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Last update: 01/12/2013


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Student Reception 2013 - Report

Click picture to see a few more pictures taken during the evening.  Email Helen if you would like any removed!


Many thanks to Rodney Mantle for the following account of our annual student reception.


The Reception Evening for Language Teacher Trainees in the London Area Monday, 7 October 2013 

A Report by Rodney Mantle 

Get set!

Self-publicity is rarely easy, but the London Branch of the ALL succeeded with this event.

Some 80 PGCE and other students attended, from the University of East London, Kingston University, St. Mary's University College and the host, the Institute of Education at London University. They were treated to an intense hour of practical ideas on a variety of topics.

Not surprisingly, the majority were interested in French, but aspiring teachers of German, Italian and Spanish were complemented by a group of Chinese.

Beginning teachers of any subject are understandably concerned about discipline. Sharon Mangion's tips were packed with useful advice: start by using the Observation period to find out how the school deals with behaviour problems (how often do children throw the furniture about?), then ask colleagues for advice and develop your own approach. Her warnings about the dangers of using higher authority too often were noted.

But it wasn't all about blame: praise also plays a big part, and she demonstrated her system of awarding merit stars.

 "7 Tips in 7 Minutes" from Cat Fox followed on naturally, including the need for consistent and persistent practice of sanctions and "Let them do the work" - excessive lesson preparation and/or teacher talk can be a danger at the start of a career. Cat also stressed the role of clear instructions, citing an instance when only at most one third of a class she was teaching had understood what she required.

Beginning teachers of subjects other than MFL could well have benefitted from both presentations, but the two following were more subject-oriented.

Liz Fotheringham talked about: "A Picture in my Pocket" (a USB stick, in case you're wondering). Using examples from French and German, she showed multiple uses of the "odd one out" technique, as well as tongue-twisters.

Up to this moment, PowerPoint had been the medium used, but in the final presentation, Helen Myers provoked lively discussions among the students by her use of song videos, notably "Papoutai?" as well as references to the "Twitterati". Helen also acted as MoC, reinforcing the message that the ALL is about mutual help among teachers and advocacy on the national level. With a contribution from Sharon, she offered a brief, comprehensive account of the activities of the ALL and its London Branch.

Thanks are due to Colin Christie, the Subject Leader at the Institute of Education, who supplied the venue.

Rodney Mantle, October 2013.



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