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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. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

  2. Doh! I read the title of this thread as Does Joe DASSIN et al live on planet earth?
    Made me laugh and was about to suggest that Joe Dassin is properly in Heaven ... but then I read the thread properly...
    I need more sleep me thinks!
  3. As a male, ICT literate languages teacher, I take a little (actually very little) offense at this thread :)

    It strikes me that the two major things that will transform language learning in this country are technology and thinking. It does not matter how whizz bang podcastastic a lesson is, if the outcome is that the students can podcast/blog/wiki 10 things they have in their pencil case then it is a pointless exercise. I love tech and see the potential of shifting the locus of control in learning over to the students as being limitless. If I were delhaye, I would worry less about technology and more about what I am actually teaching the children because, although grammar and translation are indeed very important, unless you are challenging students emotionally and and pushing them to use higher order thinking skills then you may as well pack up and send them home. The potential for students to engage with climate change issues in French with other francophone children from around the world is not a dream, it is actually happening -http://www.plan-ed.org/learningcentre/mfl/ . You need to use technology to allow the students to learn what is relevant, challenging and important to them.

    At the end of the day, Joe is using his technical and linguistic knowledge to make the language learning experience of his children as enriching as possible as well as developing key skills that student will need to take with them as they venture out into a 21st century world where no-one cares what the hell you have in your pencil case, nor what pets you have nor what you did with your family last weekend. Moreover, Joe has the generosity of spirit (along with a growing number of other language teachers - the majority of whom are women...) to share his ideas and technical knowledge with anyone who wants to hear.

  4. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Could you tell us what your pupils do for 70 minutes on Bebo/Facebook/other social network?
    Do they chat to each other in French? How are you able to control that they do not reverse to English?

  5. Well I will be putting my lesson plans and resoucres on TES very soon. This explains everything that you need to know. But firstly, you need to understand that students have to have control of what they are learning otherwise motivation will be low.
    My class requested to study climate change. So we stopped the module on healthy living and changed tack. The reason why they are not going off task is because they are absorbed by the subject matter. They are absorbed because they are using higher order thinking skills.(Have your heard of Bloom's taxonomy?) Setting up their facebooks and seeking relevant info on Francophone websites certainly engages this class.
    The class has indicated that they would like to learn French by studying drugs misuse. Thankfully this is so much better than using the boring textbooks .
  6. PS when I was at uni I too found grammar and translations a piece of cake. We had to translate all sorts of literature as well. (i7/18 century stuff) What I found difficult was setting up my computer and finding good information on the net. Again just to make the point, (like charte previously) translators/translations do not require high order thinking skills.
  7. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I see. Can't wait for the lessons plans.
  8. fringe

    fringe New commenter

    Glad you found grammar "a piece of cake" (do you mean French grammar? -which is seriously complex when you really get into it). Well maybe, I'll have to take your word for it, it's highly risible but I'll pass on that.
    However, I am utterly amazed that you found translating 17th or 18th century "stuff" a piece of cake too! That is so unbelievably pretentious and highly unlikely... Translating well(accurately whilst staying truthful to the original) 17th century literature in French or any other language is... well, let's say that it is a whole different ballgame and not for amateurs, but I wonder if you really have experienced or encountered that sort of translation, otherwise you would be a lot more humble and respectful towards this most noble of art (translation, I mean the real translation, not some sort of stripped-down, Babelfishy rendering of the original version). Translation, when practiced by people who care and who are talented, is extremely difficult and requires a great deal of effort, it certainly never is "a piece of cake". Your assertions are so ridiculous as to undermine your whole argument. To claim or infer that translation is a piece of cake is absolutely laughable. To then assert so confidently that "translators/translations do not require high order thinking skills" is just absolutely, grotesquely amateurish and so unworthy of the language professional that you purport to be. You obviously have no knowledge of the world of translation (whilst feeling competent enough to make ridiculous sweeping and blustering judgments) but more damningly you have no regard for translation, translators and their unique skills. I just hope for your sake that you are never the victim of a badly translated piece of medical info or anything equally important or vital (Law, property, etc.). Any area of translation is difficult and challenging, it just depends on how well you want to do your job.
  9. I hope this was not the point I was trying to make as I disagree entirely with this. Translating is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and brain busting things a linguist has to do! Indeed it takes all of my brain power to accurately render anything from another language into English (I would not have the audacity to translate from English into another language!) and I would never suggest otherwise. The point I was trying to make was that ICT is not only to be used to play grammar games and translating in
    and that unless students were challenged emotionally by the learning intentions and outcomes then use of ICT was pointless, no matter how whizzbang.
  10. Thanks Sam, I'll have a go when I'm back in after the holidays [​IMG]
  11. fringe

    fringe New commenter

    I made it crystal clear in my previous post -by quoting Hemelgirl, not yourself- that my comments were aimed at Hemelgirl, not at you at all. Hemelgirl totally misinterpreted your intelligent and well-argumented post.
  12. Charte don't back down now. What you wrote earlier is 100 percent correct. I have copied it again below. My students are emotionally involved with the new subject and that is why they WANT to learn. It is such as a joy to see my lessons buzzing with students speaking with students from French speaking countries. I am living the dream.
    PS The lesson plans are on the way.

    If I were delhaye, I would worry less about technology and more about what I am actually teaching the children because, <u>although grammar and translation are indeed very important</u>, unless you are challenging students emotionally and and pushing them to use higher order thinking skills then you may as well pack up and send them home. The potential for students to engage with climate change issues in French with other francophone children from around the world is not a dream.

    Cheers Charte for the link and always stick to guns against these old hands who don't know what they are on about becuase they feel threatened by ICT. They can continue with "Dans ma trousse il y a.." with their beginners, but next year my classes are going to start on something which engages emotionally like sign upto French Facebook and ask THEM what they need to learn.
  13. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    I reckon Hemelgirl is Londo Molari in his most recent incarnation.
    Utter wind-uppery!
  14. fringe

    fringe New commenter

    You're probably right Smooth, looking back at his or her posts, it can only be the work of some amoebian zooplanktonic micro-organism. He or she (well, most defo a "he"!) does sound particularly gicl&eacute; as they say in Paris and should be left alone to drift off into his own ether.
  15. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Let's hope it is Londo. To think that Hemelgirl might be serious is a bit scary.
  16. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    This thread has worried me a little bit. I know I need to use more ICT in my own teaching but I hate teaching in ICT rooms - when the kids start doing everything but what they're meant to be doing - arghhhhh! I know it's all about engaging the kids but sometimes whatever you do they'll be some pupils who will complain that it's not interesting enough.

  17. Dear Fringe, I now need to retract my initial statement about being ICT literate as I "quoted" Hemelgirl from your post instead of from his/her original post which is why it looked like I was disagreeing with a point you had made :-( You did indeed make your point crystal clear and I meant to pick up on the misinterpretation of Hemelgirl. Anyway, I am enjoying being on holiday too much to worry about misquotations and radicalised views. Suffice to say that, in the face of an ever growing negative attitude to language learning, we must continue to do what works for our students and for ourselves to ensure that languages do not slip into the abyss! (Very dramatic pause...) I have some ideas on my blog which both involve ICT and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills so please feel free to browse and comment. www.chrisharte.typepad.com
  18. Just thought I would add my lesson plan to all of this- since people were asking how to use facebook in a lesson here is my trick for teaching prepositions and describing rooms in the house.
    1. Be a computer geek with a love of online games tinged with a deep and resentfulness to the fact I was too old to have a tamagotchi and so therfore develop a fantastic house on the Pet Society application (via facebook).
    2. Log onto facebook in front of a class and click on your PS link - kids can't quite believe 1 - teacher has facebook... 2- she has Pet Society... 3- she is opening it in front of them and 4- she has so many points!
    3. While kids are still in shock, explain the task... that while my little cat walks round the little rooms I have spent hours jumping over hurdles to furnish, they have to make notes to use to describe the cat's house.
    4. Sit back and watch kids... still in shock but also adament not to miss anything and watch them scribble for the alloted time.
    5. Enjoy the fantastic German phrases they produce, using language for a real purpose and also to talk about something they want to talk about and develop their langauge acordingly.. ie Miss where did you buy the toaster, or miss, which mystery box did you get that from!
    See, my hours of online gaming did have the rewards it deserved... best bedroom and house descriptions in the oral exams ever...


  19. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Or alternatively,watch the look of disgust on the pupils's faces because they think it's well pathetic that their teacher is trying to be cool !
    My point is that you never know what reaction you'll get from kids when using ICT !
    ICT is great but kids do get bored of it.
  20. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    3. Read with dismay the message on the screen that says (words to the effect of) "This website is blocked"
    4. Realise that you still have 55 minutes of a 1 hour lesson to go and get the text books out.

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