The new school year begins here




The new school year has begun. 2014-2015 will bring its share of fun and surprises. Welcome to all my new students, young and old, to my blog. You will need to visit these pages very regularly, so save me in your favourites !!! Take some time to have a look around, find things that interest you and that will be useful to you. But above all, take a moment to read, understand and reflect on my quote of the day.


Translation Programme

In the days before the reforms to the Baccalauréat, I used to work intensively on translation as a skill to help the students to prepare for the test which was worth 6/20. In the final year before all changed, I had a fabulous group of 11 students and they got really motivated by translating. And of the 11, nearly all of them continued with languages in their studies, in some shape or form. Having worked for two years as a translator, in a previous life, I absolutely loved sharing with them the buzz of translating and searching for the exact word or expression. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I will grant you that, but if you love it, well, you really do just love it.


Translation is, to my mind, an excellent way of developing language skills and of encouraging a broadening of vocabulary. As part of my final chapter with my L LVA class this year, I am going to introduce them to translation. We started this morning, and I have to say, it was not as smooth as I would have liked. “Il faut lire tout ça ?” was one reaction. “Ca ne sert à rien”, was another !! Ho hum – keep smiling. We will get there in the end.

Maybe my text on Easter Eggs didn’t grab them, but to be perfectly frank, some of them wouldn’t know they were being grabbed by a text if it jumped up and bit them on the backside !! In a group of 32, half of whom will be giving up the option at the end of the year, I am going to have to accept that some of them will be left behind and that is never comfortable. But for those who will be continuing, they deserve the chance to see what it is all about and see if it does float their boat.

If you want to see more about what we are doing in the Translation programme, you can click HERE. Not only will we be working on translating different texts, but we will also do some machine translation and hopefully, a bit of live translating / interpreting, for fun. Watch this space.


My Writing Jar

I really like this activity that I am going to talk about now, called “My Writing Jar”. It involves literally a jam jar, filled with random (or seemingly random) words. The students pick out a certain number per table and they have to make up a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, incorporating those words. It is such a simple idea but it works brilliantly every time. You can vary it by getting the pupils to add their own words to the jar, if you prefer.2014-04-14 20.19.51