Much has been made recently about the importance of STEM subjects, but what about languages? Writer and translator Benito Abramo takes a look at why the teaching of modern languages is so crucial.
Speaking a second language can give students a massive head start in many areas of their adult lives. Not only can it open doors career-wise, it can also introduce people to all kinds of new cultures and experiences. For this reason, learning modern languages should be considered an important part of every school curriculu
1. Comic life - creating conversations as a comic.
I remember being taught French at high school, and the first thing everybody had to do was a simple conversation with a partner. This is my third year teaching Spanish to Year 6, and I have always started with that same topic. To freshen up this tried and tested formula, though, I have the children create comic strips of their conversation. Most children use pictures of themselves (using the iPad's camera) Whilst others will copy pictures from the internet, or even use images from their photo library of other family members, friends or even pets to create a 'Que tal' conversation.
Last month our headteacher gave me the challenge of using an Ipod shuffle creatively in a lesson. The easiest answer would be to use it in a music lesson, upload some tracks that could have been used for a dance session, or to play during a big write. I wanted to try to think outside the box a bit though, and began to focus on using the gadget in a less obvious lesson. I was drawn to the unpredictability value of the shuffle button, and wanted to utilise that in the best possible way. After toying with the idea of recording lots of times table facts to be played at random for the children to write the answers, I eventually decided to go with using the ipod shuffle in Spanish. The children were learning about Las Comidas (food). Here's what I did:
Photo credit: Guimo
How are schools using mobile phones to promote learning? We link to a Becta study into mobile phone use in the classroom. Hertfordshire Grid for Learning lists handheld devices and possible mLearning applications. Finally, we cite two blogs on MFL ideas and general classroom uses for mobiles.