Assessment on the go – a webinar brought to you by the ALL London branch!

May 18, 2015

ALL red logoAre you at a loose end the evening of May 19th?  If so why not join a free webinar organised by the London branch of the Association for Language Learning…

Rachel Smith will be talking about ‘Assessment on the go’ and will be looking at online formative assessment tools such as: Nearpod: Socrative: and Zaption:

Registration and more details are available here:





ALL June Event

June 13, 2014

For the June Event this year we (the committee of the London branch of ALL) wanted to put on a session that would attract teachers of less widely taught languages. My session, Enrich your Curriculum, takes Chinese as a case study and illustrates how teaching strategies with which teachers of mainstream languages will be familiar, can be applied to the less widely taught languages. This includes strategies for speaking, developing thinking skills and independence, and there is even an example of ‘great literature’……

The Olympic spirit – the Winter Youth Games

January 6, 2012

2012 –  Olympic year!  Whilst preparations are being finalised for the London games in July many of us teachers will be thinking about how we can exploit this in our classrooms over the coming weeks and months.  What may not yet be on everyone’s radar is that the Winter Youth Olympic Games are taking place from 13th – 22nd January in Innsbruck.  This is in fact the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics and is for young people between the ages of 14 and 18.  The first Summer Games were held in Singapore in 2010.

This will mark the third occasion that Innsbruck has been an Olympic host city (the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976).  The Innsbruck 2012 official site is in three languages  (German, English and French) and so provides plenty of authentic material and language about winter sports and the Olympics in general, including a section on the Olympic values (excellence, respect and friendship) and the mascot, Yoggl.

The Winter youth games could be exploited in a number of ways, and could easily fit into some existing/traditional schemes of work:

  • For those teaching German it is an opportunity to focus on Austria and the geography of the country, perhaps following the torch relay (Fackellauf/relais de la flamme), now into its 11th day.  There are links to information in German about each place on the relay route which could be exploited for skim reading e.g What could a visitor see/do in Eisenstadt?
  • The Torch relay page has links to “A day in the life of a relay runner” in French and German, so this could form the basis of a reading exercise where learners put sentences in the correct sequence.
  • The Fanshop could easily be form the basis for teaching about prices, souvenirs, clothes and materials
  • The timetable for events can be used to practise numbers, dates and times
  • There is an animated film (Yoggl goes CEP) featuring the mascot Yoggl;  this has images associated with many of the Olympic themes and values which could be exploited for oral and written work.
  • Another short video Innsbruck 2012 Freeze flashmob could be used to practise/revise vocabulary for winter sports

And much more……..

SSAT Chinese Conference

May 29, 2011

The 8th SSAT Chinese conference took place last weekend at the Royal Society and the British Museum.  Presentations from workshops are now downloadable fromn the SSAT Chinese network site and my own presentation A journey to the East is available here.

Fussballfieber or more football fever!

June 13, 2010

If you are after some authentic texts in German for the World cup look no further than some of the many German sites geared towards children.  One of these is Hanisauland produced by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.  The screenshot shows their home page for everything to do with the World cup.  On these pages you can find information about all the countries playing, including geography and climate, together with images and a clip of the relevant national anthem.

Another useful site is ZDFtivi  which not only has a blog about the world cup but also more general information about the countries of Africa.  There is also a video about a young girl living  in Senegal and one about a boy from Mali who aspires to be a professional footballer.  There are also some interesting materials and video footage about the “Big five”  in South Africa which could be useful for some CLIL.


March 17, 2010

Having been a regional subject adviser for the Association for Language Learning  on the new secondary curriculum  support programme since 2007 I’ve decided it’s high time I had my own blog to share my thoughts and resources on anything and everything to do with learning and teaching languages.