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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. Derekdalek,
    I have read Geekie's comments again. I don't think her comments are stirring up anything, neither are they patronising, in my view. Geekie is simply disagreeing with you, as am I.
    Your work has been exemplary and I have had the fortune to learn from it. The cap certainly fits.
  2. Delhaye has made a good point about the tendency for debates at this site to develop into heated arguments. I use it far less now for that very reason. I don't like the idea of using only pseudonyms. For that reason I publish my real name, Graham Davies, and a real photograph of myself. You may disagree with some of the things I may say - which is water off a duck's back to an old trooper like myself - but at least you can check my credentials:
  3. derekdalek

    derekdalek New commenter

    Good grief, asisehace.
    Well, you and geekie are welcome to each other. I have no doubt that you make valuable contributions to the forum and the resources bank etc, but you are also very patronising to those who dare to disagree with you.

  4. derekdalek

    derekdalek New commenter


    I agree with your comments. I have had enough of this forum for now. I am not accusing anyone of cyber-bullying but it gets close to it at times.
  5. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Ding ding!
    Round 39...
    Derek, don't you think you are starting to sound just a tad melodramatic there?
    You've had a disagreement, but you've put your point across very clearly imo. Where is the hint of cyber-bullying to be found?
    I'm genuninely interested.
  6. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

    Whenever I hear someone say, "I'm not...but..." I always walk away, because they are.
  7. Well done to Geekie and asisehace you certainly dealt with that muppet derek whatever-his-name-is...
    I too agree that this forum is excellent because the posters are generally considerate of others and take into account that some posters are not native speakers.

  8. nqt04

    nqt04 New commenter

    smoothnewt is right to remind us that the relationship between IT and MFL depts in a school, and a teacher’s experience and position, can all affect how IT can be used in MFL teaching & learning. The age of the pupils is also an important factor.
  9. Dear nqt04,
    There is a degree of fear of the new among teachers, but in my experience the real problem is to move teachers away from their comfort zone (I am guilty of it too, we are all guilty of it!). Many will, as you have seen on these pages, disregard this or that without having really given it a go or, in some cases, without having really thought about it at any great length.
    Whenever I have been involved with INSET events, the biggest problem hasn't been fear of the new, it has been reluctance to experiment and teachers set in their ways in the face of a changing world. I have seen Heads of ICT refusing to use computers for things other than word, powerpoint and spreadsheets, with the occasional this-is-how-you-send-an-email lesson. I have seen Heads of MFL projecting transparencies onto an IWB. I have seen teachers refuse to allow a 6th former to use a phone in his lesson when he respectfully asked if he could make a note of an assignment's due date on his phone.
    In the meantime, our students are changing and adapting to 10 MB internet connections, online gaming, social networking and 3G phones. And what are we doing as a profession? We are slamming shut our classroom doors to all of it, creating an ever widening gap between our students' expectations and what we are prepared to offer them. Gosh, no wonder some pupils are disaffected.
    So, nqt04, I applaude you for trying things new and for experimenting in your teaching. Please continue like that and don't be disheartnened by those who think know better. Trust your own instinct, it will pay off in the end.
    PS - I have re-read my post before pressing post, I don't think I am being patronising or disrepectful to anyone. However, if I have been, then my most sincere apologies as it was certainly not meant to be the case. (one can't be too careful these days...[​IMG])
  10. You make some good points, Asi. I get around a lot of schools, colleges and universities, where I run ICT training courses for teachers - often demonstrating the virtual world of Second Life. So far, not one has been able to run Second Life without a hitch. Most of the time I can get it to run after intervention by a senior technician who has to unblock firewalls and ports, sometimes I have to use my laptop as the school's equipment is too antiquated, and occasionally I have to resort to Plan B, i.e. show a few screenshots and movies about it.
    Most educational institutions are over-protective. They make it too difficult for teachers to use up-to-date software and online facilities, Some schools ban the installation of plug-ins, many block YouTube, and many block social networking sites, wikis and blogs. Many students now have much more up-to-date software and faster Internet connections at home, so they are not impressed by what their school, college or university has to offer.
    I wish I had a 10MB connection. This would be colossal! You mean 10Mb or 10Mbps(Mb = megabits, Mbps = megabits per second, MB = megabytes). My local broadband connection runs at around 3Mbps to 4Mbps, depending on the time of day. In theory I can get 8Mbps, but the local exchange is not up to it. However, my home wifi LAN is finely tuned, with three computers running at around 2Mz, with 2GB of RAM apiece, and it can beat the *** out of most school networks that I have used. I can access Second Life, stream video, download music from iTunes, etc on all three computers at one time - usually without major hiccups.
  11. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    The difficulties are more wide-ranging up here - it's the LA that blocks all of these things; the school has no say. Our school network manager is very obliging but his hands are very much tied by the higher echelons. I think they are scared by child protection and safeguarding issues to some extent.
  12. Bon... passons. Moi, j'ai une question pour Smoothnewt!
    Hi Smoothnewt, I love using flashcards a lot in my classes and I am very intrigued... What is that little technique to teach question words you were writing about? Could you share it please?

  13. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Hello VaniliaGirl,
    The idea is very simple, not wildly exciting, but effective: the teacher in question teaches in a challenging school with lots of disaffected pupils, so it is designed to create an air of calm, as well as learning.
    She had a set of laminated A4 cards, each with a question word in French on one side and the English equivalent on the reverse. She would hold up each card in turn, showing the French question, and quietly saying the word. But she wasn't wanting the pupils to repeat, just look, and listen. Then she'd show the reverse side in English, still saying the French word. The lack of repetition helped keep them calm - she wanted them to associate the sound with the written word. When she had been through all the cards once, she went through again, setting the class the challenge of estimating how many they thought they were going to be able to remember.
    She then went through the cards a third time, this time showing the words in French only, and saying the French. They had to write as many English meanings as they could, and see if they had met or exceeded their own personal estimate. She would revisit the activity as a starter, testing them sometimes by showing just the French, or sometimes just saying the word without showing the card. Later, she would build in testing from the English side of the cards only.
    What I liked about this was the simplicity: I tend to think of flashcards as useful to teach nouns visually, through pictures, but I liked this idea as weaker pupils do struggle to internalise the question words, which tend to get overlooked. I intend to use this with my Year 11s next week as useful revision prior to their orals. I have some very weak students this year who still struggle to identify the meanings of questions.
  14. Hi Smoothnewt
    Thanks for that. I think it is a good idea too and I can see how I could have used it when I taught weak SEN pupils two years ago.

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