Tales from the Oxford University Press office… Looking back to lessons learnt and creativity generated.

We’re all very busy here in the office, looking forward to the ALL Language World conference in just over a month in Rugby. While preparations for us are full steam ahead, we thought it might be a good time to look back at the lessons we learnt from last years’ conference.

A lasting impression

Something that jumped out in my mind, from Liz’s 2015 post-conference blog, was the point about creativity. It made me think and I realised that perhaps we are all striving for a bit of creativity but in various ways? Whether this be classroom creativity within teaching a specific content type such as grammar, the creativity of students in their idea generation or the creativity that can be seen within spontaneous talk or even the creativity seen within publisher marketing materials(!) – I wondered if perhaps this feeling of creativity might be what inspires many of us and keeps us on our toes?

In her post, Liz mentioned the fantastic ‘Sketchnoting’ that Lisa Stevens and Clare Seccombe did at the conference last year for many of the talks that she attended. In case you missed them, make sure to have a look at these wonderful sketchnotes that she shared with us on her blog, or go to Lisa’s talk at this year’s conference on Friday 11th.


Sketchnoting for beginners – Lisa Stevens, Friday 11th March

Making notes is a vital skill for all ages and sketch noting is a highly effective and useful way of doing just that. You can call it visual note taking, doodling or scribbling; it’s all sketchnoting, creating a personal visual story of something you’re reading or hearing. This workshop will explore how to sketchnote and its applications in language teaching and learning.

While I haven’t ever employed the techniques used in ‘Sketchnoting’, I can appreciate that this is a fantastic visual way of making notes to jog our minds and remember important or useful information. I know that Liz recommends using techniques like these in teaching!

It also reminded me of an article I read in the Guardian online recently about how being a part of a community can inspire creativity. The article was written by well-known illustrator: Sarah McIntyre. Sarah’s article  discusses how she came to work in a studio with other illustrators from previously working at home and drowning in her own love of carbohydrates . She found that working with others, both from a distance online and then in a shared working space, actually boosted her creativity through shared experience and helping each other. Almost exactly the same way that attending the various talks and presentations of a conference creates a shared experience for all of us at ALL and leaves us feeling inspired towards our teaching and the world of MFL.

Looking forward to the ALL Language World conference this year I realised that it is being a physical part of this community that is, for me, the most exciting part.

Claire Chad is the Senior Campaign Manager for MFL at Oxford University Press. In what seems like a previous life, she taught French and Spanish at both KS2 and KS3 and KS4 and now takes any opportunity to immerse herself and her young daughter in the world of MFL.

Oxford University Press can be found this year at ALL Language World conference at stand 31-36. Pop on over to browse our new publishing for the 2016 specifications for GCSE and A Level, our extensive KS3 course offerings, to be dazzled by Kerboodle or just for a chat. We’d love to hear from you!

One thought on “Tales from the Oxford University Press office… Looking back to lessons learnt and creativity generated.

  1. Lisa Stevens says:

    Thanks very much for the mention – and the advert for my session at Language World. I was very interested to follow the link to the article in The Guardian online. I know that creativity and the visual aspect are very important for me in my own (language) learning.
    Lisa x

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