Monday 11 July 2011

#LW2011 Vincent Everett & Kate Shepheard-Walwyn Snow, Chocolate cake & model aeroplanes

Vincent and Kate's talk was about their departmental approach to teaching languages. I had already read many of Vincent's contributions to the MFL Resources forum with interest, so I was keen to hear what was said.

Kate started this session, talking about the following:
• Flat Stanley, the character from children's books. Take pictures of Flat Stanley around town, then send them to penpals in the TL country.
• Using the green screen, with authentic backgrounds then added to the dialogue created by pupils
• Story/Picture books

Kate talked about the tasks set being big and authentic. Pupils at their school get a copy of 'The fridge shee't, which covers basic core grammar and vocabulary for the whole year. Other ideas included:
o Being Ben sheet where Person A says phrases in English and Person B translates into TL. As demonstrated, saying the TL is fine, it is the pupil’s ability to come up with content which is problematic.
o Scribble Talk = whilst their partner talks, the other person scribbles. When they stop talking, their partner stops scribbling
o Speed Dating
o Connectives dice (example below in Spanish) where pupils roll the dice to continue the story/speaking
1 y 2 porque 3 sobre todo si
4 por ejemplo 5 entonces 6 pero

Ski Slope

This is a simple yet brilliant idea which really took off on the MFL Resources forum and on Twitter when Vincent first mentioned it. The idea is that pupils start with a very short sentence and then write increasingly longer sentences as they 'ski' down the slope
Here is an exemplar ski slope:

Add to your kit
Vincent and Kate talked about a working kit for speaking and writing in the TL, and then encouraging pupils to take it to the next level
o Speech
o Imperfect
o Other people
o I should have
• Pimp my Spanish

Main Messages
o It is not the TL that is hard, it’s thinking up what to say
o You don’t need to learn more TL, you just need to get better at using it
o You don’t need to get better, just learn to use the helpsheet less

All in all, there were loads of great ideas in this presentation, and once again, we will look at our schemes of work to see what we can incorporate where.

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