Happy 2015

Happy New Year to you all. I hope that you have had a restful time during the past two weeks and that 2015 will be a good year for you. We will all have been deeply touched by the tragic events last week and we will consider the impact of this in a later post. We finished last term by considering advertising. What can you do with this one? Campaign ‘Europe-it’s just next door’   SNCF teamed up with the advertising agency TBWA Paris to create an ad campaign that ‘sends people’ to other European cities, by just opening a door!

Depending on the language experience of the learners you use this with, there are so many things you could do to exploit this clip. What are our aspirations for and expectations of different ages of language learners? In the coming weeks we will consider the A level picture, the GCSE reform and how important KS3 is ……and the teaching of languages in our primary schools of course. Don’t hesitate to ask a question or make a suggestion for a post, I will try to provide support as well as I can.

liz Happy New Year(Image courtesy of Lingotastic. If you have small children yourselves or teach young children you might like to have a look at this very interesting post on their blog.)

It is good to get learners thinking about aspirational goals at the start of the New Year. Here is a teaching or homework idea for the first couple of weeks of term that can be used with any age group. The Olympic Legacy Programme Be the Best you can be used the term visioning a lot and asked pupils to create success maps and dream walls. I thought the ideas and planning were excellent when I used them. liz 21st Century Legacy

Going beyond Sport – this is an Educational Legacy to enable young people to ‘be the best that they can be’ in whatever area they choose.

You could get the pupils or students you teach to choose 5 key things they would like to achieve. Depending on how much time you want to spend on this it could be just a timeline for a few months or a longer one of their lives like some of the examples on the internet. They might like to illustrate their life up to now as well anyway. This should lead to some really good speaking! It can be a good opportunity to revise vocabulary and structures. If they need prompts these questions might help. You can translate them into the language you teach.

  1. What is important to you in your life? Friends? Family? Your possessions? Money?
  2. How would you feel if you had to give up some things that were important to you to achieve a goal? (Useful if they play a sport competitively or an instrument)
  3. What would YOU like to achieve in the future… Picture yourself in your mind – doing what you would love to do.
  4. What successes have you already achieved?
  5. What would you like people to say about you?
  6. Think of some symbols – something that you can identify your success with.

They could use Wordle or Word it out at this stage if there is time. They could add images from the internet to visualise these stages, illustrating each key point and, labelling them in the target language. Setting targets out on a time line in this way, makes it very clear when they want to achieve a certain thing by and will help them focus. The final thing can be how they will achieve their goals. Using an interactive timeline creator, for example: the readwritethink timeline creator or timetoast will motivate them. This timeline website can be used in different languages and also has a video tutorial how to upload clips etc.

Students can easily sign up for their own account with their school email or home email if they are working on this as a homework task and then create their own timeline of events/stages for their dream. It is easy for students to set the time scale/measurement and add images from the internet (if they work on this in school it helps if they save their photos on a USB stick first) and once the timeline is created, each section can be clicked on and read. (You may want to go on one of these websites yourself in advance to create a mini version for demonstration and so you fully understand how it works.)

Finally, ask them to share this with their partner using as much target language as possible and then a small group. Some of the best ones could be chosen for whole class discussion.

I hope you enjoy trying out this different way of setting New Year resolutions! Of course I’ve been thinking about what I hope to do this year. I gave my family at Christmas the chance to say what I should improve on and they didn’t say anything (!) and then I asked a group of friends and one of them said, ‘How long have we got Liz!’.

2 thoughts on “Happy 2015

  1. Heike Bruton says:

    Thanks Liz; loving the timeline idea! Works from basic ‘daily routine’ right through to more complex 6th Form projects. Planning to try this out asap! Heike 🙂

    • Liz Black says:

      Dear Heike, thanks for your message. Let me know sometime how the timelines work out with your different groups! It will be interesting to see how this helps the students of all ages to stay motivated. All the best for 2015, Liz

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