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Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by ard, Jan 10, 2005.
What the hell is twalting when it's at home?
It's a system of Time-Wasting Activities, masquerading as MFL Teaching, devised by our very own ......the illustrious......Londo Molari!
Please tell me this isn't for real!
It's as real as you want it to be, Bill.
Londo seems to have left us for the time being - but it's his legacy to us.
So who is this Londo everyone is on about then?
You can probably do a search for him on the TES website search. What I'd like to know is: who are you with your hovercrafted eels?
Put his name in the Search box and look at his postings last year on the MFL forum. He teaches English abroad and used to teach MFL in the UK (also writes Textbooks). He abhors the current Communicative MFL strategy that has lessons spent on pointless games and parrotting of ready-made phrases at the expense of teaching students how to use the language properly. In an educational climate that looks for the appearance rather than the substance of Learning, he has 'sent up' the whole system by devising activities that spare the MFL teacher from having to wear him/herself in the 'all singing all dancing' style that we have been encouraged to adopt.
TWALTING also caters for the vast numbers of language 'learners' who are virtually illiterate in their mother tongue. Linguistically unchallenging activities are required to keep them in line; they can succeed at TWALTING a Language and SMT are happy not to have MFL teachers tearing their hair out and asking for support every time they have a bottom set yr 9 group for French on a Friday afternoon!
Good grief jubilee - you really confused me there - I thought you were replying to my query about Bill Haydon and began to think he had exactly the same background and opinions as Londo Molari! (until the penny dropped) ...
I have visions of TWALTING becoming a methodology taught on Teacher Training courses! Someone will hear about it and take it seriously as an effective MFL strategy - Noam Chomsky will claim that it was his idea all along and we will be orced to use it with top sets too!
It reminds me of a story from my son when he was doing a Gap Year in New Zealand. He and a group of friends worked out that the cheapest way to see as much as possible of the country was to buy a couple of cheap cars and travel in convoy behind the official tour buses (The Kiwi Experience etc) that the more well heeled 'backpackers' were using. They called their group The Lada Experience. Word must have spread fast because the Backpackers' Newspaper was soon printing articles recommending their 'tour' alongside the established ones!
What we need to do is start using this term in staffrooms and MFL meetings so that the non-TES posters get to hear of it and start to spread the word!
You don't remember the Monty Python sketch with the dodgy phrasebook then? Go on, be a devil and post a translation in any languages you know. I've done French and Portuguese and there is another one there, Swahili or something. Classic sketch!
I will search on that thanks Jubiliee.
No I don't remember my hovercraft being full of eels in Monty Python even though I can quote huge chunks of it off by heart. But I did post a foreign language version on the other thread without being asked!
>>What we need to do is start using this term in staffrooms and MFL meetings so that the non-TES posters get to hear of it and start to spread the word!<<
Brilliant idea. I recommend just casually throwing it into the conversation during in-service courses, as though assuming that anyone who has the remotest interest in foreign language teaching will have heard of it...
"Well, I've been reading a lot about the TWALT process recently, as an alternative the traditional interactive course model, and I think that Persephone's suggestion would fit really well into that framework."
"Mr. Speaker, like everyone else here, I'm sure, I've been really inspired by your skilful adaptation of the Molari model in your lecture today. I was wondering whether you could offer any of us new to TWALTing any advice on discipline in the modern language classroom?"
(Or on something else unrelated to TWALT, thus giving him room to bluff his way out of it, whilst achieving your aim of making him and everyone else panic about not knowing what this well-known model is.)
Oh, the fun we could have with this!
I remember going on a course back in the year dot, with a full-of-himself rising star, who kept on and on saying things like "They could have that as lexis" "That could be lexis" etc. etc. At first I sat there feeling stupid, as I had never heard the term (and yes, I was young and not yet enough of an Emperor's New Clothes type to ask.) Eventually it dawned on me that it was simply the new and improved term for vocabulary.
After that, I stopped being afraid of people who use jargon to sound clever.
If anyone can give a precise reference for the Monty Python skethc, I'd be delighted!
There's another old sketch, which I used thought was from Monty Python, but have never managed to find. I'm now wondering whetehr it was from "The Two Ronnies".
It had three men standing in a row. At least one was in a suit and a bowler hat. Maybe all three of them were. One would say "I look down on him because......" blah blah. Then the next would say he looked down on another one. etc etc.
I think it could be great to use in a lesson on comparatives and superlatives. But I can't find it! Does anyone recognise it?
Mattie ('There you go, bringing class into it again....')
As you were, part one.
I found the the Hungarian Phrasebook sketch myself. is Series 2: Episode 25. (One of the yellow DVD boxes)
I believe that one was from that was the week that was (or TW3 as we are on abbreviations!) but even I am too young to remember more about it than that. It was to do with middle upper and lower class. 'I know my place' was Ronnie Corbett's remark - maybe we could incorporate that into the lesson too!
Boy this takes me back I can tell you. It was The Two Ronnies with John Cleese as a special guest.
That twalting stuff is pure genius now I understand the motivations behind it. I stayed up last night reading Londo?s posts. What a fascinating blend of genius, humour and madness and I mean that in a good way. The name is not English so where is he from? What textbooks did he write? Are they TEFL or school texts? I cannot find any books written by a Londo Molari.
Where have you sprung from, Bill?
(Is this the latest of Londo's incarnations?)
Tell us something about yourself, (not that this forum spawns paranoia or anything like that...)
Well as you ask I own and run a small language school catering mainly for soon to be expats. We offer special courses in Portuguese, French and Spanish. That is our niche. We also develop property in Portugal mainly on the Algarve and assist families in moving and settling in. Some of them even stay. Not bad for someone who went straight from university into selling timeshare. I also do some supply work from time to time in one school, when I am in England.