Features

These articles focus on specific language learning and teaching matters to stimulate your thinking and encourage you to engage and find out more.

Many of these ideas are contributed through guest blogs written by members of the language teaching community.

If you have a great idea to cascade on to others and would like to contribute a blog to the collection, then please get in contact with our editor at editor@all-languages.org.uk

My Best 10 – How to enhance listening skills

Here ALL members Laura Simons and Lisa Stevens share their tips for teaching listening exercises in primary and secondary classrooms.  Tips inlcude songs, ideas for social media, texts and games. To learn more, explore My Best 10, a taster article from the Languages...

How to maximise progress in listening at KS2 and KS3

Turn your students into active listeners – inside and outside the languages classroom – with these practical tips Listening in the context of foreign language learning is not just a neurological process, but also a cognitive one. Not only do listeners hear sounds,...

The World Cup is on the way…

The World Cup begins on 14 June 2018. To make sure you are prepared, take a look at the following ideas and resources we have compiled.  Link your language lessons to football Work in teams…arrange your classroom in groups and give each table a country or team name...

Spring is the season for speaking, it seems!

  Spring seems to be the time of year where debating and speaking competitions come to the fore. ALL would like to share its involvement in these events, the ways in which ALL members can become involved, and a range of resources to enhance your teaching of speaking....

Passion & creativity in the face of adversity. MFL teaching in 2018

Guest blog by David. K. Slide, Head of Languages, Bristol. It’s 10am on a dull Tuesday morning. Period 2. Year 8 has entered the classroom. 30 pupils. As I close the door I am overcome with a sense of freedom. Free from data, free from book reviews, free from...

Talking about Key Stage 2-3 Transition in MFL

Ease into transition with a complete set of resources to help support your pupils as they leave Key Stage 2 and make the transition into Key Stage 3. ALL Connect is ALL's CPD programme for teachers of languages at KS2 and KS3, which was introduced in September 2014,...

Why not end this year with a themed day?

As the end of the year approaches, why not plan a themed celebration of languages? General ideas for a themed day: Invite children to come to school dressed in the colours of the flag of the language they are learning or as a famous person from that country Decorate...

Keeping cool in the summer 2018 MFL GCSEs

Guest blog by Rebecca Harwood, Head of Languages. From the positive attention my recent “Keep Cool” display board generated on my departmental Twitter account, I am sure I am not the only teacher feeling ever so slightly anxious about her cohort’s summer 2018 MFL exam...

Making best use of your member benefits

Guest blog post by Jane Harvey, ALL President Elect News and Events – keeping you updated I’ve been having a good look at what there is under the News and Events tab on the ALL website - and very worthwhile it was. I started with Consultations. Influencing government...

Brexit and modern languages in the UK curriculum

Guest blog by Peter Downes The recent British Council publication ‘Languages for the Future’ spells out clearly the challenge facing the MFL fraternity in the UK. MFL are fading in both the secondary and HE sectors at precisely the time when we are going to need more...

Top tips for memorising and embedding vocabulary

Guest blog by Laura Simons, Second in Languages Faculty, Dylan Thomas Community School, Swansea, ALL Council Member and South Wales Network Lead Being a learner of many languages over the years has meant that I have often looked for ways to memorise vocabulary. In...

How can you foster a pupil’s independent learning skills?

Words: Clodagh Cooney, ALL Council Member, Language Futures Project Manager, Nottingham Primary Hub What is independence in language learning and how can it be encouraged? In Languages Today issue 22 on Learner Independence, Terry Lamb (Professor of Languages and...

Using a Project-Based Learning approach to support language learning

Project-Based Learning (PBL) is when students design, plan and carry out an extended project that produces an output, such as a product, publication or presentation. Ideally, these outputs are exhibited to an external audience which can be a powerful motivator for...

The role of mentor volunteers in the languages classroom

The most recent Language Trends Survey speaks about the importance of offering pupils the opportunity to engage with native speakers and of providing a model of authentic language and culture. However, due to financial pressures, many schools are no longer able to...

How to teach languages through art

Words: Nicky Mcintosh, Learning Team Leader, Culture Coventry 'What can you see in this picture?' 'Can you find the words in your dictionary?' 'What is she thinking?' ‘Portrait of Miss Ashwanden in Cookham’ by Stanley Spencer featured in the teaching MFL through Art...

Pointers to setting effective homework

Guest Blog by Crista Hazell (Head of Department and ALL Council member) How to get more from the homework you set? What specific activities can be given as homework which will be effective? Homework or out of school learning, gets a bad reputation. I’ve always seen...

Ways to sustain the profile of languages

Looking for ways to sustain the profile of languages post- European Day of Languages?  Noelia Rivas shares her top tips to make languages more prominent in school life. Are you thinking of ways to give an extra dimension to language learning? Would you like to take...

Making Transition seamless

Guest blog by Lisa Probert, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, St Helen and St Katharine school, ALL Council member and Chair of the secondary steering group. At the start of a new school year our thoughts inevitably turn to transition. New colleagues, new classes and...

Secrets to giving effective feedback

Guest blog by Natalie Campbell, Trinity Catholic School, Nottingham. We all need to know what to do next in order to move forward. Whether you are writing a creative piece or speaking about a recent event or a future plan, a second opinion is useful. In the MFL...

ALL Connect

ALL Connect is ALL's CPD programme for teachers of languages at KS2 and KS3, which was introduced in September 2014, following receipt of grant funding from the DfE. Originally designed as a taught programme across numerous themed modules, ALL Connect was written by...

Focus on Wales

Wales has been given a slightly negative press recently in the media with stories such as 'Teachers in Wales ‘worried’ about future of foreign languages' and 'Wales teacher recruitment in crisis.'  However, the picture isn’t as bleak as it seems, so teachers in Wales,...

Spotlight on learning and teaching German

Following on from the superb article featuring John le Carré celebrating why we should learn German, and the fantastic buzz this gave to language teachers around the country, ALL wanted to join the celebration of all things German. We have compiled a few highlights...

What is the future for languages?

Guest writer, Ian Bauckham, CEO of Tenax Schools Trust (Bennett Memorial Diocesan School) and author of the report on the Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review  writes about the future for languages, using the example of Michaela Community School.  What is the...

Language Trends Survey

On Friday 16 June, The British Council issued its latest Language Trends Survey looking at the main issues currently facing language teaching in schools in England. For a summarised version, please read The British Council’s press release.  To access the full report,...

Refocusing Assessment in languages

What does it mean to be a successful student in languages?  What is the purpose of assessment? What does progress look like?  How can progress be assessed most effectively?  How do assessment practices in a department contribute/work with whole school policy?  These...

The fight for survival: language and identity

How does language influence culture and identity?   One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly half of the ~7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear. But what is lost when a language falls silent? People and nature blur in the world’s...

Inclusive Language Learning

Languages for all - why should everyone learn a language? Learning a language boosts self esteem, improves communication, and opens doors.   According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: Research shows that language learning has a whole host...

Speaking your mind: links between languages and other skills

The many ways in which languages boost brain power - who's saying what: How morality changes in a foreign language: "Moral judgments made in a foreign language are less laden with the emotional reactions that surface when we use a language learned in childhood"....

Born Global

News from the British Academy Born Global is a British Academy project on languages and employability, which set out to develop a deeper understanding of language needs for employment, employer attitudes to languages and how languages are used in the workplace for...

Talking the talk: trading our way out of recession

The many ways in which languages can boost growth - who's saying what:   Why native English speakers fail to be understood in English – and lose out in global business: there is mounting evidence that in international business, native English speakers are failing to...

Immersion learning: what impact does it have?

Language as a medium in education   Does it work?   Case Study: The Bilingual Stream – preparing the children for the world of tomorrow: The positive impact this approach is having on children and how learning another language is enhancing and enriching the school's...

Features Language and community cohesion: uniting cultural groups

Can language learning unite a community?   Understanding a community's language to improve social sohesion   Languages in the Rainbow Nation: Nearly 4000 schools across South Africa are expected to introduce an African language in Grade 1 next year following the...

Languages are Great Britain

How Great Britain benefits from its diverse culture and languages   Saturdays for success: How supplementary education can support pupils from all backgrounds to flourish: Published in September 2015 this IPPR report makes recommendations for how more pupils, schools...

Languages Count!

It all adds up to languages...   Scientific studies have proven that honing literacy skills directly affects mathematical skills, and that the best practices in literacy education should be applied in all subjects: If students applied reading comprehension tools like...

Inspiration for students: celebrities and language learning

Some celebrity inspiration to encourage your students to learn a language...   Actors:   Audrey Hepburn: Besides being naturally bilingual in English and Dutch, Audrey Hepburn was also fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, and German. You can hear her speaking all of...

CBI/Pearson survey on language skill employability

CBI/Pearson survey reveals need for emerging markets language skills Languages such as Mandarin and Arabic are becoming increasingly in demand by business wishing to break into these new, fast growing markets, the new CBI/Pearson survey has revealed. The growing need...

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