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ilanguages? The real deal?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by djpb27, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. I have looked at the sample resources provided by iLanguages and they do look refreshingly different to the conventional KS3 course.
    We are looking at buying in schemes of work for ks3 to increase pupil engagement and help prepare trainee teachers.
    Could anyone who uses iLanguages comment on how it is going? Would you recommend it? Does it cover all the angles that a textbook would, in terms of resources etc? Are pupils engaged by it?
    Alternatively if you would be happy to have a chat then please send me a message with your number.
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. I have looked at the sample resources provided by iLanguages and they do look refreshingly different to the conventional KS3 course.
    We are looking at buying in schemes of work for ks3 to increase pupil engagement and help prepare trainee teachers.
    Could anyone who uses iLanguages comment on how it is going? Would you recommend it? Does it cover all the angles that a textbook would, in terms of resources etc? Are pupils engaged by it?
    Alternatively if you would be happy to have a chat then please send me a message with your number.
    Thanks in advance
     
  3. My own PERSONAL opinion after having looked at the sample resources is that they are well thought out and interesting. I also like that you can buy them as stand alone units, so you could just use them to enrich your current scheme of work. However, I also think that they are very expensive for something that with a little bit of time and creative effort you can make yourself - I suppose that in that sense they are no different from a textbook; you are paying for convenience.

    The other reason *I* wouldn't get them is that I like to change my SOWs relatively often (with particular year groups/staff in mind) to keep them fresh and I would resent doing that if I had paid out for them.
     
  4. My head of department bought 3 of the stand alone module (Chocolate, spooky tales and sport)and we were quite excited as they looked very interesting and refreshing.
    Overall we are very disappointed by them, especially the Spooky tales. The language used is quite poor, resources aren't that exceptional.. (well...no better than the ones we usually create or find on the TES!) and you will find most of the videos for free on youtube. I think that we've spent too much time adapting the resources to make them interesting and relevant to our students to say that it was a good deal.
    Students didn't feel especially excited by it and said they prefer our usual SoW..!
     
  5. Thank you both for your very useful responses.
    We have nothing of substance in place for key stage 3 French and Spanish so I was planning to run with the ilanguages modules.
    However after your feedback I am left in a bit of a quandary.
    I liked the fact that iLanguagesx come with powerpoint presentations already made, because we have several staff teaching MFL split with another subject next year. I thought it would reduce their preparation time. In addition I don't teach from a textbook and new packages for textbooks appear to assume that you want to do that.
    Has anyone got a suggestion for KS3 materials which are:
    - ready prepared to teach (ppts or interactive whiteboard ready)
    - innovative (strong early focus on phonics for example)
    - effective
    Thanks
     
  6. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I think this is a case of you get what you put in. If you don't want to teach from a textbook but don't want to make up your own modules, I think you're going to struggle. I'm big on CLIL (basically teaching another subject in a foreign language) and I'm rewriting our Y9 SOW to teach modules linked to what pupils do in their other subjects (e.g. art, history, etc) but it takes a lot of time and energy to make and it will mainly be relevant to my pupils because I've taken the steps to find out what they are learning in other subjects. I'm hoping the end result will be innovative, effective and motivating for pupils, but it certainly isn't ready-made and effortless, I can tell you that!
    Alternatively, I keep getting adverts for the kerboodle Y9 French course which apparently your pupils can do online. As I haven't got the access to computers I would need for that I haven't given it a second thought, but it might be worth contacting them to see if you could inspect their resources - certainly the kerboodle for A-level is very good.
     
  7. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    Echo and Studio or Expo for KS3 have an ActiveTeach CD-rom which could be used as a stand-alone resource to support your own materials. They seem very good. I've purchased sample units from i-languages and liked bits of them - found a few minor errors. They are useful to spice up units in existing schemes of work. I've not seen or used all of the units, so can't comment on the others, but colleagues in another school in the LA have said they really like the skills approach of i-languages.
     
  8. I have realised that it is normal for teachers (even if untrained and mixing subjects) to have to create their own lessons, as it is part of the process of being able to teach the content.
    So thanks for comments - we are going to look at Studio next week for KS3 French and use ilanguages to supplement and enrich the curriculum.
     
  9. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    djp, sorry, I didn't mean for it to come across that way. I know the feeling of not finding the right textbook, it wasn't a flippant comment, believe me. I'm still after that elusive perfect textbook and don't believe it has actually been written, that's all I was trying to say.
     

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