Language Show 2011

I finally made it to a Language Show event! Been meaning to for years, but the impetus given to me in my work over the last year by the #mfltwitterati made it a no-brainer, this time!

Travelling up with @jowinchester simply added to the fun – especially when, mid-conversation about @joedale as we hit London traffic for the last mile or two before Olympia, who should draw alongside at the lights but the Dale himself, being chauffeured to the event by @helenmyers! Who’d’ve thunk it?

After an initial mooch around the myriad stands on offer, I headed for my first seminar – James Stubbs (http://bit.ly/thd0gA) talking about “Sticky Grammar”. It soon became clear that this was the place to be, as the room was heaving (as was the case for all the seminars I attended all day – a good sign), and the twitterwaves were soon thrumming with messages from #mfltweeps establishing who was there, wearing what, standing/sitting where, etc.

The seminar itself was full of ideas for embedding grammar into lesson routines in a way which is both ambitious and realistic (if that makes any sense whatsoever!). I will try and come back to this another time, as I want to revisit some of the ideas in more depth. I particularly like the notion of adding a visualiser to the array of in-class tools at my disposal…

Coffee with various tweeps followed: @joedale, @icpjones, @sghani, @msmfl, @suzibewell, @crepeaunutella, @vickitoria35, @jowinchester, @chapeluser…and more besides!

Next up: the man himself, @joedale, with a whistle-stop tour of the functionality of Posterous as a platform for blogging. As a current user of this tool, but a relative newcomer to it (especially since they moved the goalposts not long ago!), this was gold dust. The only problem with Joe’s trainings are that there is SO much content that I will simply HAVE to revisit the session (which was videoed) via the Language Show Connect website: http://www.languageshowconnect.co.uk/

I had heard a lot about Juliet Park, the next seminar leader, from various tweeps, and her session “Shaken & stirred” was every bit as engaging and entertaining as I had been led to expect. Starting with gruesome images of sporting injuries, it was very much aimed at showing ways of engaging students (and in particular boys!). Loved it – and it was great to meet @JulietDPark in the flesh afterwards, when we enjoyed Nick Mair’s session together…

What a weird feeling *that* was – meeting up with my old French teacher from secondary days, 23 years later! He has not changed much – only he could carry of the “look” he had chosen for the day… a beige suit with “Speak To The Future” iron-on transfers emblazoned all over it in various lurid shades! Called up at relatively late notice to talk on the topic of “Memory and memorisation”, he gave the subject his own very individual twist, and a heaving seminar room was testament to the value of his thinking. Again – I am planning to return to this in a future post…

Finally, there was still time for a whirlwind MFL Show & Tell, compèred with smilingly ruthless efficiency by @helenmyers! A stream of about 15 or so of us presented about topics as wide-ranging as Songify (sorry for sabotaging your 2 minutes with my IT issues, Isabelle!), Prezi, Ipswich’s Double Club, ClassDojo… and much more besides…

And then it was off to the nearest pub for a pint, pizza, a quiz, more networking and then the journey home – still buzzing after a fantastic day!

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