#nalasat2

Yet another great Show and Tell event! This time, the second NALA Show and Tell, which took place at the Instituto Cervantes in Manchester.

For a comprehensive review of the day, obviously Dominic McGladdery’s blog is the place to go, as ever.

My contribution looked at finding accessible, authentic reading texts for learners, and I shared the links below. There are probably more, and better, sites available, but these are the ones I’ve been looking at recently.

Literary texts

News items

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Callington TILT event

It was a pleasure to be the keynote speaker for Sanako’s TILT (Technology In Language Teaching) event on 26th June. It was different to be talking about something other than my employer’s stuff for a change!

There are so many excellent ways to use technology in the classroom or for planning lessons, so I decided to limit myself mainly to websites, which are available from just about anywhere.  I also included The Hat, though, as I can’t ever seem to talk about technology for teaching without mentioning The Hat!

If you’d like to see the links I mentioned, you’ll find them all in this link.  I owe a huge debt of thanks to all the #mfltwitterati, through whom I have discovered many of these sites – all mentioned by name at the event if I could recall who introduced me to each particular link 🙂

#nalasat

At #nalasat, an MFL Show and Tell event held in Manchester on 9th November, I shared an idea for helping improve listening skills through reading, making a link between the sound and the look of a word.

In brief, this is the idea:

  • At the start of the lesson, give pupils the text you want them to listen to later on, but don’t tell them that is what is going to happen.
  • Give them a few seconds to look through the text.
  • Tell pupils that you are going to read the text aloud, and they should join in with you when they know what you are doing. Repeat this several times, changing the pattern each time. Suggestions are:
    • Read every other word
    • Read every third/fourth word
    • Start reading from the end of the text
    • Read the first word of each line, then the last word of each line
    • Read the first word of the text, then the last word of the text, then the second word of the text, then the penultimate word of the text etc
  • You can make it as complicated or as simple as your own brain can manage!
  • After a few minutes of fun, put the text away.
  • Later in the lesson, conduct the listening activity, without saying that pupils have already had access to the text.

If you would like a comprehensive overview of everything that happened on the day, you could do worse than read this post by Dominic McGladdery.

Geoguessr

I posted a link to this site on Facebook earlier this week, and said it was a bit addictive.  It really is!

Geoguessr is a website which uses Google Maps.  You get ‘placed’ somewhere in the world, and you have to work out where you are.  You can pick up clues from things such as buildings, vegetation, landscape, weather, and even the side of the road cars are driving on.  Occasionally you can find a word, signpost or flag which helps.  Once you’ve decided roughly where you think you are, you drop a pin into a world map, and see how close you were.  You get five ‘goes’ in each round.  It’s amazing how much two places thousands of miles apart can look like each other!

GeoGuessr

I’ve kept coming back to the site over the last few days, wondering if it could be used for language teaching at all.  I don’t think it’s perfect, because as a teacher you don’t really have enough control over what appears, but it does have some possibilities, such as:

  • describing what pupils see in front of them
  • giving opinions on what they see
  • justifying those opinions (I think it could be …. because ….)
  • comparing what they see to places they have been or seen before

It could also be a good tutor-time filler.   Or it can just take up your own free time – as I said, it’s addictive!

Breaking Dawn – Biss zum Ende der Nacht

I was experimenting with something for work the other day, and ended up with these suggestions for use with the German trailer for the final Twilight film, due for release soon.  If it’s of any use to anyone, feel free to help yourselves!

Suggested activities

Don’t tell pupils what the film is – see if they can work it out before the trailer is played!

  • Sorting activity:
    • Either: give pupils the sheet (download below) and ask them to cut them up into tiles Or: cut them up yourself first.
    • Play the trailer without showing it (ie switch project/computer screen off). Pupils listen and organise the text pieces into the order in which they hear them spoken.
  • Ask pupils to use dictionaries to look up selected words.
  • Ask pupils to pick out things from the text, eg:
    • past participles
    • future tense
    • verb endings
    • adjective endings
  • Show the trailer with the sound muted and ask pupils to write what they think they would hear, or write subtitles.
  • Ask pupils to act out the text in time with the trailer.
  • Pupils write and act out their own scenes based on the characters from the film.

Here is the text sorting activity, and here is the full text.

Back to Basics

This all started because I was compiling some simple classroom activities from my own archives for a project for work.  Then I realised that it would be even better if I crowd-sourced some ideas and as ever, the #mfltwitterati were magnificent in sharing.

The main aim was to collect those basic, no props required, vocabulary drilling activities.  In collecting them, other simple ideas snuck in, but I decided that was absolutely fine – who’s going to complain!

I’ve separated them into four different categories to make it a little bit more manageable.  There will be errors, I’m sure, and you’ll have your own versions.  In fact, @langwitch has a Lingo Bingo all of her own and she has explained it far better than I can, so hop over to her blog and have a look yourself.

Then there’s always the issue of what to call these activities – I call it one thing in German, another in French, and that’s without regional variations!

But call them what ever you like, you’re more than welcome to them!

No props required list

Board activities list

Flash card activities list

Little prep required list