Category Archives: Educational Forum

Primary School Resources

Primary school Resources such as Music resources provide a good range of audio Spanish song.

Our Primary School Resources from our website are providing and helping primary school teachers to decide on their school assembly something different.

Already some school provides some activities where Key Stage 1 children dances in the morning with foreign music (Spanish, French, German or English). Children enjoy this activity before they start the curricular lessons.

Our CDs presents recordings and booklets include full backing tracks and the schools can enjoy and listen some traditional Spanish songs.

Inside the CD you can find the booklets that include the words form all the songs for those MFL and musically-able teachers wishing to provide an accompaniment.

Purchasing schools may also be given free access to additional online resources which they can use it with some limited period.

In some of the games that we have you can find some other  traditional Spanish songs.

This music CD was developed a lot of years ago with the support of dedicated music education resource companies that care about the quality of their school music given to Spanish children.

It is really difficult to find an education resource company that gives a fast and efficient service.

Our competitive prices, showing its dedication to a high level of customer service. Also, one with a rising choice of school play and school musical materials, we are highlighting on primary school resources, Modern foreign languages (MFL), a new range stimulating of primary lesson plans can also be found in our web site.

Some other primary school resources can be found if you look at our variety of products at:


We hope we helped with the Primary School Resources Once again thanks for all your comments we have received regarding our Primary School resources.

 

 

 

 

 

40 % schools to cut staff this year

As headteachers struggle to balance their books, according to a joint survey by heads´union the TES and the NAHT has revealed that 37 per cent of schools are expecting to see redundancies.

Unfortunately four in ten schools are planning to reduce some of their staff over the next 12 months.

Mr Hobby said the drop in the number of school staff mat not seem that high however we have to remember this is only in one year.

On the other hand and under my point of view the positive site some headteachers like John Morgan of Conyers Schools in Stockton on Tees, said he will not be forced to let any staff go, but he said his budgets were really tight.

Give us your opinion about this and if you are interested you can check the survey analysis (page 11, The Times Educational Supplement on Friday 29 April 2011, number:4939).

Please note thank you for all your comments in regarding this post however we just quoted from the The Times Educational Supplement. We haven´t wrote this article and we can´t provide you with this information as some of you have requested. Please, please, please contact the people has wrote the article for further information. Also remember as mentioned before in  some other posts any comment no related with the topic is deleted by the moderator.

Examples: Schools are great!!! I think that too!! good article and so on!!! If you want to leave a link please comment the articles otherwise our moderator will delete your posts. Basically you are wasting your time by doing that.

Good example:

This year I have seen in many schools many redundancies due to the … However in our schools we have been a bit lucky in this respect because… however we experienced some cuts in some other areas like …and I have been affected because …

Have a look how we … in http://my link.co.uk

 

Thanks for your understanding with this matter.

http://school-e.co.uk

Interesting article about schools cuts (We hope you find this useful!)

You can learn a second language and fight off Alzheimers´s

I was recently quite impressed with the article from the Daily Express on Saturday the 19th of February of 2011 about the possibility to learn a second language and fight off Alzheimers´s.

It has been claimed by experts that speaking two language-s wards off Alzheimer´s and at the same time keeps the brain young.

What do you think about this? People that speak several language-s push their brain to the peak which make it stronger.

I will not go into detail as you can read the article yourself however point out the following quotation

“It won´t stop you getting Alzheimers, but bilinguals can cope with the disease for longer. Switching between one language and another language is stimulating activity”.

Is bilingualism good for you?

http://school-e.co.uk

Referencing

Author: Victoria Fletcher

Date: Saturday February 19 2011

title of the article:Learn a second Language and fight Alzheimer´s

publication: Daily Express Newspaper


Learn Spanish language and fight Alzheimer´s. (Spanish language info)

Flash Forward – school –

School News

Friday 9th of April, 2010

www.tes.co.uk

A really interesting article from Yojana Sharma talking about the networking sites and some Web 2.0 technologies.

Flash forward

It’s 8pm on a Monday. Primary languages teacher Clare Seccombe logs on to her home computer to “attend” a Flashmeeting. More than a dozen teachers around the country are at the free video-conference, and another joins from Australia, to discuss how they use wikis -web pages that can be added to and edited by a class – to promote writing in French, German or Spanish.

Ms Seccombe is fired up, wanting to try out some of the suggestions right away. “It’s often hard to go to sleep afterwards,” she says. Luckily, the Flashmeeting can be saved and replayed, so she can revisit it whenever she needs.

According to a recent survey by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), teachers such as Ms Seccombe are few and far between. The EU-wide study found that language teachers are failing to take advantage of social networking, and even see the phenomenon as a threat to their classroom authority.

But Ms Seccombe and her fellow Flashmeeting “delegates” believe they form a growing grassroots network of teachers who use* online interactive, collaborative and social media, known as Web 2.0 technologies, to teach modern languages.

“Web 2.0 is important for language teaching because it is all about communication,” says Joe Dale, co-ordinator of the TES modern foreign languages (MFL) forum and host of several Flashmeetings.

The micro-blogging site Twitter has a strong contingent of MFL teachers who use technology in the classroom. Tweeting “helps cut out teething problems”, says Isabelle Jones, head of languages at The Radclyffe School in Oldham.

“There is a lot of activity on Twitter, sharing ideas and experimenting with different web tools. Twitter is very effective for continuous professional development as you get instant feedback,” she says. Her own blog on the use of ICT in language teaching has a following of 300 teachers around the world, including the US and Canada.

“There are 50 or 60 amazing language teachers on Twitter,” says Suzi Bewell, who teaches French and German at All Saints RC School, a specialist languages college in York.

The informal MFL network was behind a recent upsurge in primary languages teachers using Storybird, a free web-based collaborative storytelling tool. They found that the easy-to-use drag and drop Storybird images motivated younger children to produce their own small story books with French or Spanish captions.

“I posted the Storybird link and everyone went mad. It just exploded,” says Ms Seccombe. Storybird has now spread to secondary MFL classrooms.

Wallwisher is another free web tool that spread rapidly, thanks to the network. Like a wall of online Post-it notes, teachers can use it for collaborative brainstorming. Even more popular Web 2.0 technologies for languages are free podcasting and editing tools, particularly the editing tool Audacity.

 

“Kids record oral presentations and pick out and edit what they can improve on, which you can’t do with simple recordings,” says Chris Harte, head of languages at Cramlington Learning Village, a 2,300 pupil comprehensive in Northumberland.

Also popular are vokis, or animated speaking avatars, which get even the most inhibited pupils fecording and talking in the target language; and wikis, where pupils can share what they have learnt.

Personal blogs and collaborative wikis are “like an open notice board. Pupils can put up examples of work they have created, often outside school,” explains Helena Butterfield, international schools co-ordinator for Ian Ramsey CofE secondary school in Stockton-on-Tees.

“You can include YouTube videos, put on some games to make vocabulary learning more active or put up questions or little tests for pupils to answer online. It works well with all year groups, but GCSE kids are keen to use it because they see it can help with their grades.”

 

Northgate High School, a language college in Ipswich, was among the first in the country to use wikis and vokis five years ago. Now each pupil has their own wiki. A recent Ofsted MFL inspection said the school’s use of ICT in language teaching was outstanding, enabling pupils to store their work online and staff to check and mark it. It also enabled pupils to communicate rapidly with staff about language learning.

The social networking service was used effectively to remind pupils about coursework deadlines, Ofsted said. It also noted that about half the 150 hits a week to the school’s wikis were from other schools, including some abroad.

MFL teacher Alex Blagona pioneered Web 2.0 use at Northgate, but he doesn’t think that technology should be used for its own sake when teaching languages. If traditional methods work better, then they should be retained.

One of the criticisms in the EACEA report was that language teachers were resistant to using these technologies because they thought they didn’t fit in with “current pedagogical best practice”.

But most early adopters among MFL teachers see the value of integrating the new with the old. “You are not going to notice a sea-change in how students have learnt,” says Mr Blagona, but he observes: “Students are much sawier. There is a wider range of vocabulary because they are exposed to more sources on the internet, and I envisage that listening skills will improve. Subliminalry students learn more [through using technology] than they think they do.”

The biggest observable change is in pupils’ attitudes. Jose Picardo, head of languages at Nottingham High School, was another pioneer of Web 2.0 use in MFL. He has noticed an increase in pupils taking Spanish to GCSE and going on to A-level. It has also encouraged more independent learning as pupils access web pages away from school, he says. Pupils can download audio files and learn in their own time.

Lisa Stevens, languages co-ordinator and teacher at Whitehouse Common Primary in Sutton Coldfield, widely regarded as a trailblazer for ICT use in primary languages, says: “Pupils were learning and improving because using technology was out of the ordinary and captured their imagination. It allowed them to do things they could not do before.”

It also provides more direct access to the culture of the country in question, an important requirement in the new primary languages curriculum. “Web 2.0 technologies offer access to foreign language materials and stimulating activities that would otherwise require travel to France, Germany or Spain to experience,” says Norbert Pachler, reader in education at the University of London’s Institute of Education.

 

“MFL is certainly one of the subjects where new technologies are being used more extensively than in other subjects,” he says. “Webquests, Hogging, online partnerships and projects, digital storytelling are all things MFL teachers have used in the past in more traditional forms.”

 

Top technologies for language learning

 

Audacity Free audio software for recording and editing MP3 files. An effective way of rehearsing and peer assessing spoken work, raising pupils’ confidence and improving pronunciation, http://audacity.sourceforge.net

 

VoiceThread Allows pupils to leave written, voice or webcam comments concerning their own or others’ images or videos in a moderated environment. Good for raising intercultural understanding and collaborating with native speakers over the web. http://voicethread.com

 

Wallwisher An online notice board for sticky notes. Great for plenaries and Assessment for Learning, where children give feedback moderated by the teacher and share their ideas in the same place as a permanent record which they can then revisit later at home.

Wikis Quick and easy to set up, wikis are ideal for small collaborative writing projects as well as showcasing pupils’ multimedia creations to the wider community. They can be moderated or password-protected and used for storing downloadable files or embedding video and audio clips for pupils to access outside the classroom.

Xtranormal This can turn text into movie files. Pupils practise their writing skills by creating animated characters that read back their texts to them with good pronunciation in a motivating movie clip, www.xtranormal.com

Joe Dale is co-ordinator of the TES Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) forum, www.tes.co.uk/mfl

But there are still many problems and obstacles to overcome. Web enthusiasts among MFL teachers are the exception rather than the rule. School internet safety rules mean that many websites, including Twitter and YouTube, are blocked on school computers.

“If you have to ask parents every time you want to do something on the web, it can be frustrating,” says Mr Dale, who is also a specialist practitioner for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

Furthermore, wikis and blogs require moderation and podcasts need editing. Less enthusiastic teachers might find it a drain on their time. And in many secondary schools, the ICT suite has to be booked in advance, or a website may be down or functioning too slowly. “You always need a backup plan,” Ms Butterfield says.

Some of the security issues can be reduced by using virtual learning environments (VLE), a form of “walled” wiki, widely used by universities. Hampshire local authority is rolling out WizKid, a more visual version of the StudyWiz VLE for schools, to 90 per cent of its 500 primaries.

It includes activities for every Year 3

 

A ‘walled garden’ takes away the excitement for pupils that there are people out there looking at their work

languages lesson and other Web 2.0 tools such as vokis are embedded in a secure environment. Teachers can choose what activities to feature and personalise their area.

Every child will have their own virtual space, they can type in comments and upload as they would on an open-source wiki, says Jo Rhys-Jones, Hampshire’s county adviser for languages. “We are starting it first for languages because it answers the need to provide support for languages. A lot of people are very nervous about the primary languages entitlement becoming compulsory in 2011,” she says.

But many secondary school VLEs are barely accessed and used. “The criticism of VLEs is that they tend to be used as a repository of material and reinforce transmission rather than interaction. In the US people are pulling back from VLEs because they are perceived as managing learning rather than innovating learning,” Dr Pachler says.

In addition, some teachers think that creating a wall around what they can access restricts spontaneity. “A ‘walled garden’ takes away the excitement for pupils that there are people out there looking at their work,” says Mr Dale.

What could accelerate interest in using web applications in MFL is the Government sponsored MYLO (My Languages Online), also known as the Open School for Languages, which was recommended in Lord Dearing’s 2007 review of language teaching. This is being piloted in half a dozen schools and will launch more widely soon. With activities devised by the Cambridge University Language Centre, its creators claim it will be content-rich, comprehensive and constantly updated. It will offer the openness of the internet, but with greater security, they say.

But until platforms like this spread and catch on, it will be up to grassroots MFL Tweeters and bloggers to prove just how vital web technologies and social networking can be in teaching another language.

Please note this article was not wrote by:

http://school-e.co.uk -good article-

This great article to learn a bit more about MFL in the school  (School info).

The Times Educational Supplement – Schools information –

Schools News

Friday 2nd of April 2, 2010

www.tes.co.uk

Ofsted slates lack of professional training in non-core subjects

Narrow focus does little to improve teachers’ expertise and schools are failing to recognise ‘value for money’ of CPD courses, watchdog says By William Stewart.

Teachers ARE still not getting the training they need in individual subjects outside English and maths, Ofsted has found.

The watchdog’s report on contin­uing professional development (CPD) in schools also warns that schools do not pay enough attention to assessing the value for money of­fered by training programmes.

Inspectors visited 40 primary, sec­ondary, special and nursery schools previously judged to be “good” or “outstanding” in terms of the train­ing they offered teachers.

They found they were flexible when planning the training and offered it to teaching and non-teaching staff. But a lack of training related to specific subjects, first iden­tified in an Ofsted report on CPD in 2006, persisted.

“Despite investing time in substantial in-house training on generic issues, schools sometimes paid insufficient attention to considering the implications for individual subjects,” the new report says. “After a whole-school launch on the new key stage 3 curriculum, some subject departments did not get the specialist sup­port needed to adapt programmes to the new developments.”

The problem was particularly bad in primary schools but was also a fault in secondaries, Ofsted said.

The subject training secondary teachers did receive was “often nar-rowly focused” on preparation for new exam specifications rather than deepening professional expertise.

And where good external courses were available, they were undersubscribed, partly because schools did not give a priority to the subject.

“The effect on teaching and learn­ing is clear,” the report says. “Ofsted’s recent survey of primary teachers’ subject knowledge found that, in les­sons where teaching was ‘satisfactory’ and even in a few where it was judged to be ‘good’ overall, there were specific weaknesses in teachers’ subject knowledge, which meant that pupils’ achievement was not as high as it might have been.

“This also applied to secondary schools, particularly where they did not provide enough training in sub­jects taught by non-specialists.”

Citizenship and personal, social and health education were identified as having a particular lack of training.

Specialist training was more likely to be available in languages and PE in primaries that were part of a national initiative. But these were exceptions. Evaluation of CPD in schools was weak, even where provision was good, the inspectors found.

There were specific weaknesses in teachers’subject knowledge

“Senior managers relied on anec­dotal evidence and subjective impressions to judge the impact of training and support,” they report. “This sometimes led to a more positive view than was warranted.”

One secondary judged an initia­tive to improve pupil progress as successful even though its contextual value-added scores had remained static for four years.

“Weak evaluation gave too little at­tention to the value for money pro­vided by professional development programmes, despite the time and cost involved,” the report says. It calls on schools to ensure that subject knowledge is regularly updated and that most CPD is school-based.

Christine Blower, general secretary of teaching union the NUT, said: “The report makes a vital point that it is professional development, owned by teachers, which is the key to teach­ers’ self-confidence and knowledge about teaching and their subjects.

“There is every argument for Gov­ernment to drop the proposal of a licence to practise and develop a fully funded teacher entitlement to pro­fessional development.”

Friday 26th of March, 2010

www.tes.co.uk

Primary school language lessons depend on ‘brave amateurs’

THE PROGRAMME to introduce languages into primary schools has resulted in “amateurish” teaching with scant resources and potentially bad pronunciation, teachers will tell the ATL annual conference next week.

Helen Brook, who studied French at school, will describe teaching Spanish at her

Cam­bridgeshire primary as “terrifying” and potentially insulting to prop­erly trained languages teachers.

In a speech to the conference, she will claim that the Government should to re-evaluate the statutory teaching of languages in primaries, because more funding, training and curriculum time need to be made available.

She will say that many schools rely on brave members of staff to stay “two pages ahead” in the text book, in order to make language provision available.

She told The TES: “I think it’s re­ally commendable that children should be learning a modern lan­guage at primary school, but I don’t think the programme has been well thought out.

“There is a lack of funding, time and trained teachers. There needs to be more professionalism. I vol­unteered to teach Spanish, but I have the equivalent in Spanish to what Manuel from Fawlty Towers has in English.

“I haven’t a clue if I’m teaching the pupils anything wrongly, espe­cially the pronunciation. I’ve ended up really enjoying teaching it, but I was terrified when I started, and it is really amateurish.

“I also wonder about whether our secondary school colleagues find it insulting to them. They are prop­erly trained and I’m here allegedly teaching these children.”

She said she was also concerned that secondary teachers might end up having to “unteach” mistakes.

Ms Brook’s comments echo the conclusions of several recent academic studies into the impact of the primary languages drive, which was first announced in 2002.

Last September, a report from Manchester University described the delivery of the initiative as “catastrophically diverse”, while a study by Cambridge University found the scheme had had very little impact at secondary level.

Last July, the National Federa­tion for Educational Research con­cluded that nearly a quarter of primaries were unprepared for compulsory languages teaching, which will come into force in Year 3 of primary schools in 2011. By 2014 languages will be compulsory throughout key stage 2.

A spokesperson for the DeparTment for Children, Schools and Families said £7 million had been spent training 5,500 primary teachers with a languages specialism since 2002.

A further 900 training places are available for 2010/11.

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We are not happy with comments like this one. “Porfavor” Please can we do it better? If you are a headteacher you should try to find the best for your pupils.

“There is a lack of funding, time and trained teachers. There needs to be more professionalism. I vol­unteered to teach Spanish, but I have the equivalent in Spanish to what Manuel from Fawlty Towers has in English”

By the way we do love Fawlty Towers “I Am Manuel from Barcelona”

http://school-e.co.uk -good article-

This great article to learn a bit more about MFL in the schools  (Schools info).