Saturday, 18 March 2017

¿Quién es el asesino? A murder mystery for Year 8.

This week I finished teaching the preterite in Spanish to my year 8 class.

I wanted to do a lesson which was fun, but challenging, to consolidate their learning.

So I came up with this (all photos I used have been removed for copyright reasons or to protect the innocent/guilty):



Starter: The setting

Students in pairs or groups figure out what has happened.
They explain it to the others in their group.

Task 1: Alibi

Students write an alibi in Spanish saying:
- where there where and the time
- what they were doing and giving an opinion about it
- who they were with

Task 2: Taking statements

Students are now a police officer taking statements.
An opportunity for speaking and listening.
In groups, students give their alibi, the others take notes in English.
They then use the information they have gathered to decide who has given the least plausible alibi.

Task 3: Giving evidence in court

Students now have to prepare a statement to give in court.
This involves writing a paragraph to say what the murderer said they were doing and giving alternative explanations as to what you thought they were really doing.

Plenary

Volunteers give their evidence to a massive photo of Judge Judy.

There are no wrong or right answers to this task.
As long as the students are using their Spanish, then that's fine.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

A2 French - Women's rights

The 8th of March is International Women's Day.

By coincidence my A2 class will be studying women's rights this week.

Here are some links to articles, sites and resources in French:


  • The official Journée Internationale des Femmes site is here, so that's a good place to start.



  • sos.femmes is also a cornucopia of articles, information and links. 

I wrote a post about it a few years ago here.





  • Many resources, articles, cartoons from FIDH. This site is also available in English and Spanish



  • The official UN site









  • A video clip from RTL news (Belgian) with an article: Droit à l' avortement following funding cuts by Donald Trump.






















I hope you can find something interesting in all this.








Saturday, 25 February 2017

Carnival - links and resources

It's Carnival time!!

Carnival is celebrated in different forms around the world.

In Brazil a 5 day festival takes place with processions and dancing.

In the French speaking world Mardi Gras is celebrated with parties, concerts, and parades.

In Germany and Austria Fasching, or Karneval, takes the form of processions and drinking lots of alcohol. Traditionally, alcohol was banned during Lent, so Germans would drink as much as possible during Fasching.

And in the UK we make pancakes...

Yeah, pancakes.

With lemon and sugar.

Do we know how to party or what?


So here is a list of links to resources in French, German, and Spanish:

French

TES Mardi Gras Resources

Powerpoint from primary resources

Le Carnaval en France: quelques ressources

Activities from education et numerique

Display and quiz from the grid

A free KS2 resource from brilliant publications

Some resources (in English) from activity village

Pages from 1jour1actu here, here, and here

some activities and links from apfvalblog

Carneval ressources from TV5monde

lepointduflé has lists of videos about mardi gras here including the one below:


German

TES Fasching Resources

History and culture of Karneval and Fasching from the German Way

Was ist Fasching? from kidsweb and creative things to make and do here

Karneval activities from UKGerman Connection

Two audio resources from audio-lingua.net

Karneval resources from Frau Kirschner's Website

Karneval im Deutschunterricht from dw.de



Spanish

TES Carnaval Resources

Carnival resources from Kennedy Spanish

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Le racisme - A Level links and resources

I'm just getting around to finishing off this topic with my A2 students so I thought I'd share the free resources and links I've used and planned to use:

The (sadly late) political cartoonist Chimulus had some excellent work published in Nouvel Observateur




  • News story of a 24 year old man imprisoned for racism in Arras




I also found this video from singe savant:



  • TES resources on le racisme (These are mostly free - I can't believe people are charging money for selling exam boards' stimulus cards!!!)
  • There are lots of resources for all A2 topics here from MFL Online
There you go.

That should keep you quiet for a while.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Saint Valentine's Day - links and resources

Loathe it or hate it, if you've left the house recently you will not have been able to escape the hearts, flowers and tacky cards reminding us that it's only 3 weeks until St Valentine's Day.

My students are obsessed with it and I'm sure yours are, too.

So, here is a list of links and resources for you to use to appease the hormonal little monsters:

French:

  • For younger students there are some bricolages at teteamodeler.com
  • Lots of resources on the TES site (only the free ones)
  • Some great links form 1jour1actu here and here   
  • Valentine crossword and wordsearch puzzles from Andrew Starr at mflresources
  • Valentine's vocabulary and another wordsearch from brilliantbook
  • A scheme of work about Valentine's Day with resources in pdf format from Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation

















Spanish:

Valentine's Day resources from TES

Ideas from Woodward Spanish

A bilingual page with history and facts about Valentine's Day

 Interactive games from Online Free Spanish

Links to resources about El Día de Amor from spanishmama





German:

10 fun facts about Valentinstag in English

German Valentinstag free resources from TES

Links and resources from MrShea.com

Familienleben.ch has a page on celebrating Valentinstag with children with ideas and links to activities

and what about this?


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Google translate - you get what you pay for.

As the term has worn on, my students have got more confident.

Sadly, this means that in order to try to impress me, they have fallen into the murky mire that is the online translator.

In particular, Google Translate.

So, how do I explain to a group of keen, well meaning 12 year olds that this is what Alfie Atkins would call a "nopey no"?

I can only take so much "Vivo en Puente de Shotley (I live in Shotley Bridge)" or "My  favourite actress is Angelina Pretty One (a translation from French to English)".

Seriously.

I've blogged before about Google Translate, saying how much I love it, but in the hands of an untrained amateur, it can be a very dangerous weapon.

Last week, I gave them "the lecture" but I tried to use an analogy they'll understand.

It went a lot like this:

Me: Who has a games console? A PS4 or an X-Box or something like that?

(Lots of hands go up.)

Me: And, who has ever downloaded a game for free from the app store or google play?

(Lots of hands go up.)

Me: And which are the best? The free, downloaded ones or the PS4 ones?

(Lots of shouting out of PS4, X-Box etc.)

Me: Why?

(Lots of hands go up.)

Students: They are more challenging and more fun... They don't have adverts all the time...You can play against other people online... The graphics and sound are better....

Me: Why are the games better? Why don't they have adverts?

(Silence. The sound of thinking)

Student: Because they cost a lot of money?

Me: Bingo! Give that child a coconut! (Coconuts are the main form of currency in north east England.)

Me: So why is Google Translate not good for our needs?

Students: Because it's free?

(I think they got it! In your faces, Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross!!!)

Me: Incidentally, a decent online translation service starts at around $800 a month...

Stunned silence.


Saturday, 26 November 2016

How the Snipping Tool makes better linguists

Quite an intriguing title for this one.

My school has an amazing VLE (Frog)

I mainly use the Assignment Manager feature to set homework.



It's great! You can issue a set and due date, it will send it directly to your students, you can up load any resources needed and parents can log in and see what their offspring are up to.

It's a fantastic way of setting listening homework, too.

It also saves a lot of paper and photocopying and therefore money!

Students can indicate when they have completed the task and can email their work directly to their teacher, so there are almost no "I left it on the bus" or "my dog ate it"s anymore.

One problem I've noticed though, is that if you have a text to translate, or a reading comprehension and you post a word document, there is nothing to stop the students copying and pasting this into an online translator.

So what I have started doing is using the Snipping Tool in Windows accessories to take screenshots of any texts I include in my students' assignments.













If you haven't used Snipping Tool before I recommend it. It's good fun and you can also use the Free Form feature to cut around things on your screen.















You can paste the images straight into a document and also save the snips as png, gif, jpeg or html files.

It won't stop everyone using google translate, there will always be one student, but it will make it an incredibly tedious task.

It'll be easier for them to just do the work!

Enjoy.