The January Event 2008
Click here to see the programme and
joining instructions given before the event.
Click here to read John Bald's account
of the morning.
What a lovely morning we had in each other's company! Yet another truly
inspiring (yes, truly!) set of speakers: Sara Sullivan, Wendy Adeniji and Jen
Many thanks to loads of people, but especially to our speakers, to the LSE
for hosting us (Nick, Inés, Mike and the lovely man at reception), to the
corporate sponsors who contributed to our coffee & biscuits (Advance
Materials + The Language Factory), to CILT/Comenius (personified by Kathryn!)
who always provide really useful info, and to the committee for doing whatever
Helen told them to do! (Especially Kathleen and Monna who sorted out
registration and finance). And of-course, thanks to the 120 or so
who attended and created such a lovely, positive atmosphere
Here's some 'evidence' of what we were up to uploaded at 7.55 pm on the
same day. More photos to come which will feature our fantastic speakers,
Sara Sullivan, Wendy Adeniji and Jen Sutton.
As always, if anyone would rather not be featured on this page, or you don't
like the gushing captions (I'd understand .. just can't help it!..I know there
are far too many exclamation marks!) ...just let Helen
know and she'll remove you / the comment straight away .. she won't ask
questions! Also, if you have photos, please mail
them to her.
Some nice comments we've received within hours of the event ..!
Just wanted to thank you and
your team for an inspiring conference this morning. I too have seen
Wendy a few times and each time I come away with a new idea. I even had
the chance to talk to Joe about digital recordings of GCSE examinations,
which I asked you about a few weeks ago.
wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for organising the
conference, it was a success, I enjoyed it all. It was really nice to
meet people we correspond with on the forum.
you for your support.
Great day today !!!
Thanks to everyone.
you for organising a wonderfully stimulating day. As I often say, I am
so glad my job is also my hobby - it makes life so much easier
attended the event yesterday and my drive up from Bath was very well worth
it! The speakers I heard were both top-notch with some really practical
achievable pieces of advice - nothing I felt was fantasy land.
Thanks so much to the London committee for organising such an enjoyable
stimulating morning - and full marks to LSE for providing the facilities.
Here's an article written by John Bald
who has captured the morning with journalistic flair! Thanks for writing
got more out of this for £10 than from a course I went on last week that cost
£195. I always go back with a new thing to try – the value for money is
was a typical response to another tremendous effort from Helen Myers, the London
Committee, and speakers Sara Sullivan, Jen Sutton and Wendy Adeniji. 120
teachers came from far and wide – Preston, the Isle of Wight and even
Australia, to listen to colleagues present work that had walked the talk and
offer their contributions to tackling the crisis facing the subject.
Sullivan, of Woodlands School, Basildon, summarised the reasons – perfectly
valid reasons – why pupils do not like languages, and then presented her
alternative – “Making them love it”. Sara’s mix involves getting as many
pupils as possible to the country whose language they’re studying, theatre and
drama groups, humorous competitions, organising praise, bringing in successful
ex-pupils, snappy starters, beginning the GCSE course in KS3, having Year 9
pupils help in primary schools, and organising GCSE work so that no new material
is presented after Christmas in Year 11.
Sutton, of Davenant Foundation School, had been using the school version of
Michel Thomas’s Spanish course with adults. Her presentation went straight
into two of Thomas’s main strengths – his ability to get students
constructing accurate sentences from the outset, and his use of common features
between the student’s own language and the new language to build vocabulary
without having to learn completely new words. This had an immediate appeal to
those of us who were new to Spanish, as we could all understand what we were
doing from the outset. Jen’s talk also brought out the compromises that have
been made in adapting Thomas’s ideas to the classroom – he didn’t use
writing, for example, and the National Curriculum requires it – and we await
the results of current trials. Her own initial experience was positive, with a
75% retention rate in the adult class, and appreciative comments from Y11 pupils
who had used the techniques. I’ve posted notes of my meetings with Michel
Thomas on www.johnbald.typepad.com/language, with a Guardian piece written after
his BBC2 demonstration lessons in 1997. Comments and further ideas welcome.
consultant Wendy Adeniji’s presentation on whiteboards was down to earth and
practical, both in her clear explanations of how to do it, and in her analysis
of the IWB’s contribution to learning, for example, in making it easier for
pupils to see the links and differences between written and spoken language. New
ideas for me included www.applian.com’s software that lets you record video
streams from the internet for around £50, and internet searches in the foreign
language – fumer, for example – that quickly locate relevant material. Wendy
even suggested going into European sites, such as www.yahoo.fr (and .es, and
.de) www.wideo.fr to get round blocks that are sometimes placed on internet
access. More from Wendy on www.trainingforlearning.co.uk.
Further photos from Danièle: