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Showing posts from June, 2014

Need an assembly talk for KS2-3?

I'm a bit off topic here, but I recently shared an assembly talk I wrote with a nephew of mine who teaches. very little to do with languages, but a lot to do with communication. So here it is. You are welcome to copy or adapt.


Updates and case studies

I've been fairly bust working onnew resourcesrecently, with an empahasis on exam-related intermediate (GCSE/IGCSE) level work.

Papers often include questions where students have to idemtify an attitude, opinion or point of view. I have written a resource on this with 100 statements covering a range of topics. Students could read through these, identify if they are positive, negative or neutral. This would make a very good 20 minute reading task, plus any time for correcting. I have provided an answer key.

Another common format is gap-filling to test comprehension. I have done two separate resources on this, each with a slightly different format. Answer key provided.

I have just uploaded an article with exercises on Sting. Apparently he has said he will not bequeath his fortune to his children. He says it would be an albatross around their necks.  

Other recent additions include a near beginner parallel reading task on vampires. I hope that's not too creepy.

For advanced level I ha…

What about differentiation and setting?

The newly published TALIS survey from the OECD, who brought you PISA, produced all kinds of interesting results based on questions put to teachers and heads across the world.

As far as England is concerned I was particularly struck by two points: firstly, how little we use textbooks compared with other nations surveyed and secondly (not disconnected) how much English teachers claim to use differentiated work with their pupils.

The report shows that teachers in the "highest performing" nations/jurisdictions - I insist on putting that in quotation marks, as the term refers only to the evidence of OECD PISA tests which only look at maths, science and reading at age 15 - do not use differentiation as much as us.

Now, it is true that differentiation has been a buzzword for quite a few years and shows no immediate signs of going away. Whenever the word was mentioned in my school I had slight feelings of guilt, because all we really did in our MFL department in terms of differenti…

Lionel Messi resource

Having just watched the best footballer in the world Lionel Messi score two goals against Nigeria, I thought I'd update a resource I made. It's a text with exercise aimed at intermediate level (GCSE or very good Year 9 in England and Wales). Here it is:

Identifying attitudes, opinions and points of view

Intermediate level (GCSE/IGCSE) exam often feature questions in the reading comprehension paper which get students to identify attitudes, opinions and points of view in statements. You know the routine: students mark down P, N or PN, depending on whether the statement is positive, negative or presents a mixed view. We tell students to look out for words like "mais" or "par contre" if they are trying to spot mixed views.

I've written 100 such statements for the Y10-11 page of They cover 16 different topics. If I were to use the resource I would simply get the class to go through them in about 20 minutes, then give answers. Students would have a percentage score - this usually provide an added motivation. The task provides lots of reading comprehension input. You could extend it by getting students to produce their own sets of opinions as a writing task.

Here are some samples from the resource: