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

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...

#poundlandpedagogy – 10 of the best

Guest blog by Rebecca Harwood At Christmas time our Teaching & Learning team give us all a #poundlandpedagogy present to use in a lesson and report back on. My first thought was a reluctant one - “great, more work” but this was quickly followed by a light bulb moment....

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...

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...

How becoming an active member of ALL can benefit you

ALL Council member David Shanks reflects on the benefits of becoming a member of ALL and engaging in local and regional events. I first became aware of ALL whilst completing my PGCE at the Institute of Education in 2009-10.  I duly took advantage of a next-to-nothing...

How to… thrive as an NQT

Jo Darley, Jenna Eccles and David Shanks share their top tips to help you excel in your first year of teaching.

About the authors:

Jo Darley is a French and Spanish specialist and has many years of experience teaching and leading languages at both primary and secondary levels. She currently supports L.E.A.D Academy trust schools in Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield with their delivery of languages.  Jenna Eccles trained through the School Direct programme, completing her PGCE in 2014. She currently teaches French and Spanish at KS3 and KS4 at Scalby School in Scarborough.  David Shanks works as a consultant and lead practitioner developing the MFL provision across the Harris Federation group of primary and secondary schools in London.
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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...

Convincing your headteacher that primary languages are important

Guest blog by primary language teacher and consultant and ALL Council member Clare Seccombe. Languages became a compulsory part of the Key Stage 2 curriculum in September 2014, and, since then, many schools have made great strides in their work. However, this is not...

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...

Superb ways to combine a language with PE

Guest blog by Lisa Stevens, primary language teacher and ALL Council member. There are several reasons why you might want to combine PE and languages. Firstly, the primary curriculum is rich in content and there are so many interesting and exciting subjects that we...

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...

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...

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...

Building a solid foundation: linking literacy and language

The contribution of language learning to improving literacy - who's saying what:   Indigenous dictionary project aims to keep endangered languages alive: A project in development by the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation aims to revolutionise the teaching and...

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...

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...

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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