Friday, 11th June

1. Still plenty of time to register for the Sheffield University Institute of Education conference, CLIL 2021 The ADiBE Project: Addressing Diversity in Bilingual Education, next Saturday, 19th June.

More info and registration link here

and programme, including some big names in CLIL, here, (PDF of programme below as well.)

Here’s more on the ADIBE (Attention to Diversity in Bilingual Education) project

2. If you speak both French and English, read this article on bilingualism in your weaker language first: And, yes, that is sort of a trick question for those of you who are bilingual in French and English ….

3. National Poetry Day in the UK is not until 7th October this year, but their site is up and running and has some great poems to share – try the Mary Jean Chan and Charlotte Mew ones

and also includes these Counting Songs from BBC Teach How about Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed?

4. And, finally, some thought-provoking DV8 Physical Theatre ‘taster’ videos

Here’s their ‘manifesto’

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Thursday, 10th June

1. Lots of action on the climate front at present: no fewer than twelve new lesson plans here and the PDF below is this month’s newsletter on the Climate Action in Language Education programme, including news of Episode 3 of the Climate Connections podcast series, Language recycling. You’ll find notes on the show and a transcript here

2. Here’s an article on Academic English Collocations from Ana Frankenberg Garcia of the University of Surrey Be sure to do the gap-fill exercise at the beginning, as instructed! PDF below.

3. Collaboration between the universities of Ljubljana, Warsaw and Alcalá (the birthplace of Don Quixote and his creator!) has produced this new MOOC on Literacy for CLIL. More info and registration here and a (very) short introductory video here

4. And, finally, I think this qualifies as ‘showing off’

This second article, a bit less so

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Wednesday, 9th June

1. Spotted by my colleague Ann: the publication Grading Goal Four, edited by Antonia Wulff from Education International (who I mentioned a few weeks ago), reviews the progress we’ve made to date towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

PDF of the introductory chapter below, to give you chance to decide if you want to spend your data on downloading the whole book, which you’ll also find a PDF of below.

2. The next OECD webinar, How can education recover from the pandemic effectively and equitably? is at 11:30 UK time on Friday, 11th June. More info and registration here The speakers include Anna Ekström, the Swedish Minister of Education, and Susan Hopgood, the President of the organisation that’s now behaving a bit like a London bus, Education International. (You wait ages for a London bus and then three come along one after the other!)

3. Also on 11th June, at 12:00 UK time, the next Language and Sustainable Development Webinar, with Leketi Makalela & Clarah Dhokotera talking about To know and to be of ubuntu translanguaging: Towards multilingual multilingualism for decoloniality and sustainable development in Africa More info and registration here

I hesitate to translate ‘ubuntu’, so here’s a short video from Mpho Tutu instead

4. 10 Reflections from Online Teaching from Tyler Tennant on the HASTAC blog  Tyler’s sixth reflection is one I think I’ve touched on before: Providing video feedback is a handy – and faster – method than providing hand-written or typed feedback.

Here’s more about HASTAC itself

5. And, finally, this week’s phobia is one that must make life difficult if you’re a teacher, glossophobia. But I don’t believe the stat that says 75 % of us suffer from it to a significant degree – a little preparatory nervousness, fine and necessary, but not a phobia!

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Tuesday, 8th June

1. I’d have loved one of these when I was teaching, the Pearson Text Analyser (PTA) Here’s a blog post about it

I tried the PTA out on the first six paragraphs of this article from today’s Guardian, ‘Massive internet outage hits websites including Amazon, and Guardian’ and it told me it was B2+ in CEFR terms and 66-70 in terms of Pearson’s own Global Scale of English.

Interestingly, it also told me that the following words from the passage I chose were above the level of my text: terse, affected, twitter, inaccessible, twitch, broke, geographically, streaming. Not quite sure what’s going on there. (I’d love to try it out on some of those old textbooks that always seemed much too difficult for the students they claimed to be written for – maybe I will!)

2. While Pearson are analysing your classroom texts for you, Oxford University Press (OUP) are throwing down the gauntlet, a 10-minute reading challenge gauntlet, to be precise You can download the challenge pack for parents in English or Spanish, to help them help their kids read for ten minutes each day.

3. If you’ve no idea what a kaitenzushi is, you need to read the article by Janeth Elizabeth Diggs-White Hori in the June issue of Humanising Language Teaching (HLT) PDF of the Contents below, and here’s a direct link to the kaitenzushi piece


4. And, finally, Shipwreck: originally planned as a stage theatre production, it’s been re-worked specifically for an audience listening from home or on headphones. It’s described as a “harrowing and hilarious masterpiece about race, religion, family and the nightmarish fallout of the American experiment”. There’s a short trailer on this page, as well as all three half-hour episodes, with and without subtitles I’ve not listened to it all yet, but it starts well!

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Monday, 7th June

1. Parents with a migration background: What does it take to raise bilingual children? is the title of the next lecture in the University of Leiden’s Language policy and practices in the Global North and South: Challenges, opportunities and future directions series at 12:00 UK time on 9th June by Annick De Houwer.

Here’s her abstract (PDF below, just in case)

and here’s a link to registration:

Annick is the Director of the splendidly named Harmonious Bilingualism Network:

When I first worked in Croatia – such a long time ago it was called Yugoslavia! – many of the students I taught at secondary school had been sent home to Zagreb at the age of fifteen or sixteen by parents who were working in Germany and Switzerland ‘to learn their family language properly’ – and that was often a very painful process for all involved.

2. Get your students to truly love collocations is this month’s challenge from one stop english! PDF copies of lesson plan and teacher’s notes below.

Part of the one stop english Vocabulary Builders series You need to register but you don’t need to subscribe.

3. If, like me, your eyes were bigger than your stomach and you didn’t manage to watch all the Hay events you’d booked for, you can at least catch the Opening Night Gala for free this week with a cast that ranges from Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to rapper Guvna B, with a host of literary stars in between!

You can also explore for free – or get your students to explore for themselves – the very rich Hay archive of children’s events and readings

4. And, finally, The Shimmering Extraordinary, six short films from Scottish Ballet, each about and by a different dancer and two to three minutes long

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Friday, 4th June

1. A nice idea from Cambridge University Press that I’ve somehow missed hitherto, their annual Dedicated Teacher Award

Here’s an e-book with the global shortlist of sixty teachers (from nearly 13,000 entries)

and here’s the even shorter shortlist made up of the six regional winner finalists

Plenty of time to enter your colleague for next year’s competition!

2. I advise signing up without delay for the next NILE Insights event, a panel discussion on Video in the Language Classroom, at 16:00 UK time on Tuesday, 8th June, as tickets are limited (Well, that’s what they tell me!)

From the event blurb: “Videos can be a great addition to the classroom but they are not just listening exercises with nice pictures!” More on the panellists here

3. Some listening for the weekend next, for which over-the-ear headphones are recommended (but ear buds will do): Earwig Sonic Theatre Podcasts

Earwig seeks, they claim, “to challenge, inspire, envelope and embrace its audience, inviting you deep into the inner world of its characters, placing you, the listener, at the centre of the drama.” Give it a go?

4. Actors never mention the name of this play, so I won’t either Dominic Hill’s production for the Glasgow Citizens Theatre It’s one hour long and free – but you need to book a ticket – till 30th June. Short enough for use with your students? Watch it first yourself, to see if their stomachs are strong enough!

5. And, finally, these short plays from Watermans Arts Centre in West London, Myths and Adventures From Ancient Greece, about  Pandora (and her box), Persephone (and the Underworld), Midas (and his gold) and Theseus (and the Minotaur) are definitely OK for your students

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Thursday, 3rd June

1. Another good thing with a long name: Intercultural Citizenship Education through Picturebooks in Primary ELTICEPELL for short! Their next symposium is on 7th and 8th June, starting at 09:00 UK time each day. Programme here (NB! Norwegian time) and registration here the sooner the better, as places are limited

Can you remember what ICT4D from yesterday’s message stands for, I wonder? More likely than not, I reckon – the acid test of a good acronym.

2. The plenary speaker at the ICEPELL symposium (at 14:00 UK time on Monday 7th June) is the very popular British writer (for both children and adults), Michael Rosen. He has his own YouTube channel full of stories and poetry with over half a million subscribers

Try the Wicked Tricks of Till Owlyglass with your students?

3. Here’s the latest OECD newsletter for teachers This one has an interesting infographic on How good are young people at detecting misinformation? – 84% of young people in Singapore report being trained in class to spot fake news, compared to only 44% in Switzerland – and a survey for your students to take on the future of education There’s a short introductory video to the survey

4. And, finally, time for another visit to The Conversation? Yes!

Here’s three pieces likely to provoke discussion in (virtual or online) class:

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Wednesday, 2nd June

1. It’s that time of year again! Nominations for the ELTons Outstanding Achievement Award are now open until Sunday 27 June. The Outstanding Achievement Award recognises and celebrates people who have made a lasting, extraordinary impact on teaching and learning, and the ELTons team are keen to spread their nomination net as wide as possible round the globe – that net has maybe been cast too close to home in previous years?

Please think about the members of your own ELT community who’ve made a difference over the years – and nominate them here!

2. Next, a reminder about the Climate Action in Language Education (CALE) campaign. If you missed the CALE professional development modules first time round, don’t worry – they’ll all be available again from 16th June

And if you’ve not yet had chance to listen to the Climate Connections podcast, you can catch both episodes here The second episode has a nice pun in the title – ‘Speaking youth to power’

3. I’ve mentioned the Techfugees website before. It’s one of those sites that’s well worth popping into every now and again They have an interesting looking webinar (with a long title) on 9th June, on Sustainable and Innovative Community Practices as Drivers of a new Agenda on Integration Copy of the webinar agenda here and PDF below.

4. And, finally, I do not suffer from this week’s phobia, ovinophobia, as last week’s holiday in Swaledale proved! Photo below by way of proof.

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Tuesday, 1st June

1. First up today, a joint announcement from NILE and Ready to Run: the two organisations are now working together, and Ready to Run’s videos are now available from this page on the NILE website

You’ll need to become a member of NILE’s teacher community to access the videos, and you can do that here in approximately 35 seconds A case of 2 NILE + 2 R2R = 5, I reckon!

2. “Become an Animal Superhero… Save the animals, Save the World!” National Geographic Learning are offering two online lessons for your students on Wednesday, 9th June: one at 09:30 UK time for kindergarten and grades 1 & 2 students, and a second at 11:00 UK time for grades 3 to 5. More info and registration links here

Early notice as you’ll need to make arrangements for your students to be able to attend; PDF copies of letters for teachers and school leaders below with details of learning resources for the lessons for each class.

3. ICT4D is UNESCO’s Chair in Information and Communication Technologies for Development – acronyms have their advantages sometimes: why use 60 characters when 5 will do? They’ve just signed up to the Kindness Matters campaign – maybe your students would like to share an act of kindness? More details on the ICTAD home page

Last year ICT4D published Education for the most marginalised post‑COVID-19: Guidance for governments on the use of digital technologies in education

Here’s a podcast version of the executive summary of the report and I’ve attached a PDF of the summary below. Well worth a skim even if you’re not in government – yet!

[PDF] 4. And, finally, from the British Museum, A space to be: a musical celebration of Edmund de Waal’s ‘library of exile’

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Friday, 21st May

A bumper crop today as I’m on holiday next week back home in Swaledale! I’ll be back on Tuesday 1st June.

1. Early notice of this year’s British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Language in Africa SIG conference, African languages and social change: Politics, activism, and justice, which runs over a two-week period from1st to 14th June. More info and registration here

It’s an interesting model for a conference, with pre-recorded talks uploaded on 1st June, to give participants plenty of time to view and think about them before panel discussions with (some of) the presenters from 7th to 14th June.

2. Next, a set of slides from Nik Peachey on Exploiting Infographics with your students

More free stuff on Nik’s site – and some stuff you have to pay for!

3. Early notice of Trinity and Regent’s free online Future of ELT conference on Saturday, 26th June, so you can make arrangements to be able to attend on a Saturday, if that’s what you’d like to do Registration link here

Plenaries by Silvana Richardson and Scott Thornbury (tbc) and twenty breakout sessions on English for Specific Purposes, Young Learners, Technology & Innovation, and Teacher Education.

4. Available for one month only, a BBC Radio 4 series of five short programmes on Hans Rosling, the man behind those amazing data presentations, How I Learned To Understand The World

And here’s one of those amazing presentations, on Why the world population won’t exceed 11 billion There’s lots on the web.

5. Beyond Survival, four essays from Graham Leicester of the International Futures Foundation, who I met earlier today for the first time in years, “exploring the resources we need to draw on if we are to bend the arc of history toward the hope of a better day” PDF below.

IFF main site here and lots of interesting resources for working on change together in their ‘Practice Centre’ here

6. Quite a treat, from 19-29 May: Sakari Oramo and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra explore Sibelius together as the crescendo of Oramo’s thirteen years with the RSPO–themes/grande-finale–sibelius-with-oramo/

7. And, finally, another kind of treat: a photo essay on the remote region of Murghab in Tajikistan from the Calvert Journal:

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