Flash Video Big Books This is a great site for anyone interested in using story telling as a key component of their courses. Some free stuff but the books you have to buy are pretty cheap and excellent quality. Highly recommended.
Wordle - Create word clouds This is a fantastic little site for anyone wanting to be creative with Language. It creates key word diagrams on any topic in an arty way. It is a great way to introduce a topic or allow kids to create a keyword list to help them prepare for a speaking test
When I was doing my PGCE training many moons ago, my tutor used to salivate over the concept of team teaching. We were taken to a demonstration lesson in a local school and I have to say I was impressed.
Since that time I have never been in a school where this was practised. However, it has always remained an idea that has stuck with me.
I have never felt that teachers are naturally programmed to work alone. Indeed the classroom isolation necessitated by what I see as an artificial construct of separate subject disciplines is one of the key factors that lead to teacher depression, burnout and disaffection. I wonder how many good colleagues have been lost to the profession because of this. In my own journey, I think it was a major factor in my decision to quit secondary teaching.
How can it be right that most of my generation of teachers have spent the majority of their classroom lives in splendid isolation whilst encouraging the pupils we teach to work in pairs, groups, conduct peer assessment and aspire to assimilate all the attributes of good team players?
Fortunately, the internet has facilitated an explosion in the sharing of ideas amongst peoples sharing a common interest, teachers especially. No-one need now feel isolated and opportunities are growing to attend online 'meetings', Teachmeets and the like, where we can connect to amazing colleagues across the curriculum with inspirational ideas. I wonder how long it will be before this new hub of inter-disciplinary connections begins to filter much more strongly back into the organisational structures of our schools?
As I work in primary schools now where a cross curricular approach is the norm, and as I explore the obvious links language learning has with other subject areas at KS3 such as music and drama, I was wondering whether there are schools out there who are actively pursuing the concept of team teaching across different subjects. If there are, please contact me to let me know.
I might even be tempted to return to the secondary sector ... now there is a scary thought to be resisted!
This link will take you to a page on the online dictionary WordReference which explains how you can add some bookmarks to your Favourites in the Firefox browser. Once installed all you have to do is type the short cut in the browser tool box to quickly translate words or conjugate verbs.This could be a really useful tool to help your students. the vocab tool is available for Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. Unfortunately there is only a conjugation feature for French, Italian and Spanish verbs.
There is a similar toolbar feature for Google Chrome
This is nothing to do with languages but I love the haunting beauty of this music by Arvo Part. Think of all the most beautiful things in your life, then wrap this music around them.
Someone on Youtube recommended this trick so I have tried it out. You simply overlay the same track beginning at different start points. So I imported the original into garageband, copied it onto 4 different tracks and began each of the tracks at a certain equal interval from the beginning of the previous. Sounds like a piece from Ravel.
This is the result and is, I think, quite hauntingly beautiful and works really well. Tell me what you think! It's fairly long, a good 10 minutes.
I made a video of the Himalayas and put this as the backing track but the file is massively self indulgent and though beautiful can't be uploaded here. A "pic" will have to do ... (French play on words ...)