Sunday, 15 June 2014

A weekend in North Yorkshire
Click the picture to see a Flickr album of 137 photos!
What a privilege to be invited by Liz Black to attend the launch of a North East Yorkshire ALL group which she hosted over May Bank Holiday weekend in her absolutely beautiful home  -a converted Methodist Chapel in the National Park.  She told me that one of the delegates thanked her afterwards and said ‘it was like Christmas’ and this really did sum it up for me!
We were all there to enjoy each other’s company and to share our enthusiasm for languages… and the focus of this day was particularly to celebrate German.


Liz introduced the day, the aim being ‘to save German and to establish a network up north’’  She was especially pleased to see 'the young ones’ .. and indeed this was one of the things which made it seem like Christmas.. a family spreading all ages but with common background and commitment to a culture. As she said ‘We all love Germany and its culture’.   I found it particularly moving when Liz told us about her personal background, pointing to a big photo  of her German mum, who seemed to be looking over her daughter and approving of what she was doing and the way she was generously sharing her home in order to promote her passion.
I tried to catch everyone’s names, but couldn’t quite … here are some notes I typed  - perhaps you can make sense of them!: Alison .. Fr Gn uni, Kirsty . Fr Gn studied Russ Gn 3 years, Jim McElwee, , Julie King Gn Fr, Carol Gn AL Sp Fr, Yvonne, Whitby.. KS3school, Ian, Whitby Gn, Helena Butterfield St Michael’s school, Fiona Richmond school in charge Gn, Alison .. journalist.. NQT year, Hayley PGCE student Gn Sp, Shelly PGCE student , Maja Halifax Gn Sp, Martin Healey PGCE , Rosemary Billingham Fr Gn specialist., Carol Hughes Southend.. girls' grammar,  Christchurch Uni , William Strange.. Gn Sp, Nicky B PGCSE Gn Sp IT, Emily Gn Fr… lived in Gn .. PGCE 3 years ago, Rene Koglbauer Gn Sp Maths, Nottingham.. PGCE …,North Leadership centre..
Although a discussion was scheduled for later, we just couldn't help sharing ideas and frustrations there and then about the need to support German and now to do it ..
·         Need to enlighten Headteachers about the need for German
·         Note that experience of primary does not necessarily mean that students will be better at it and take it up later… much experience shared of individuals
·         Some languages just ‘click’
·         Any language gives grist to the mill
·         Personal experiences shared .. even though German introduced later, they preferred it and performed better in it
·         Rene stated that local businesses need German, but Headteachers say they do not work with businesses.

Steven Fawkes

What better way to start a Saturday than with the legendary and talented Steven Fawkes whose love for language shines through the ideas he shares and the playful way he shares them!  He involved us in an activity which combined learning about real German songs and using language for real, as we listened to short excerpts of songs [YouTube link), made a personal rating for each song, then discussed with our countries which ones should be awarded points, thereby being aware of what type of language was needed for this activity, practising it and enjoying ourselves.  (Ticking all the boxes for an outstanding lesson in my view!)
For what it’s worth, here are some of the words I randomly typed while listening …Glasperlenspiel Maxim Frida Gold 7 beat good… 4 3 SportfreundeStiller 10.. rock.. drums great…slow Kavier 6 repetitive … Elif  Dramatic woman. Tattoo 6  2 Beatrice 4 very Eurovision  83 Seed 10 love the rhythm…  2 fettes Brot Rhythmic… 8
Some notes from Stephen said….
Language needed..
·         Deciding how to decide
·         Opinions
·         Suggestions
So give language needed beforehand
·         Circle of adjectives to describe music
·         Also words for describing the video
Homework.. song research
Then came  the bit I always enjoy especially with Stephen . a sing a long!
Interactive song… actions.. mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken….
Built up gradually with questions on a ppt about the words which will be used .. is that your hat?  His hat? No, it is my hat (replacing nouns with other items as necessary!)
·         Interaction has questions….
·         Build in negatives
·         Praise
·         Bodysnatcher…
·         Sequence..
·         Listen before you say it….
·         Listen to teacher and respond
·         Listen to different voice
·         Join on with key words
·         And what next..
·         Number
·         Gender
·         Ideas for next…
·         He/ she has….
·         Animals and insects…. Monster…
·         Alien lineout…
·         Simon says
·         Mein / dein
·         Gapfill.. label
·         Draw a monster
·         Do a show
·         Getting ready to perform
·         Memorising,
·         Practising
·         Refining
·         Evaulating
·         Making mistakes, improving
·         Building confidence
·         Words, spelling
·         Pronunciation, flow
·         Adding deas etc.
·         Favourites…
·         Words they have learnt….
·         Groups, singers, celebrities
·         Was ist dein Lieblingsings…..
·         Wer ist dein Lieblings…
·          Directions.. ideas for how to exploit
And then I discovered something I had never known … Stephen wrote the words to the songs for the BBC programme ‘Hallo aus Berlin’! 
As a special treat fro all those who were there, we had a USB stick to take away with us,  with all the resources needed.  Vielen Dank!

We were in excellent company .. next up was René Koglbauer who showed us the Goethe institute site with GCSE resources .. an absolute treasure chest for German teachers!

·         The Site has 7 themes
·         Authentic resources from German speaking countries
·         Standard and differentiated version
·         Interviews with / without subtitles…. Highlighting words as they are spoken
·         Audio contents… accompanying reading texts… transcripts available
He also talked about their resources .. and if anyone can shed light on why I wrote the first bullet point, I’d love to hear from you!
·         Power woman really likes horror films loves handbags believes in ??!!??
·         Austrian resources.. on pdf usb stick
·         Great resources from Newcastle Tyneside on films, free, written by Rene Koglbauer

Helen Myers

 I gave a session to talk about two ways which can be used by teachers for professional development in an international context. (talking about teaching, improving their personal language skills) and with older students
Second Life is a free to download piece of software which gives you access to an elaborate 3D world which you can navigate in the form of an avatar.  I have used it to attend international conferences for teachers, meet real native speakers, attend Italian and German classes and teach English pronunciation.  I projected my screen and used a high quality microphone to introduce everyone to Heike Philp in her avatar form and she took us to German-speaking  places which she uses for her teaching and socialising.  A particularly fascinating place is Berlin in the 20s where people carry out a ‘role play’.. a bit like a live soap opera.  I use it to introduce native speakers to my classes during the lessons and I have a safe ‘island’ where pupils can meet and carry out projects together.  If interested, please contact me!
I then demonstrated Adobe Connect Pro .. a sort of elaborate ‘Skype’ which you can use to set up a private or public online meeting.  We talked with Heike, we saw her video, and she saw us, and we could type text to each other.  This is ideal for people to meet up without having to travel further than the comfort of their own armchair!  Again, ALL members, please let me know if you want to try it out for your own meetings, and please come and join us for the sessions we have planned for the future.

Show and Tell

Ideas from Liz on games to play.. Tabu
Julie shared some wonderful ideas for reading… and I shall use them straight away!
·         Proforma to collect ideas… facts, guesses, questions – could be group work
·         Then give questions and the task can be differentiated in the following ways…
·         …. Underline answers (s they know where to look but do not know necessarily which underlined answer matches which question)
·         …add numbers to the answers to show where they are
Steven talked about the ALL project on literature….
·         Guide to adapting text..
·         Make more playful, approaches
·         Example… a Heime poem
·         Sounds…..
·         Guided reading…..
·         Prepare to perform…
·         Recite….
·         Questions about literature on the classroom
·         See Goethe website for texts
·         Edeka store commercial. Supergeil… John Connor????
·         Adjectives…
All on the usb stick.. proforma
Another colleague enthused about using Skype in the classroom ..  I promised to give a link to a project for this to make it easier to find partners .. here it is: Utterly motivational…
·         See other German pupils in the classroom…  e.g. presentation about bee keeping…
Jim McElwee… comparing life now and life in the 50s
Goethe Institute KS2 German project - excellent, and has puppets!
Vocab Express…. including Speak to the future 1000 words challenge
They can set up a wall with a vocab challenge…
Discussion…. About how to promote German esp with Senior managment teams
·         Be aware that there canba ‘knee-jerk’ reaction if people believe ‘rumours that fewer people are doing German ‘ for example, when it is not the case
·         Need for Compulsion for languages
·         Map of which schools in the area teach German.. convince them it will be well received.. data, spreadsheet
·         Put across message that German is ‘picking up’
·         Raise problem of EBacc
·         Languages should be on an equal footing
·         Need to build on primary
·         Tell Heads about needs of business
·         German economy is strong.. should push
·         Promote with lower ability pupils… Siemens.. apprenticeship
·         Support primaries….
·         Primary teachers… do not have much French….
·         Whitby.. involve pupils and parents…
·         Taster…
·         Rene… article about Economist about usefulness of German. Y9 info sheet
·         Lobby….
·         Educate SLT about need to have languages from different families
·         Language awareness project from Peter Downes
·         Carol Hughes.. language and business…finds she can’t get businesses to talk…
·         Business language champions scheme no longer works
·         Steven… in some Las they still jave Business education partnerships…
·         Governors….
·         Primary special interest group.. Andrea.. contact governor associations… on website.. how you do it
·         CfBT.. research properly link between target language and your literacy skills….
·         ALL list businesses who need tuition .. Siemens..
Karl Pfeiffer ideas….
·         Find out what is happening…. Problem if message goes out that it is reducing
·         Contact primary schools.. easy free resources
·         HT conference in the northeast…. Businesses are interested in doing this….
·         Tell Karl about good ones… others.. get them together.. involve parents…
My Ideas…
·         Challenge profession on how realistic it is to have ‘ continuity’ in one language (it is not in the majority of cases)
·         ASCL support for multilingual approach
·         Acknowledge HT concern about grading.. hope new grading may help….
·         Aim for an Award from Goethe… 'Smart Choice'
We were extremely well fed all day, took breaks in the glorious National Park, and I enjoyed the bonus of going for a meal in the evening and for a lovely walk the next day.
We spoke about the possibility of doing 'virtual' meetings, but, meiner Meinung nach, nothing beats a 'face to face' like this weekend.
VIELEN DANK Liz, and especially VIELEN DANK to Colin who put up with us all!!

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