All posts by amacleanmfl

A teacher of foreign languages in a secondary school in England.

Visit to a French restaurant October 2014

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My French teachers took me to a French restaurant called Chez Jérôme in Dunstable. For the starter I had onion soup which was served with tasty French bread. I choose chicken which was cooked in a typical French way for the main course. For dessert, I ordered a chocolate mousse and it was very pretty. It was served with kiwi, strawberries and white chocolate ice-cream. We had to order our food in French and Ms Young was very helpful. She took her children along and they spoke really good French and English. They were very polite too. It was great fun and my friends and I had a wonderful time!

Lizzie Year 8

Song

When we saw the hall starting to fill up with year 7’s we got really nervous, but we remembered that we were with each other and it was going to be okay. Our biggest fear was messing it up and getting it wrong but we knew that we had chosen to do this and it was just for fun. It was a great experience performing in front of our year group , and we would definitely do it again. We can’t thank the teachers of the French and Music departments enough for giving us this opportunity. We would recommend this for anyone because you get great rewards!!!!

Memrise Visit

I organised a visit to Memrise because I wanted to thank them for making such a brilliant learning tool. Also, I wanted to show them how their technology and ideas were having a real impact in my classroom. I know the students loved it too. We all thought the office was really cool. The staff at Memrise made us feel very welcome and immediately provided everybody with cold drinks,tea,coffee and snacks. The students were also very impressed with Ed Cooke’s memory trick too.

Unfortunately, I lost a student’s write up about our visit. So, you will have to put up with this rather short description.

How much French can you learn in three weeks?

My name is “Amandine” and I am in Year 7. Memrise is a website and app that anyone can use to learn a new language. I use it because it helps me learn really fast. It has a special way of making you remember the words and I would recommend Memrise to anyone who wants to learn a new language. There are lots of courses with really cool words to learn. Also, you can make your own levels and courses so that you can help others.
Finally, you will never be able to find an app/website better than Memrise for learning languages.

Singing in France

We spent a day in Boulogne-Sur-Mer in July where fifty-odd Year 7 students practised their speaking skills. Many of them were very keen to speak to passersby. I managed to record this interaction. Well done girls! Afterwards I spoke to the couple and they found it very amusing.

Year 7 Assembly summer 2014

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.

Improving my teaching through self-reflection and collaboration.

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The aim of this blog is to reflect and share with others my experiences of teaching foreign languages in a secondary school in the UK. Unfortunately, it is very difficult during term time to work out how to use these blogs effectively. I have spent many hours looking for lost posts which is very frustrating. Anyway, please have a look at the videos and enjoy!