Welcome to the rambling thoughts of a 40-something languages teacher with too much time on his hands, most of it spent in the kitchen. If you have any comments or questions about language learning or resources please email or follow me on twitter @dominic_mcg
So here are some authentic links to do with the internet:
This first one is amazing. It's from jeunesse77.fr and is called Touche pas à mon poste ! It is a 24 page pdf document containing lots of information and statistics (remember exam boards love statistics!) and is primarily aimed at young people.
Steve Smith's frenchteacher.net site also has some fantastic resources in the free samples section but I'd recommend that all teachers of French subscribe to access all of his excellent resources for the price of a text book.
Obviously, I won't use all of these resources with my students inn class but I shall give them a list of the sites for their own independent reading.
Over the years I've found that the students who achieve best are the ones who read independently and there's nothing wrong with pointing them in the right direction.
This week my department was lucky enough to get some ipad training.
I know. I said "lucky" and "ipad" in the same sentence.
Those of you who regularly read this blog will remember that I am not always that kind to the ipad. A few of my blog posts are testament to that.
However, I have always stated that rather than give tech to teachers and say "get on with it", schools should be providing staff with training to use it properly.
My wonderful department employed the services of ipad, MFL and all earth-based technology expert Joe Dale this week.
So what did we learn?
Well, obviously the best thing would be for you to contact Joe and get some training first hand.
I'll go through some of the apps ( I still hate this word!!!) we used and provide some links:
This is a simple app to decide which person in a group gets to go first.
Easy to use and free.
This is a paid app (£0.69) but very useful. It can be used as a random name selector a random question selector or a random topic selector. Easy to set up and use but wheels can't be shared.
This free app allows the user to create a narrated story or presentation by adding a commentary to photos or pictures. This is an ideal way to get students talking about lots of different topics and can be edited so that only the "perfect" version is saved.
I've used this for a while and I and my students love it. I 've been using this for quite a while and it featured in my workshop at #ililc4 in February.
This app allows student to create a talking avatar and customise its expression, clothing, features and choose or upload a background. The user can upload 30 seconds of dialogue or use the text to speech facility. This application is free but, after its most recent update, some of the features are now "in app purchases" (I hate that phrase!!).
Yakit kids is free and jolly good fun. Again, I discovered this at my #ililc4 workshop.
It allows the user to upload a photo and add eyes, noses and mouths to puppetise inanimate objects and make them talk. Great for getting students to speak in the target language and they can have fun changing the pitch of the voices, too.