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Last update: 16/06/2013


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The June Event 2013


Many thanks to Linguascope and Network for Languages who supported us so much in preparing for one of the most successful events we have ever had.

Rodney Mantle, our resident roving reporter has provided a very well written account which gives a flavour of the day in words, while Richard Margerison, our resident radiant photographer (prizes for anyone finding a synonym for photographer beginning with 'r') has provided some great pictures here.


“Recharging my batteries”

ALL London’s June Event, Saturday, 15 June 2013

University of Westminster, Regent Street

 That is how one delegate described this day, and many others concurred. It says a lot about ALL London Region Branch events that the maximum of 200 was reached some time before the day, and that participants came from as far afield as Manchester. It was especially appreciated by beginning teachers and people with few or no MFL colleagues. There was even one EFL teacher present, who said she invariably found useful ideas for her adult classes. What did they come for?  

The day was divided into four parallel one-hour strands, with three presentations in each, some of which were repeated. “Practical ideas for classroom use” was the most important item; there were plenty of those.  

One popular presentation was “Bringing Languages to Life”: Liz Black’s account of some of the teaching items she had developed to make MFL teaching more attractive to the children, involving spiders, dolphins, musical instruments made from landfill rubbish and much more. Liz is happy to help via email.  

The TEEP (Teacher Effectiveness Programme) had been an inspiration for Frédérique Lane ): the “activities to increase students’ engagement in MFL” were varied and eclectic: “Mapping from Memory”, “Brain Dump” and “Market Stall”, to name but a few.  

Further practical ideas, focussed on “Phonics in MFL to aid Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing”, were to be found in Suzy Bewell’s session, which set out to help overcome the frequent problems of pronunciation and spelling encountered in the classroom.  Jacqui Tigerman’s section on German phonics in was a good example of how all presenters avoided concentrating entirely on French.  

Another motivation for attending was overcoming isolation and understanding some of the jargon in use: there were several references to the frequent changes in government policy on issues such as use of the Target Language and to the difficulties caused by the MFL patchwork in feeder primary schools.  Steven Fawkes in: “New Wheels? Innovations in language; progress in language learning” undertook a (slightly sardonic) survey of recent trends. He was not alone in seeing the dismantling of the previous infrastructure of support for MFL as an opportunity for the ALL.  

ALL London also catered for both kinds of need by providing in each delegate pack a USB stick with many of the materials used in some of the presentations, as well as items on ALL and Linguascope (a key supporter of ALL London) and two of the sponsors: Oxford University Press and Vocab Express. 

All three – and several more – organisations were on hand in the Exhibition Hall, where excellent catering at lunch- and tea-time encouraged attention to their stands.  

During both refreshment breaks, a number of speakers talked about current developments in their areas, notably Kathy Wicksteed, who encouraged all to contribute to and benefit from FLAME , a collecting point for MFL teaching materials.