Theme of the fortnight:

The ALL Language Zones contain our five language publications – Francophonie, Deutsch Lehren und Lernen, Vida Hispánica and Tuttitalia, plus new and specially selected archive content – an entirely interactive and interconnected archive on language teaching practice. They also contain networking and information areas for each language: for cultural information, discussion, news and updates.

This fortnight’s theme on our Language Zones is Learner Independence – featured articles include: ‘L’Arte’ at Alphington Primary School: Discovering a new way in a Discovery Centre, Learning to Talk and Talking to Learn, Mixed-ability Classes: Curse for the More Able Student? Le tableau numérique intéractif (TNI) dans les salles de classe du 21ième siècle, Brian and the splendour of meanings that matter and Taking hold of learning: developing learner autonomy.

Useful resources to facilitate learner independence include:

Languages Today: Issue 22 of the magazine focussed on learner independence – and how to encourage pupils to take control of their own learning, and become independent, autonomous learners. We hear about the ‘multilingual choice approach’ to language learning in South Australia; select our Best 10 ideas to support students with their language learning at home… and much more!

Language Futures: This is an exciting initiative which enables ALL to build on its firm foundations of fostering peer-to-peer support, developing and sharing resources and building local and regional professional networks for teachers of languages. It also supports some of the key aims of ALL around advancing understanding of language learning and the techniques and approaches for successful language teaching as well as promoting linguistic diversity and broadening language provision. The approach originated as part of a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Special Initiative, ‘Learning Futures,’ developed in partnership with the Innovation Unit. It was developed by Linton Village College in Cambridgeshire as a prototype for a very different model of language learning. For more information about the Language Futures approach, please contact Clodagh Cooney, Language Futures Project Manager at languagefutures@all-languages.org.uk, visit http://languagefutures.org.uk or follow us on http://twitter.com/LanguageFutures.

Links into Languages: provides a treasure trove of freely available project ideas for language teachers to try in their own classrooms, including:

  • Histoires sans paroles: This project aimed at easing the transition between primary and secondary languages, by using picture stories to encourage pupils to produce creative and independent spoken work. The pupils have received input on how to use dictionaries, verb tables and phrase toolkits successfully in their language learning which was then applied to the picture stories.
  • Real Communication in Modern Languages: This project explored the use of video-conferencing between schools in Exeter and schools in France and Germany with 3 focal points: practice for GCSE; discussion of current affairs at AS and A level; links with a local business for vocational languages.
  • Languages Live: This project aimed to engage KS3 students in creative responses to language learning. The focus was on creativity, independence and confidence, developed through a range of home learning projects. The end of the project was a big event called ‘Languages Live’ where students from all five schools came together to share their work and take part in workshops in a celebration of languages.
  • Now You Are Talking: The project explored speaking skills with specific focus on students’ confidence, fluency and spontaneity in speaking. Its aim was to engage students with a variety of different approaches and to encourage creativity and independence with the target language.

Skills building: Thinking through language learning with Curriculum Now – developing thinking skills to encourage autonomous, reasoning, enquiring and creative learners.

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