Huge thanks are due to the fantastic Marie-France Perkins and the ALL team in the Bristol area for organising this year's West of England conference. Any conference that can cram in the ideas of Greg Horton, encouraging teachers to think about how students can say what they want to say and not just how they can jump through hoops, and then Chris Harte, with his calls for a simple rethink of how we view language teaching, gets a huge thumbs up from me. But mighty intimidating to be on the same bill, I'll tell you. Well worth the early start and the bleary eyes by the time I got home, though!
Anyway, although I was presenting about developing independence at post-16 level I wanted to engage delegates about why we currently leave so many of the skills that we want to develop for the AS and A2 exams for that manic year 12 period rather than addressing them from the outset of year 7. After all, our pupils want to be able to say what they think, even if we consider what they are saying to be... odd. With the wonders of Intercultural Understanding growing in departments across the country and with PLTS becoming embedded we need to find ways to facilitate debate, comment and query- in exactly the same way as we have always tried to do, and need to do, for post-16 success. So why wait?
Anyway, see what you think and I'd love your comments / suggestions!