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Any language teachers in the Staffroom?

(17 Posts)
Loonytoonie Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:27

I'm a fairly new language teacher, trying her very best to teach a language that not many kids are interested in (it's compulsory in this school) in a city centre Comp. I love this language - it's a part of my heritage and I thought that teaching it would be a vocation for me. But I'm struggling.

Is teaching languages different from teaching other subjects? I spend so much time up-front teaching and 'talking' - so that the kids get to actually hear it in its spoken form. My Head now says that as teachers, we should do less talking, and letting the kids get on with it, but it doesn't seem possible with my subject. Or am I just doing things all wrong? <glum>

slipslider Thu 04-Oct-12 18:37:06

Can you not use talking tins? Microphones etc? We use them in primary to record verbal things for assessments or use talking tins for questions - for example in reception we have activities and we record something like - Can you find the correct number for the amount of (for example) conkers? The child would then press this to access the learning...you could have a few around the classroom asking them to maybe record things such as (if u r doing the town/shops/directions etc) their route throughout the town going past the bank, swimming pool and the library. The child would hear the spoken buildings and they would then have to write the directions by following a town map. Lots of ideas they could use for these - they could record the order of months of the year, then play it back as a mini plenary - have they managed to do this? then the other children hear not just you talking but others. Then you could discuss pronunciation etc as a feedback. Hope this waffling helps!

Loonytoonie Thu 04-Oct-12 19:50:56

Wow Slipslider - taping the kids sounds a fantastic idea. We're on the theme of holidays and the area in which we all live, at the moment. I love the thought of taping them then playing back through the speakers.

Can I ask - what are talking tins? Would they work with Y7,8 and 9 kids?

Your 'waffling' is excellent. Keep waffling please! grin

slipslider Thu 04-Oct-12 22:42:00

Talking tins are little devices that you can record little snippets of sound on. They can be recorded over time and time again. We use them reception more when you want the children to be set a challenge but they can't yet read so we record their instructions and success criteria. They can play it over and over again and then when u change the activity, you record another instruction/question. We also have recordable whiteboards - the little ones u use in class per child. They have a little button to record a snippet and again we use this when the children are beginning to access the reading to write and play the instruction together. These would work well for you as the children would see something written, then hear it being said and then they could follow the activity through. How about games? Playing different games in french? Role play? How about taking them on a guided walk and ask them to talk to you as you walk to discuss the things they see - they are only allowed to talk in french as they go! Then they could go back and use this to create things like maps with labels on laptops etc.

Loonytoonie Fri 05-Oct-12 18:53:01

I've seen some pretty good deals on ebay but only for 10 second tins. I think I may buy the 40 sec tins, three a month or something (Head of Dept says we're skint) until I can get a decent supply up.

Thanks tons slipslider. Every idea helps. thanks

slipslider Fri 05-Oct-12 21:04:36

You're welcome! I hope you manage to get your resources! I thought if you are skint why not make some loop cards with different things on them....they all have an answer plus a question on them kind of like a domino so one child will get a card saying 'who has the supermarket?' and someone will have 'supermarket' on one half and then another question. They would answer they have it and then ask the next question out to the class! Simple and cheap to make!

Loonytoonie Sat 06-Oct-12 18:19:37

Slipslider, you're my new best friend. grin
Loop cards - check. Definitely doing them.

I found in my local bargain shop today, a 20 piece blank jigsaw puzzle. I thought I'd get my felt pens out and turn it into a language puzzle. Question is... what do I put on the jigsaw? Sorry - I'm sounding dim, I admit. I'm just feeling really burnt out of any ideas at the moment!

<hopeful for some more slipslider inspiration> grin

PotteringAlong Sat 06-Oct-12 18:21:19

Remember lots of them might have phones they can record on too - it's ok to use them!

Coffeeformeplease Sat 06-Oct-12 18:30:25

How big are the jigsaw pieces? You could to a question-answer puzzle by starting with one question on the first piece, then have the answer on the next plus another question and so on. Go from top left to bottom right in a snakelike movement, iykwim, maybe even draw a snake on it if you're good at that sort of thing.
Topics could be anything really that involves a conversation between two people.

For beginners it could just be a vocab puzzle, with the English expressions on one piece and the FL on the other side with the same snake shape or something else.

slipslider Sat 06-Oct-12 18:38:40

I am glad to be of help. We all need a bit of a hand sometimes and I like it when ppl do the same for me so it's only fair I share the love! ha! I like that idea coffee....you could also create a maths puzzle with different maths problems with the answers in words in french or word problems like I went into a shop and bought shoes for 8 euros. I paid with 20. How much change do I get? They then have to make sure they read the questions properly? These would work for older children but the simple numbers ones and 4 + 9 = would suit yr 7 children.
How about lotto games - simple to make and with sparklebox they have lots of editable resources that can be made to suit and printable and laminated for use.
How about a bag of goodies - children to pick out an object and describe it to the class for them to listen to the clues and guess. Could be adapted to anything - transport (toy cars, planes etc) numbers, shapes etc.

Loonytoonie Sat 06-Oct-12 18:54:40

Coffee - thanks for the reply. The pieces are about an inch and a half square - not massive, so I need to plan this out carefully.

Slipslider - the maths one is great too - numeracy is poor in this particular school, so every little help!

I also love the toy car idea - I'm doing transport at the moment, so I could fill a bag with random toy stuff and get them to say what the toy in question is in the language I teach (if I say it, I'm bound to be outed) and also colour, to extend. The higher sets could identify the toy, then perhaps insert it into the correct phrase that we've been learning (I travelled to Spain by boat).

Great great great!! Thanks x

Loonytoonie Sat 06-Oct-12 20:38:55

Pottering - what a fab idea re their phones. Excellent! Thanks smile

PotteringAlong Sun 07-Oct-12 15:49:00

I've also got them to film themselves on their phones before - I don't teach MFL but you could get them to do role plays and film them? Then put them up on the smart board and the rest of the class has to watch and translate back into english? Or give marks on pronunciation / vocal etc?

PotteringAlong Sun 07-Oct-12 15:53:49

It is also so I've been told but I'm not technologically savvy enough to do it really easy to make podcasts which they can then download.

Loonytoonie Sun 07-Oct-12 21:56:10

Oh God, I'm shit at anything techno and I've only now mastered how to use my phone to photograph

That's a great idea Pottering What's a podcast?

grin

Loonytoonie Sun 07-Oct-12 21:59:27

Pottering, seriously though - I'm SO going to film role plays and do playbacks with the rest of the class. Fantastic idea! Thank you thanks

slipslider Sun 07-Oct-12 22:13:26

How about hotseating? Putting someone in the hotseat in role of a character and asking them questions.....someone historic for france maybe?

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