid stereotyping.
As a Speaking activity, students worked in threes : Samuel/ interviewer/ typical British teenager and used a video or voice recorder. The Listening and Speaking activities were also used to make Y9 see that  GCSE is accessible.
The third project was called “Aim Higher in Languages” and  focused on KS4/KS5 Transition and encouraging uptake at ALevel.
Amongst all the activities mentioned, I liked the idea of a voice-over activity. students worked with  anti-alcohol / drinking adverts (in English) and worked in small groups to make a voiceover for the adverts. They were not allowed to listen to original in English to avoid them just trying to translate the original. Instead, they were encouraged to be creative. They used Movie maker to do the voice-over. I felt this activity was motivating and could easily be adapted for KS4 or possibly KS3 students.                                                                                                                                                                          

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