Monday, 11 February 2013


When I go to a conference, I want to learn things that I didn't know before, I want to be given a new spin on familiar things, and, principally, I want to be inspired with lots of ideas that I can go away and use the very next day in my lessons.  Since that is what I want from a conference, it's what I always strive to give any delegates who choose to come to one of my sessions when I am fortunate enough to be invited to speak.

I feel immensely privileged to have been asked to speak at this year's - the third - ICT and Languages Conference (#ililc3) in Southampton.  I had already attended (and spoken at!) the previous two and knew that it would be well worth my attending.  I always learn something new at the ICT and Languages Conference.  It's so difficult to choose which workshops to go to, but ultimately you don't lose out as so many people are so willing to share their notes from other workshops.  This year has been no exception.  Take a look at the hashtag #ililc3 on Twitter and you'll see what I mean.

I have already blogged about my two sessions and my Show and Tell contribution, and now that I have finished my planning for this week am starting to go back through my notes and my (copious) tweets to get the New Things that I have learned into some kind of order.

I have already written about how keen I am on sharing resources and ideas (in this blogpost and of course that's what this blog is all about), but one person can only do so much, so it's great to get something back from time to time.

Good quotations:

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”
Jim Jarmusch

Thanks, Joe, for that one.  It may seem like I have a lot of new and revolutionary ideas but I have always borrowed the initial inspiration from someone or somewhere else.

"Be the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage."
John Connor

"Are we core or are we fluff?"
"We are hardcore literacy-delivering machines!"
Too right, Isabelle Jones!

Useful weblinks:

Checkthis for making digital posters

Mathématiques Magiques for French and maths

Chez Merlin for maths, French, histoire-géo and knowledge of the world

Passeport pour la francophonie for teaching French through intercultural understanding

Socrative for an online student response system which I used for the first time at #ililc3

Escalator failure for... well you'll understand when you watch the video!

Fresher Schools Random Name Selector for selecting random names.  Or change the PowerPoint slides and keep the animations and transitions for a plenary selector, verb selector....

Essential Guide to Kagan Structures for ideas to promote speaking

La canción de los animales for an annoyingly catchy song, with links to other catchy songs.

Tips and ideas:

Create a playlist on YouTube to save all those useful videos that you find!

Share resources!

Use Lego or Duplo for making 3D bar graphs (thanks John!)

Instead of labelling, for example, a picture of the human body on a worksheet,  stick Post-its on a real object like a blow-up alien.  The labels can then be re-used.

Use different coloured multilink or Lego for sentence structure.  If you have colourblind students you could use card shapes instead.

Use different coloured card "feet" on the floor to walk students through a sentence.

To practise phonics, identify the phonemes in a given word, then use a dictionary or glossary, or even the vocab list at the back of the book, to find words with the same phonemes.

Try a rhyming dictionary to write a nonsense poem.  I recommend setting "Number of rhyming letters" to 3, or it will look like there are no rhymes for your word.  I knocked up the following in a couple of minutes:
Una vaca y una alpaca,
Un pájaro bárbaro y
Una rata van
A la cabalgata.
A little poem for practising the "a" sound.

Enhancing target language use in the classroom:
Some top ideas and advice from Samantha Lunn
Speaking is something I am trying to improve on and so these ideas are very welcome.

Express objectives in the target language using, for example, nous allons + infinitive, and display with letters missing for students to read out.  Then provide the oui or non so that they know what they will be doing.

Give learners some "Get out of jail free cards" when they are beginners.  Make sure that they are able to ask how to say something in English or to go to the toilet.

Make one student the translator for the lesson.  The translator can, for example, translate what the class has to do for homework.

Make speaking the language fun by having forfeits for those who lapse into English.

When introducing new vocabulary, introduce small chunks at a time which are followed by short pair games to recap and drill the language.  These pair games can include mime and guess, draw in the air and guess, mumble and guess, draw on their back and guess or mime superfast or superslow.  Show a picture first and give three options for how to say it.  A bit of thinking and language learning skills involved here.

Use mime to emphasise repeated language and core structures.  This blogpost by Sam is very useful for mimes.

Above all, the teacher must be strict in their own target language use, so that the students stick with it too!

Language games

Maths Karate was demonstrated by Jo Rhys-Jones.  It's great fun and definitely one that I will be adding to my numeracy repertoire.  Children love to do the French/Spanish Vowel Haka and so this will be right up their streets!

I think that's it!

Other blogs about #ililc3 that I recommend:

Samantha Lunn's Languages Resources blog

My Languages from Isabelle Jones

My sister @elvisrunner's blog

Helena Butterfield's Langwitch Chronicles

Vámonos from Lisa Stevens

I expect I will be able to add more links over the next few days.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Claire... I should be working for inspection but reading your post was more fun!