Tag Archives: News

Ofqual Consultation: Suggested Changes for the Assessment of A Levels and GCSEs in Modern Foreign Languages in 2021⤴

from @ My Languages

Ofqual is currently conducting a very important consultation including proposals tomodify the assessment requirements for some GCSEs, AS and A levels in response to disruption to education caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In the face of “lost” teaching time during lockdown, the proposals aim to free up teaching time and, in some instances, reduce what needs to be taught and take account of any public health restrictions relating to coronavirus (COVID19) that might be in place during the next academic year.

A “recovery” curriculum?

There have been lots of discussions about how current Year 10 and Year 12 pupils have been affected by the pandemic in the preparation for next year’s exams as they have had limited access to face-to-face teaching since the end of March. In particular, the debate has been around the need of a possible “recovery” curriculum or at the very least a “responsive” curriculum to deal with the knowledge gaps that may have developed and that could hinder students’ further progress. This has highlighted the differences between school settings and the pressure on some schools to narrow the curriculum for some pupils to ensure standards in Maths and English were not put at risk.

Consultation about assessment NOT Curriculum review

What this consultation is not, is some kind of a statement about the importance of subjects and their respective content and skills. However, you would be forgiven for believing this was the case, reading some of the online debates it has created.

Suggestions for Languages A Level and GCSE 2021 exams


Whereas no modifications have been put forward for A Level, the proposals for Modern Languages GCSEs are quite controversial : the Speaking examination would be replaced by a teacher “endorsement” for Speaking but it would not actually count in the exam, with the overall grade only taking Listening, Reading and Writing into account.

Although there is no denying that cancelling speaking exams would result in gained teaching time, this proposal also causes a number of issues:

Students do usually well in speaking even though it can be stressful for some ;

There would be a noticeable imbalance in the overall grade between the productive and receptive skills ;

Although speaking would still be taught, it may lose its priority in the face of further time constraints and the pressure of imposed subject targets ;

The class focus moving away from speaking would particularly affect pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have opportunities for further practice ;

The decision would most likely impact on A Level recruitment for 2021-22 as the perceived success in speaking the language is key for motivation and enjoyment. However, given that the basis for the decision to carry on with languages for many students is still “success” measured by exam outcomes, ensuring a fair exam and best outcomes might be just as important for A Level recruitment ;

There is also a worry that dropping the speaking exam could have a negative impact on attitudestowards speaking and languages in general in the future.

So, what is the way forward?

Look at the coverage of topics? The teaching of the Social Issues topic is usually kept at the end of the course and maybe could be scrapped to make up for lost curriculum time during the pandemic.

Go the “Welsh way”? Keep the assessment standards in all 4 skills and at the same level but make amendments such as streamlining the coverage of some of the topics or skills assessed. For instance, no translation in the reading paper or no Role-Play and Photocard in the speaking exam. I would still be against using dictionaries in any of the exams as I feel this could be very distracting for students.

We will all agree that students must not have their qualification devalued and it is important that the standards remain the same even if some aspects of the assessment are simplified. For this reason, I believe that the overall standard of GCSEs in modern languages cannot be maintained without any speaking being counted at all in the overall mark.  

Want to share your own views? Have your say and respond to the consultation before 16July at 11.45pm

Now is the time to join ALL, the Association for Language Learning, our subject association, to make sure our voice is heard.  

ALL is also organising a consultation webinar on Friday 10 July for all language teachers. To register, please click here.

Glow Annual Survey 2016⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Our Glow Annual Survey for 2016 is now live. The annual survey is important as it helps us gather information on how customers use Glow and helps us to improve the service.

We are keen to hear views from the broad base of Glow customers – both staff and pupils.

The staff survey can be found here:

https://www.research.net/r/glow2016staff

The pupil survey can be found here:

https://www.research.net/r/glow2016pupils

The survey will remain open until the 1 July 2016. All responses collected are anonymous and will be treated in confidence.

The first 5 DYW e-bulletins for 2016⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

DYW e bull jan 16The DYW e-bulletin has become a rather popular monthly publication  which provides informative news pieces for all those  involved in the deliver of the DYW agenda.

You can sign up the DYW e-bulletin here.

Should you have missed any of this year’s editions you can access these here:

January ’16

February ’16

March ’16

April ’16

May ’16

 

Practical Pedagogies Conference, International School of Toulouse (IST), 15-16th October 2015⤴

from @ My Languages





I am very excited to be joining the 60+ teachers from all subject areas who will be presenting at the Practical Pedagogies conference organised by @russeltarr at The International School of Toulouse next October.

What is the Practical Pedagogies Conference?
-A high-impact training conference for teachers, from NQT to senior teachers, run by and for primary and secondary school teachers ;
-A not-for-profit event hosted at the International School of Toulouse, October ;
-Workshops and networking activities around the theme: "Creativity, Internationalism and Innovation in the classroom" ;
-Two days of inspiring keynotes, 70+ workshops and networking activities delivered by experienced primary and secondary teachers ; 15-16th October 2015-that's just before half term for some of us in the UK.

How much does it cost?€150 : This price includes a delegate pack, lunches and refreshments, and access to all the workshops, keynotes and other events on offer.

How to find out more / register your placeFull details about the conference, including how to register and the full workshop programme, can be found on the Practical Pedagogies Website. Other queries can be sent here.

The Venue
The conference will take place at the International School of Toulouse, a co-educational day school for children aged 3 to 18, situated in the South of France close to Toulouse Blagnac Airport [directions/map].
 
My workshop
Pinterest and Twitter? Motivating tools to develop reading and writing skills in EAL and MFL
Explore the potential of tools such as Pinterest and Twitter to motivate all pupils to develop reading and writing skills in EAL and MFL. Increase your pupils' independence as language learners and understanding of linguistic structures. Support the development of all your pupils' language skills and their linguistic creativity.
Led by Isabelle Jones (@icpjones), languages consultant and Head of Languages in Cheshire, England. 

Other MFL workshops include
 
Collaborative learning strategies for the effective teaching of mixed ability classes in MFL
This workshop will present collaborative learning strategies in MFL which engage whole classes to talk / write simultaneously therefore maximising class time. Delegates will go way with a much deeper understanding of the benefits of collaborative learning and will have a bank of ready-made resources (F/G/Sp) to use immediately on their return to school.
Led by Suzi Bewell (@suzibewell), Course Leader for MFL PGCE University of York
 
Using Quizlet to create interactive resourcesThis workshop is designed to help mainly modern languages teachers who want to teach students easy ways to revise grammar rules, verb conjugation and new vocabulary with Quizlet. This US software allows students to be more independent leaners and give them an opportunity to be more responsible for their own learning.
Led by J. Cavalli, Curriculum Leader for French at IST
 
Using Kahoot! to engage students in knowledge acquisitionKahoot! is a free tool to assess your students' knowledge (from FS2 to Y13 and beyond - you can even use it at home to test friends and family!) in any subjects, on any topics, in a fun, interactive and competitive way. Kahoot! just turns your classroom into a game show (with a very catchy musical theme). In this session, you will get to : play a Kahoot game (to see what it is like) and maybe win a Kahoot! Prize / see examples of what can be assessed through Kahoot! in different subjects in both Primary and Secondary / create your own Kahoot short quiz. Led by A. Braud, Modern Foreign Languages Teacher at IST
 
Using the “Accelerated Integrated Method”  to teach French as a foreign languageOriginally from Canada, this way of teaching has been very successful in various countries, with the help of gestures for each word, the use of the mother tongue is limited to an extreme minimum. The children learn French through stories told in gestures. After the workshop participants should have a good idea about what this didactic approach is, and be able to 'tell in gestures' some of the content of stories. Led by Dico Krommenhoek (@dico_kr), French teacher and teacher educator in Rotterdam
 
Using technology in the Primary Foreign Language classroomWhy and how can we use technology to enhance learning in the primary language classroom? Ideas for teachers and learners, beginners and those with more experience; some online, some apps but mostly free :) Covering 'the four skills' - listening speaking reading and writing as well as phonics and grammar, we'll consider how technology can help with assessment as well as managing transition, and how it can open windows and doors for you and your learners. Led by Lisa Stevens (@lisibo), Primary Languages and International Coordinator, Whitehouse Common Primary and Welford Primary, Birmingham
 
Boosting language acquisition for lower and upper primary through a FUN Reading Program. Developing comprehension and expression for upper primary (intermediate levels) through a Reading Program.
Led by P. Burgaud and J. Allcock, Primary Years Teachers at IST
 
The conference has its own Twitter Practical Pedagogies feed. We will be using the hashtag #pracped15 to allow delegates to share the ideas and resources they are being presented with and discuss the conference outcomes.
 
Would love to see you there!

Practical Pedagogies Conference, International School of Toulouse (IST), 15-16th October 2015⤴

from @ My Languages





I am very excited to be joining the 60+ teachers from all subject areas who will be presenting at the Practical Pedagogies conference organised by @russeltarr at The International School of Toulouse next October.

What is the Practical Pedagogies Conference?
-A high-impact training conference for teachers, from NQT to senior teachers, run by and for primary and secondary school teachers ;
-A not-for-profit event hosted at the International School of Toulouse, October ;
-Workshops and networking activities around the theme: "Creativity, Internationalism and Innovation in the classroom" ;
-Two days of inspiring keynotes, 70+ workshops and networking activities delivered by experienced primary and secondary teachers ; 15-16th October 2015-that's just before half term for some of us in the UK.

How much does it cost?€150 : This price includes a delegate pack, lunches and refreshments, and access to all the workshops, keynotes and other events on offer.

How to find out more / register your placeFull details about the conference, including how to register and the full workshop programme, can be found on the Practical Pedagogies Website. Other queries can be sent here.

The Venue
The conference will take place at the International School of Toulouse, a co-educational day school for children aged 3 to 18, situated in the South of France close to Toulouse Blagnac Airport [directions/map].
 
My workshop
Pinterest and Twitter? Motivating tools to develop reading and writing skills in EAL and MFL
Explore the potential of tools such as Pinterest and Twitter to motivate all pupils to develop reading and writing skills in EAL and MFL. Increase your pupils' independence as language learners and understanding of linguistic structures. Support the development of all your pupils' language skills and their linguistic creativity.
Led by Isabelle Jones (@icpjones), languages consultant and Head of Languages in Cheshire, England. 

Other MFL workshops include
 
Collaborative learning strategies for the effective teaching of mixed ability classes in MFL
This workshop will present collaborative learning strategies in MFL which engage whole classes to talk / write simultaneously therefore maximising class time. Delegates will go way with a much deeper understanding of the benefits of collaborative learning and will have a bank of ready-made resources (F/G/Sp) to use immediately on their return to school.
Led by Suzi Bewell (@suzibewell), Course Leader for MFL PGCE University of York
 
Using Quizlet to create interactive resourcesThis workshop is designed to help mainly modern languages teachers who want to teach students easy ways to revise grammar rules, verb conjugation and new vocabulary with Quizlet. This US software allows students to be more independent leaners and give them an opportunity to be more responsible for their own learning.
Led by J. Cavalli, Curriculum Leader for French at IST
 
Using Kahoot! to engage students in knowledge acquisitionKahoot! is a free tool to assess your students' knowledge (from FS2 to Y13 and beyond - you can even use it at home to test friends and family!) in any subjects, on any topics, in a fun, interactive and competitive way. Kahoot! just turns your classroom into a game show (with a very catchy musical theme). In this session, you will get to : play a Kahoot game (to see what it is like) and maybe win a Kahoot! Prize / see examples of what can be assessed through Kahoot! in different subjects in both Primary and Secondary / create your own Kahoot short quiz. Led by A. Braud, Modern Foreign Languages Teacher at IST
 
Using the “Accelerated Integrated Method”  to teach French as a foreign languageOriginally from Canada, this way of teaching has been very successful in various countries, with the help of gestures for each word, the use of the mother tongue is limited to an extreme minimum. The children learn French through stories told in gestures. After the workshop participants should have a good idea about what this didactic approach is, and be able to 'tell in gestures' some of the content of stories. Led by Dico Krommenhoek (@dico_kr), French teacher and teacher educator in Rotterdam
 
Using technology in the Primary Foreign Language classroomWhy and how can we use technology to enhance learning in the primary language classroom? Ideas for teachers and learners, beginners and those with more experience; some online, some apps but mostly free :) Covering 'the four skills' - listening speaking reading and writing as well as phonics and grammar, we'll consider how technology can help with assessment as well as managing transition, and how it can open windows and doors for you and your learners. Led by Lisa Stevens (@lisibo), Primary Languages and International Coordinator, Whitehouse Common Primary and Welford Primary, Birmingham
 
Boosting language acquisition for lower and upper primary through a FUN Reading Program. Developing comprehension and expression for upper primary (intermediate levels) through a Reading Program.
Led by P. Burgaud and J. Allcock, Primary Years Teachers at IST
 
The conference has its own Twitter Practical Pedagogies feed. We will be using the hashtag #pracped15 to allow delegates to share the ideas and resources they are being presented with and discuss the conference outcomes.
 
Would love to see you there!

Teacher’s Ancient Egypt Consultation – Saturday 31st January⤴

from

National Museums Scotland are currently developing a new gallery about Ancient Egypt and we’re looking to hear from teachers about what they’d like to see in it.   Full details here. Image By Most likely Hamish2k, the first uploader (Most likely Hamish2k, the first uploader) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Macmerry’s Had-Fab recreates iconic New York girder photo to launch Book Week Scotland⤴

from

The Scotsman reports that workers at East Lothian’s Had-Fab have recreated an iconic New York photo to celebrate the start of Book Week Scotland. Using Edinburgh as a backdrop, staff from the Had-Fab steel fabrication firm based in Tranent, remade the ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ photo, originally taken during construction of the GE Building in 1932 […]

Council urges teachers to go back to school!⤴

from

Join our supply-teaching team today. East Lothian Council is responding to the national shortage of supply teachers by appealing to registered teachers currently not working to consider a return to the profession. Education and Children’s Wellbeing spokesperson Councillor Shamin Akhtar says: ‘There are people out there with teaching qualifications that they are not currently using. […]

Book Week Scotland 2014: Monday 24 – Sunday 30 November 2014⤴

from

Location: East Lothian Libraries Cost: Depending on event Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.   Book Week Scotland 2014 will take place from Monday 24 – Sunday 30 November 2014. During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, […]