For the last six or seven years I have been very interested in online learning. Firstly, as someone who is quite obsessed about learning languages myself, I am always looking for interesting ways of picking up new words or phrases for myself. With the onset of smart phones and the alike, one can learn so much from these types of devices. For me, the most powerful internet based learning tool is Memrise. I have see my ability to learn and retain new vocabulary improve beyond all expectations.
Therefore, it has now become the backbone for my own teaching practice. The effect it has had on my own learning has been reflected in the students I teach too. The videos on this blog are by Year 7 students. In the past, I would have struggled to achieve similar outcomes with Year 11 students.
The trick now is get more students motivated and disciplined enough to regularly practise their language skills outside of the classroom. As well all know “a little but often” approach to language learning is essential for good progress. With this in mind, one challenge I set my Year 7 classes was to get one million points on Memrise in an academic year which was achieved by one student. I didn’t mind taking an egg on the head (although it did hurt!) because I had so much fun in lessons watching children communicate fantastically well.
So my top tip for teaching languages or improving your own language skills; join Memrise!
Also, to use a microphone when doing assemblies. The students spoke beautifully but very softly.