Howdy y'all. Sorry it's been a while since I've blogged, been a bit busy...
Anyway, with term having finished last Friday my thoughts are now turning to the course that I will be running for the next 3 weeks in Exeter, supporting PE teachers who will be coming over from Madrid to prepare for bilingual teaching. This follows on from the course I ran with a great PE teacher from South Devon, Sophie Steer, last year, and then my inspirational colleague David Fawcett over in Madrid in February, March and April. The main emphasis of the course is not compromising on high quality PE teaching despite the inevitable difficulties of students and teachers operating in a second, non-native language. In fact, we want to improve the quality of teaching in both facets- language and sport.
During the weekend in March I sent my Principal an e-mail asking whether she would be interested in exploring the possibilities of adopting the techniques overselves at Route 39. We are constantly on the hunt for ways to add real purpose for learning how to communicate in Spanish- this fits perfectly for many of our students.
However, to really make it excel and fit with our student-lead perspective, we will really need to think incredibly carefully about how we plan and how we give students the linguistic capabilities to interact, challenge and provide feedback for each other in the second language. Below are a few ideas- but I'd love to hear yours, please!!
- FLIP-style videos, in the Target Language, to be watched for Independent Study (due to our extended school hours students don't have homework but have assigned periods during the day to work on tasks). They then complete a Google Doc about the key points / language so that I can gauge their linguistic progress and understanding. These will be shared on a wiki.
- Sport Ed roles- students all have cards detailing, in the Target Language, their roles and responsabilities for sessions within their assigned group. At first these will probably include key phrases / items of vocabulary in TL + English to support interaction without having to be taught specifics
- Independent Study tasks will also intermittently include key verb learning tasks. For exmple, the very first week of study will include a task to learn a number of key verbs (depending on the level of the group), including Quiero (I want), Tengo que (I have to), Voy a (I am going to) and Acabo de (I have just)- all of which can be followed by an infinitive to allow for more spontaneous target language use as we rack up our infinitives.
- Laminated feedback charts which can be used by student monitors during sessions which will stay the same and so build familiarisation over time.
- An end goal- we are in the process of finalising details of a tie-up with a school in Madrid whose teachers I have worked with before. This will lead to the swapping of materials and "how-to" guides (both by students and staff) and will culminate in an exchange, including fixtures. During those fixtures in Spain students will be shown the Spanish card for speaking in English, leading to a 2 minute sin-bin.
However, I want to know more and learn more- so if you have any thoughts at all, please share, chip in or advise!!