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Teacher Training

Free online training opportunities for Language teachers

To support the language teaching community during the COVID-19 lockdown, Linguascope has put together a series of free webinars.

You can find a list of upcoming webinars on our Training Events page.

If you have missed some webinars, you can catch up by watching the recordings below:

Show & Tell Webinar

A webinar where participants were invited to present and their ideas, tips, resources and good practice. The presentations included:

Speaking assessments: Bookended projects

Developing speaking abilities in second language learners is a primary goal of language educators. Assessing our students’ competence is naturally integrated with our teaching.

This session will lead you through a process used in French as a Second Language courses with diagnostic, formative and summative assessments adapted for many grades and levels to allow students to talk about themselves in an interesting and organized way. Although developed for secondary schools (ages 14-18) in Core and Immersion, this works for students from A1-B1 and could be enhanced for B2 and modified for younger students. The ideas flowed from DELF where interviews start with “tell me about yourself” and continue with asking students to reflect on their learning and progress as their language competencies improve. These projects are easily suited for many languages, including English Language Learners.

These projects were normally done in the classroom but adapt well to remote learning.

Beverly Kukhta-Jackson is currently an instructor/advisor at Brock University, Faculty of Education in Ontario, Canada. She previously taught for many years as Head of Languages in secondary schools in Hamilton, Ontario but started in elementary school. French is her second language and she worked long and hard to develop her skills as a communicator and constantly works on becoming a better teacher. She is a co-author of Tu Parles 1 & 2 and On Parle from R.K. Publishing. She has delivered many workshops for the Ontario Modern Language Teachers Association and is on the Board of Directors for that organization. She has also spoken at conferences for ACPI – Association Canadienne des Professionels d’Immersion, at the World Congress of The Fédération Internationale des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes and various other professional development sessions.

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Additional resources: Examen oralJe me présente (Introduction orale)Je me présente (Criteria)Là où je dorsMes accomplissementsQui suis-je ?

Let’s get talking! Developing fluency and spontaneity

How can we engage students with speaking practice during lockdown? And how can technology help us? During this session we will be looking at a variety of activities, resources and websites that you and your students can use to practise speaking, both in the classroom and whilst teaching online . We will also explore strategies to develop fluency and spontaneity. We will discuss the use of target language, potential barriers and strategies to overcome these, including how to develop self-efficacy amongst your learners.

Paula Mourelle is a very passionate linguist and native speaker of Spanish. She teaches languages in a secondary school in the West Midlands. She is an advocate of research based practice and high impact teaching and learning. Paula endeavours to foster a love for languages amongst her students and develop their cultural awareness and communication skills.

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Efficiency in a Time of Covid-19

This is a strange time to be a linguist: both for us and for our students. This session will present a variety of ideas that can be used to develop students’ cultural awareness, build their linguistic detective skills, set student work, provide feedback and still find time to enjoy your lockdown. If you are struggling to find the time to plan and mark your students’ work, or if you are getting everything done at the expense of sleep or time with your family, you might find some of these ideas useful. It is not a one-size fits all solution, but an amalgamation of ideas that can be used from the comfort of your sofa.

Amanda Kimberley is the Head of Modern Languages at a large, single-sex secondary school in the East Midlands where she spends the majority of her professional life explaining to her students that she is American, not Canadian. This is often done in French or Spanish, which explains why they keep asking. She runs the Northampton ALL Secondary Language Hub and firmly believes that quality language teaching doesn’t have to involve working every evening.

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Language: Primarily imitated? Or Self-Selected?

Language is omnipresent in all of humanity. Put two or more individuals together and it just seems to bubble up. In some cases, it does not even take the minimum of two. Many are willing to simply talk to themselves.

So, how does it happen…This ‘language’ thing? Is it that we have learned to efficiently imitate one another over the years? Or might there be another element afoot? Could it be that the language inside each of us is self-selected? And if that were true, how might you accommodate that reality within your classroom instruction?

This webinar will respond to all of these questions with examples for classroom usage.

John De Mado directs John De Mado Language Seminars, LLC, a full-service consulting firm dealing exclusively with language acquisition issues. His workshops (virtual and onsite) and keynote addresses have given him access to wonderful language teaching colleagues around the world. John has authored several textbook programs in Spanish, French and ESL as well as composed and recorded a series of instructional French and Spanish rap CD/DVDs entitled La Boutique Magique, Une Boum Cool, ¡Festejemos! and ¡Somos Campeones! respectively. Each features original raps designed to transmit specific linguistic functions and related vocabulary, structure, and syntax. In March of 2018, Mr. De Mado’s latest professional development book for language educators, entitled In Search of Language: Enhancing Language Acquisition in the Classroom made its debut.

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Supporting Reading Strategies in Distance Learning

Language teachers are familiar with pre-, during and post- reading strategies and activities. In the current environment of emergency remote learning, how can we effectively engage these same strategies? What technologies exist to support teachers in supporting effective reading? During this webinar, we will examine several free options to support all stages of the reading process. Please note: examples in French only.

Jennifer Rochon has been a secondary FSL teacher in Toronto for 19 years, where she is her school’s department head of languages. She is a Past President of the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association and has consulted with Canadian Parents for French and TVO’s Independent Learning Centre. She is currently completing her Master’s of Education through Nipissing University. Twitter: @happyteacher

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Featured resources: J’aime lireC’est comique !Vrai de Vrai

Beyond the physical classroom: Nurturing language learning and creativity through film

This session focusses on how film can be a vehicle to engage pupils in learning languages. Judith will provide lots of practical examples that can be shared directly with pupils and she will also discuss how a Scheme of Learning can be built around a film. She will exemplify how film can be used to promote all skills, including a fifth, namely intercultural understanding. Judith will provide examples in different languages and all film examples are provided with links to access them on the internet.

Judith Rifeser is an MFL Teacher, ALL London Committee Member and filmmaker. She has taught MFL and EAL in the UK, Spain, Italy and the US in primary, secondary and HE. She now works on the ITE Sec PGCE Lang Programme at Goldsmiths and teaches German at the IoE. Before that, she was Head of KS5 German and schoolwide Teaching and Learning Facilitator in a London secondary school. She is passionate about film(making) and has worked with Into Film and the BFI to develop engaging resources. Twitter: @rifjudy

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Translation for all – Motivating translation tasks in and out of the classroom

Are Translation exam questions ‘real’ translation tasks? I believe Translation can be used effectively and creatively in and out of the classroom to get pupils to understand idioms better and the culture from Target Language countries. This session will consider a wide range of translation activities to develop pupils’ knowledge of syntax, the complexity and accuracy of their sentence-building as well as their cultural awareness. (KS2 to KS5)

Isabelle Jones is an experienced Head of Languages and a qualified translator/interpreter with more than 25 years’ experience in primary and secondary language teaching. She enjoys sharing good MFL practice through her blog, My Languages and Twitter (@icpjones)

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We are all in the same boat!

We are all in the same boat: having to set work for all our classes. Jennifer will be sharing in this session the tools she is using, the type of work she is setting (for different skills) but also some creative projects and activities. She still wants her pupils to think that learning a language is fun and interesting so join her and she’ll show you what she’s been planning.

Jennifer Wozniak has been teaching for ten years in Lancashire. Since September 2018 she is Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning. She is also a SLE for languages and T and L. She has a real passion for teaching languages. Twitter: @MissWozniak

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Embedding phonics in language learning

This will be a demonstration of how to embed phonics in the teaching of a foreign language using a sound, action, spelling system. It is a simple 7 step teaching process and suggestions of classroom activities for each step will be given. The examples will be in French but are suitable for most languages.

Sue Cave is an independent primary languages consultant and trainer for Cave Languages as well as an author of language resource books. Her teaching experience has been in primary, secondary, adult education and TESOL sectors. She is passionate about the importance of teaching phonics explicitly to all learners.

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A Game of Two Halves – Strategies, tactics and set pieces to develop speaking and writing

In this webinar, Vincent will outline how to give your pupils a Game Plan to know they can successfully extend and develop their speaking and writing in a foreign language.

Vincent Everett has taught languages for over 30 years. He is head of department in a comprehensive school in Norfolk and is found on Twitter as @veverettmfl. His talk at the 2019 Linguascope Teach Languages Conference was inspiring and we have asked him back to develop some of his ideas in a live online webinar. Don’t miss it!

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Building cultural capital and encouraging independent language learning during lockdown

Suzi Bewell is a passionate language teacher and trainer with over 20 years experience. A strong believer in the importance of including culture in every lesson, Suzi works closely with the British Council as an ambassador to promote international partnerships with schools abroad. Suzi is also a regular conference speaker and contributor to magazines and publications such as ALL Languages Today, Sanako, TES, and SecEd. She teaches in two schools and also runs her own successful languages consultancy, Polly Glot Languages.

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Advice and resources to support language teachers in response to the Coronavirus outbreak

In this practical session, Joe Dale, independent languages consultant from the U.K. shares some timely advice on how to get started with remote teaching as a language teacher. Joe has collated a comprehensive resource including advice and tutorials to support you during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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TiLT Webinars

Linguascope has teamed up with the London Branch of ALL (the Association for Language Learning) to offer a programme of free webinars of the theme of Technology in Language Teaching (TiLT).

To find out about upcoming webinars and watch the recordings of past webinars, visit the ALL London website.

Facebook group

If you are on Facebook, we encourage you to join the Modern Languages Teachers’ Lounge, a group for language professionals to share ideas, tips, and resources, ask for advice or support, advertise jobs, and much more.

Categories
Teacher Training

6 books every language teacher should read during the lockdown

Independent Thinking on MFL: How to make modern foreign language teaching exciting, inclusive and relevant

Learning a new language has the power to transform a life, as well as help break down the barriers that seem to be re-emerging between nations, cultures and people. Yet few people in the UK look back on their MFL lessons with fondness, and even fewer can go beyond the basics of bitte, por favor or s’il vous plait when they do attempt to stretch their foreign tongues.

They would, however, if they’d had Crista Hazell as their teacher.

Drawing on her many years of experience as an MFL teacher, head of department and senior leadership team member, Crista takes teachers on a tour of how to get the teaching of a new language right. From how to hook students in the minute they enter the classroom to ensuring that the vocabulary sticks, Crista shares tips, techniques and inspirational ideas geared to help teachers build confidence, increase enjoyment and improve outcomes as they take their MFL teaching to a whole new level.

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Fun Learning Activities for Modern Foreign Languages

Students learning modern foreign languages often comment that it is just too hard to learn, and remember, all of vocabulary presented to them. Yes, there is a lot of content that needs to be covered, and a lot of vocabulary that needs to be learned. But there is a way of making this process engaging and motivating. Language lessons needn’t be full of grammar worksheets, endless drilling and rote learning lists of vocabulary.

Learning languages isn’t always fun and games. But these aren’t games; they are fun learning activities. And they can help revolutionise language teaching; enabling teachers to authoritatively impart knowledge while fostering a thirst for knowledge and love of learning in their students.

First, the Vocab Fun Learning Activities (VFLAs) learn the vocabulary in ways which will improve recognition and recall. Then, the Fun Learning Activities use this vocabulary knowledge to build sentences and paragraphs; explore and use this language while keeping the whole class engaged and actively learning. The activities are designed to encourage all students to participate and learn more through enjoyment.

Based on Jake Hunton‘s extensive classroom experience, and underpinned by research into how students learn best, each activity comes complete with a detailed explanation and plenty of ideas for variations, differentiations and extensions. The activities come with example vocabulary lists in French, German and Spanish as a starting point, which are all available for download via a link provided in the book. However, the activities will work effectively in any language and with any vocabulary list of the teacher’s choosing, and can be adapted to suit every topic, learning objective and age range.

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Breaking the Sound Barrier: Teaching Language Learners How to Listen

This book is for language teachers who want to help their students become more effective listeners. It focuses on the processes involved in aural comprehension, blending the latest research evidence with over 200 engaging listening activities, as well as lots of useful practical classroom ideas and lesson sequences.

Chapters include the principles of “listening as modelling”, developing phonological and lexical retrieval skills, grammatical parsing, interpersonal and task-based listening. There are also chapters on how to make the most of songs, cognitive and metacognitive strategies, assessment and preparing for examinations. The final chapter offers a framework for language teachers or departments who wish to develop a strategy for improved listening. The book aims to place listening at the forefront of lesson planning. Gianfranco Conti and Steve Smith have around 60 years of classroom experience between them and a track record of offering instantly usable, low-preparation activities for the classroom, supported by second language acquisition research. Their handbook The Language Teacher Toolkit is already widely used around the world. Too often, classroom listening is neglected by teachers and a source of fear for learners; how can we make it a successful and enjoyable experience for all? This book is unique in its genre, in proposing a different and more impactful answer to this question.

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Making Every MFL Lesson Count: Six principles to support modern foreign language teaching

James A. Maxwell‘s Making Every MFL Lesson Count: Six principles to support modern foreign language teaching shows modern foreign languages (MFL) teachers how they can take their students on a learning journey that both educates and inspires.

Writing in the practical, engaging style of the award-winning Making Every Lesson Count, experienced MFL teacher James A. Maxwell empowers educators with the strategies and know-how to boost their students attainment, engagement and enthusiasm in the MFL classroom.

Making Every MFL Lesson Count is underpinned by six pedagogical principles – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning – and helps MFL teachers ensure that students leave their lessons with richer vocabulary, a better grasp of grammar and the skills and confidence to put the language learnt into practice. Bursting with templates, examples and flexible frameworks, this gimmick-free guide provides educators with a range of practical techniques designed to enhance their students linguistic awareness and help them transfer the target language into long-term memory.

James skilfully marries evidence-based practice with collective experience and, in doing so, inspires a challenging approach to secondary school MFL teaching. Furthermore, he concludes each chapter with a series of questions that will inspire reflective thought and encourage teachers to relate the content to their own classroom practice.

Suitable for MFL teachers of students aged 11-18 years.

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100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding MFL Lessons

Split into sections on grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading, writing, translation and revision, 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding MFL Lessons presents tried-and-tested ideas that cover all aspects of the modern foreign languages (MFL) curriculum. Experienced MFL teacher, Dannielle Warren, shares interactive games and activities to support and challenge all students learning a modern foreign language. This accessible resource presents suggestions for helping students revise effectively and strategies for marking and feedback to enable their progress. It is suitable for all MFL teachers, regardless of the language they teach, and includes examples in French, Spanish and German. With online resources and ideas ranging from pass the parcel to drawing dictation, 100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers: Outstanding MFL Lessons is ideal for all teachers in need of some inspiration and fresh ideas.

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100 Ways to Teach Language Online: Powerful Tools for the Online and Flipped Classroom Language Teacher

From Shane Dixon, the author of the best-selling 100 TESOL Activities for Teachers, comes an updated and expanded edition now revised for the online language teacher!

100 Ways to Teach Language Online will give you simple, powerful, and effective teaching tools as you make the switch from a traditional classroom to an online setting. Designed to be practical, the activities in this book will get students to communicate and interact, and make language come alive in the online classroom while still meeting the needs of the digital learning environment. This book is organised in easy to follow categories that include the most common activities in English language teaching, as well as a lesson planning overview. The lesson plans are broken up into Warm-ups, Guided Practice, Independent Practice, Listening Activities, Reading Activities, Writing Activities, Speaking Activities, Vocabulary Activities, and Teaching Language Learner Autonomy. Above all, this manual is your toolbox, meaning that it is best used when you feel stuck or unable to think of how best to teach a particular subject matter. In other words, think of this book as a way to jumpstart your brain… especially when it stalls. The activities are academically sound, easy to follow and implement, can be easily adapted to a number of contexts, take little or no time to prepare, and are adaptable to all learning levels. Whether you are new to online teaching or simply need a quick reference guide to get your creative juices flowing, this is the book for you.

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