Archive | October, 2011

The Languages Show 2011

29 Oct

As I am writing this post, it is hard to believe it has been a whole year since the last Languages Show.  What a year it has been!  The show was as fantastic as ever – some would ask why would you want to give up 3 days of your life to attend (and maybe I am a sad INSET junkie), but it is one of the highlights of my year and I don’t actually see it as work.  It was a chance to see what is going on in the world of languages at the moment but, more importantly, to catch up face to face with the people I often refer to as my ‘MFL Dream Team’!  

So, here are some of the highlights of the 3 days starting with Friday…


I arrived bright and early and as well as having a good look around the stands, my plan was to attend the following sessions:

-Talk to me! Crystal clear ideas to get students talking, Rachel Hawkes

Rachel’s presentation can be found below:

Rachel is an inspiration to many, myself included and I wouldn’t leave home at 5.30am for just anyone!!!

My favourite ideas from the session were:

‘What’s the question?’ (in my experience, pupils need lots of practice of asking questions as well as answering them),

“Count the number of words in your sentence” (which my trainee PGCE MFLers love),

“Morph” (to encourage pupils to create a voiceover)


“The dustbin task” (due to its open-ended nature).  

You can find more of Rachel’s excellent resources and ideas which she shares freely at

-TXtspk in lang lrng – LOL, Wendy Adeniji

Wendy’s session on Text Speak in MFL was also very inspiring and with her say so, I am hoping to be able to pass on some of the resources in the coming days…  I am 35 and spend far too much time on my mobile (texting, blogging and tweeting, not much talking actually) and I get the impression that many of the youngsters that we teach are the same.  It seems that this would be an interesting avenue to explore as it touches on a topic that is dear to pupils’ hearts so it makes sense to tap into that and exploit it in the MFL context.

In the meantime, some useful websites to explore on this theme are: 





UPDATED: With Wendy’s permission, here are the resources in 3 languages.  See more of her resources and You will also find useful information on high quality training opportunities which revolve around ‘teaching the usual in an unusual way!’



-Gotta sing! Music in the MFL classroom, John Connor

John’s session was everything i was hoping for and more.  I failed to take notes as I was too busy participating and pinning a velcro horse onto John’s felt pinny!  I think @joedale has photographic evidence on Flickr somewhere…

The highlight of John’s session was definitely the Brown Bear song in Spanish.

I will contact John and see if he is happy to share his PPT.  

HOT OFF THE PRESS! Here it is:


-Revealing the Essential Core, Bernadette Holmes

Bernadette Holmes – what a woman and what an exceptional speaker and language enthusiast. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would attend this session but I am really glad I did.  Bernadette is a real believer in cross curricular learning and CLIL.  Her session contained so many great ideas and I plan to contact her to see if she, too, is happy to share her PPT. Watch this space.


Authentic resources at KS3 – too hot, Martine Pillette

I have long been a fan of Martine’s work even before we ever met and I was still working as a regular classroom teacher.  As a native French speaker, she has so much ‘inside information’ relating to France and French speaking culture, so I was keen to see what she would present at the show.  The main ideas, relating to the environment, are part of a new KS3 resource which she has produced called ‘J’écoute et je lis avec petite chérie” (see

Below you can access some of the sample materials which Martine presented at the Languages Show will hopefully give you a flavour of what looks to be a really exciting resource:

Here is a video clip showing an extract from the DVD (Le Voyage d’une goutte d’eau)

and more can be found on Youtube (see associated clips):


Related YouTube clips which I came across are also included below:


In honesty, I never really enjoyed teaching the topic of environment as I didn’t manage to find a meaningful way to do so, but perhaps these engaging resources would fill that gap.