Many thanks to Rodney Mantle who wrote the following report on the ALL London
BAD WEATHER DID NOT STOP PLAY
All London Branch January Event
SOAS, London, 19 January 2013
“At this event I was looking for help with running a
Swahili workshop in Tanzania and materials on water use in various languages –
and I found both,” a delegate said. Where except ALL events could this
combination be available? In the exhibition, participants surrounded the
stands: Routes into Languages, EU Representation in London, Mary Glasgow
Publications, Vocabulary Express, Maison Claire Fontaine and Arsenal Double
Club: the spacious SOAS venue could accommodate everybody.
Heavy snow prevented three presenters from coming, but delegates were
not deterred: about 60 attended (including encouraging numbers of PGCE
students), plus 12 committee members.
Chair Helen Myers was on a school trip in France but greeted us in a
uniquely Helen-style video.
Routes into Languages (www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk) was introduced by
Renata Albuquerque: through “ambassadors”, mentors and many other means,
this group of 12 universities tries to encourage young people to develop an
enthusiasm for languages.
Those delegates without iPods or iPads disappointed the next speaker,
Joe Dale ([email protected]; Twitter: @joedale; presentation: goo.gl/gNwe1),
but his dazzling presentation (“Keeping your learners ‘appy”) of what can
be done with apps (not all free) may well have converted the unbelievers. Aware
of the dangers of an “embarras de richesses”, Joe included a slide of the
most useful “Killer apps”. The “iPad responsibility rubric”
listing rules for student use made a good transition to the next presentation.
“Active Language Learning” by Juliet Park ([email protected];
Twitter: @julietdpark) started by listing Ofsted requirements, but potential
yawns rapidly gave way to rapt attention as numerous inspired, but
down-to-earth, ideas for using IT in European languages at secondary levels
cascaded from the screen. Her videos of “interpretative dancing” elicited
lengthy laughter. After such a display of IT competence it was a relief to learn
she had recently damaged her Apple by spilling water on it and then used
a hair dryer to dry the water quickly, only to make the damage worse!
The long morning was rounded off for the many trainees present by a
session by Nick Mair: “Job Application Clinic for PGCE Students”, including
an unvarnished account of the realities of the demonstration lesson.