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Does Joe Dale et al live on planet earth???

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by delhaye, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. I feel these teachers going on about ICT all the time are just (mainly male) IT geeks who are also MFL teachers. All these tricks (blogging/twitter/podcasts/blah/blah) are time wasting activities which the vast majority of students would abuse as soon as you turned your back.
    Even the cooperative students would demonstrate so little learning which would render all these "learning platforms" as utterly pointless.
    l would really like to witness for myself a class all writing in the target language on their newly created blogs. (Any offers to show me this and I am willing to travel to see it) Or students speaking French etc on their podcasts sites and replying to others in the target language. By the way I am not against ICT and I use many websites for translation and grammar purposes. However, in my view children do not have the skills to create and maintain a blog. Furthermore, they would spend hours faffing about the font/pictures etc.

    I really wonder the percentage of teachers in the EU which are using these methods of teaching languages? ( Whenever I watch French/Spanish news items on education, there is no/very little technology in their classrooms)
    Are their methods old fashioned? Should they be listening to us Brits about the wonders of language learning via Twitter etc? I am not so sure.

  2. Oh dear. I wasn't going to bother answerin but, on second thoughts, I thought I'd set a few things straight:
    1) Phil Beadle uttered the words mainly male in the radio interview with Joe Dale on the BBC, to which you are obviously referring and, again, obviously falling for despite the fact that it is simply innacurate. In reality, probably the oppositte applies, only you didn't bother checking the facts.
    The facts are that most of the "geeks" posting on these forums about ICT are women. In fact, most of the MFL bloggers I follow are indeed ladies.
    A bit of of a blunder there then...
    2) Joe Dale's feet are firmly on planet Earth, in the 21st century... did you not notice the date? Joe would be the first to tell you that using ICT for ICT's sake is pointless and, even, counterproductive. The key is to use ICT effectively... can't believe I am having to write this...
    3) You say that in your view "children do not have the skills to maintain and create a blog"... blimey... Facebook has got it all wrong and it's all just a figment of our collective imaginations...
    In any case, most of us using a blog for MFL teaching and learning, create it and maintain it ourselves for the benefit of our pupils, to showcase their work and to help them with new links and resources. Another thing you got wrong...
    4) "l would really like to witness for myself a class all writing in the target language on their newly created blogs..." Your wish is granted, follow this link... no need to travel.. you can see it using this thing called the internet...
    How about a class using video and computers as a tool to promote speaking? Follow this link
    How about a class creating animations to promote writing? Follow this link
    How about a class using speaking avatars to practice, erm, well... speaking? Follow this link
    Please, please, PLEASE! get your facts right!
  3. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    Does Joe Dale live on planet earth?
    I think the Isle of Wight still counts, but I believe there is a petition to have it removed!
    On a more serious note I agree with asisehace and Joe. Having taught in an EU country, language learning is much more hands on and creative here, many EU countries don't teach, they lecture.
    I have seen the future and the future is Twitter.
  4. "...in my view children do not have the skills to create and maintain a blog..."

    What a ridiculous, ignorant statement! I know of very many primary pupils who are perfectly capable of maintaining blogs and who do so with minimal intervention from their teachers. Someone really needs to get out more!
  5. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    ...or stop in more!
    sam [​IMG]
  6. dalej

    dalej New commenter

    Thank you for starting this thought-provoking thread. To see an example of how MFL teachers use technology in the classroom, you could have a look at the CILT video case studies on effective use of ICT which I and others took part in last year.

    Here are some more case studies you may find interesting from the CILT 14-19 website, concerning topics such as blogging, podcasting and using a Flip video camera

    As for Twitter, I’ve compiled a list of language teachers (most of whom are female) from the UK who use the micro-blogging tool to share ideas and network with each other as part of their personal learning network (PLN)
    actualleigh, adamsutcliffe, aliceayel, amandasalt, aurelagazel, bellaale, blagona, CarpsofStDay, charte, daisybundle, danieleur, dernley, dominic_mcg, estherhardman, froggy29400, gaelle15, gorsey, helenmyers, huguettemf, icpjones, jendav, jjpadvis, josepicardo, jowinchester, Kath52, kaymcmeekin, langwitch, louiseCrossley, lisibo, lynnehorn, lwelsh, mariefrance, markpentleton, moodlefairy, mrslwalker, mrsnpalmer, neildjones, nicpearson, petitejoueuse, PrinceLanguages, reesiepie, sam_enerve, sghani, spanishsam, strychy, suzibewell, tortugueta, veneziabonita
    See these links for further info about creating your own PLN
    Government policies have also been encouraging the use of ICT in MFL too. The following quote comes from the Dearing Review for example:

    In a recent Ofsted report on the use of ICT in primary and secondary schools, it was noted that:

    See link: - http://joedale.typepad.com/integrating_ict_into_the_/2009/03/ofsted-praise-podcasting-in-mfl.html
    Last Wednesday’s Guardian article on the leaked report on the reforms to the primary curriculum also made it clear that teachers were expected to be more ambitious with their use of ICT in the future and in particular that by the time pupils leave KS2 they should be familiar with such technologies as blogs, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter. See link for my post about this:
    <font size="3">That said, ICT is not for everyone and is certainly not a panacea. However, there are a growing number of teachers who are experimenting with the power of blogging, podcasting etc to see how it can enhance their traditional practice and I am all in favour of this. In my own practice, I&rsquo;ve found that departmental blogg is motivating for pupils as they know their work is going to be published to a real audience. Likewise, I&rsquo;ve found the rehearsing, recording and editing needed to produce a good quality podcast is also an excellent way to practise and revise language structures.</font> See this post about the Nodehill French Grammar podcasts we made for more information:
    Hope this clarifies mine and others&rsquo; practice. The important thing here is we are all in this together. More and more young people are dropping languages and we need to work as a supportive network do try our hardest to improve uptake.
    Best wishes

  7. Langwitch

    Langwitch New commenter

    I'm female and blog with my students...here is their fabulous work in collaboration with a school in France (their teacher uses blogs more than any I know in the UK, by the way). I'd like to direct you to one post in particular with 119 comments ALL from pupils ALL done in their spare time.
    Have look around, you might learn something!
    I also have a blog just for my own pupils...not as many comments, I'll grant you but still used and enjoyed be many!
  8. Well this arguement reminds me about the old smoking arguement. When it was quite obvious that smoking was bad for one's health, some people would always point that they had an auntie who lived to a hundred and smoked forty a day.There ia a parallel with ICT and MFL whereby a few students would produce some of work of quality using Facebook/Twitter. However, the vast majority would not because they are not interested in languages.They would prefer to do other more "relevant" things. (The government acknowledged this and therefore languages are no longer compulsory in KS4)
    Why are they not bothered? Well one can get an excellent job without a foreign language or go to one of the the UK's top universities without a foreign language. I wondered how many of France's top bosses speak English? Probably a lot more than the British equivalent.I wonder if I can study Finance and Economics at top business school in Germany with no knowledge of English? You can in the UK no problem.
    Keep it up if you want and good luck. Unfortunatley until our society values foreign languages all these technical tricks are doomed to fail.
    I love the Internet and I have really improved my language skills.

  9. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Well this arguement reminds me that it is spelt ARGUMENT for a start.
    I think it's an incredibly sweeping statement to say that the vast majority of students are not interested in languages. I think it is a lot more accurate to say that the vast majority of (in particular KS4 students) are not interested in the diet of languages with which they are served. They are not interested in the GCSE syllabus - and neither am I - which they find dry, repetitive and irrelevant to their daily life. What is relevant to their daily life ? MSN, Facebook et al, email, texts...... The average pupil is interested in seeing that they can extend and enrich their experience of the virtual community by knowing a little of a foreign language. There are many more people with whom they can correspond than just English-speaking ones in England. Why not allow them to be creative, innovative and inventive ? It'll give them a lot more satisfaction than asking for a kilo of apples at the market.
    Our ICT facilities at school are so dire that I am a bit behind the times myself, but that's not to say I'm not making efforts to get there eventually. I've just signed up to Twitter and am wondering what it's all about at the moment. I'll content myself with being a web-guru for the time being, I think !
    We all have to do new things to keep ourselves from getting stale, bored and boring.
    Geekie. Female, ICT geek and proud.[​IMG]
  10. Hear hear.
    I am female and I love using ICT to enhance the teaching of MFL in secondary education (or primary!). Kids are so adaptable to technology, and in most cases are often more used to using computers that most of the school staff, so why not add it to the (dry) diet of languages which we have to serve at KS4 (as Geekie says).
    Who says we have to stand in front of a class and lecture them on how to conjugate verbs? Why can we not create games online? Why can we not encourage pupils to learn through fun, motivating and challenging activities? And if it happens to be through ICT....well, why the hell not?

    Lingo Lass
    And fellow ICT Geek!
  11. Well Delhaye you can't be a very good teacher if you only use the Internet to do grammar/translation activities.
    "By the way I am not against ICT and I use many websites for translation and grammar purposes"
    You want to get out more.There is so much more to language learning than grammar and verbs. My students love using Facebook and Bebo in my French lesson and they NEVER go off task! They all love writing/communicating in French. Also you argument (learn to spell the word please) about other Europeans having to learn English to get a decent job is a load of old rubbish. My friend in Germany is an airline pilot for a major international company and he does n't speak a word of English.
    It is a shame that there are boring teachers like Delhaye who have got jobs in MFL. They are letting the kids down and sending them to sleep!

  12. dalej

    dalej New commenter

    Hi elstriker,
    Could you email me more info about how you are using Bebo and Facebook in class? That sounds really interesting.
  13. Wow! What an exciting thread! I haven't been here in quite awhile since it's been rather... Here's a wild and crazy idea! We're going to have student IT mentors for staff next year. Not able to write and maintain a blog! That's the description of most of my colleagues and not my students. I'm using Wikis this year for my classes to encourage partner and group collaboration (Google docs as well). In order to encourage lines of communication in my department (and to encourage those who are reluctant in technology), I have created a department Wiki (http://eghamlanguageforum.wikispaces.com) which is having some positive influence. Three cheers for the internet, social networking and the rest. I've just discovered the following:
    http://www.ning.com/ (for private social networking and therefore safe for use in school)
    http://www.diigo.com (for social bookmarking - great to set up a department group to share sites)
    http://en.childrenslibrary.org/ (free e-books in various languages!!! love this one!)

    Sorry if you have seen these before but some may not have!

  14. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    what makes them interested in MFL?
    People like me!
  15. My students have started talking to each other on german facebook.
    They like the fact they can exclude others/parents from their chats!
    It suits me if they are learning.
    Does anyone know the German for "to poke"?
  16. Although I am a student teacher I can't believe that more experienced teachers don't see the benefits of using social networking sites to improve their practice. It is unbelievable!!
    I am currently doing my second placement in a school which has been given "notice to improve". Yet my bottom set Year 9s just love working on Bebo and Facebook. Their work has really improved and they never go off task or ask for freetime.(My lessons are 70 mins long as well) My mentor is really impressed and she wants to start something similar for her classes. Also, ALL students have jumped at one level with me as well.
    Delhaye you need to trust your students more. I am sure with some training you could improve the motivation of your students and become a better teacher yourself.
    Elstriker could you put your lesson plans on this site? This could also help others who struggle with discipline/charisma issues. Keep on the good work Joe Dale et al!!
  17. I would *love* to be able to use Bebo and Facebook in my classroom. Unfortunately, there is a blanket ban on social networking sites in my local authority. They've recently banned Twitter, too, which has REALLY upset me. [​IMG]
  18. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    The German equivalent is "gruscheln". A made up word from the 2 verbs: "gr&uuml;ssen&rdquo; to greet and &ldquo;kuscheln&rdquo; to hug.
  19. It's blocked, too. [​IMG] GRRR!!!
  20. PierreImport

    PierreImport Administrator

    I use ICT to distract the students from real life.

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