Newsletter 3/2018

English section of LT

Dear members,

As the end of the calendar year is approaching we reflect on our work since the summer. Some plans might still be half-baked, others have already flourished and new ideas are in the making. The students that we teach can be challenging and yet rewarding so let us be fulfilled and not get our tinsel in a tangle over Christmas! And when you’re all snug up in front of the fire you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the read of this newsletter.

The board wishes you a peaceful

festive season!

CONTENT:

  • Pluralingualism in an unexpected corner: Scoil Bhríde
  • Crossing your borders: op weg naar een leerlijn Engels po-vo
  • Upcoming events

Pluralingualism in an unexpected corner: Scoil Bhríde

By Amy Klipp

Scoil Bhride

Last September, I traveled to Graz, Austria, to attend a 2-day workshop entitled “Early Language Learning”, hosted by the European Center for Modern Languages.  Each participant at the workshop represented a different European country, and I had the honor of representing the Netherlands.  During the round of introductions, it soon became apparent that each country wrestles with a different set of problems in teaching foreign languages to their primary school children.  In Scotland, the government had recently created a policy in which all schools must teach French as part of the curriculum.  Teachers suddenly found themselves faced with an impossible situation: how to teach French to children, when the they themselves had little to no knowledge in this area?  It was apparent that the country was at the start of a long, upward spiral of training the teachers, so they could teach the children, who hopefully after a generation or so would themselves be able to teach the language more adequately. 

On a similar, but further-developed part of that spectrum, were the countries that had once been behind the Iron Curtain.  Their governments had decided that English would be the foreign language of choice, and schools and teachers found themselves swamped with the sudden need to get training in this area after generations of learning Russian.  The teacher from Malta noted that the island population had grown 20% in the last year due to the boat migrants.  Teachers found themselves faced with the conundrum of which language to teach: English, in the hope of moving them on to Europe in their journey, or Maltese, so they could get along in their current situation?

It made me realize how incredibly fortunate we are in the Netherlands, with teachers and resources enough to face the challenges offered by foreign language instruction in primary schooling, a simultaneously humbling and joyful experience, to say the least.  On that note, I will continue on to a story I found particularly inspiring, and one which we all can learn from: the story of Scoil Bhríde.

Déirdre Kirwan, former school director of Scoil Bhríde, a primary school just outside of Dublin, opened the workshop.  She spoke of how her school once faced a sudden change in its pupil demographics about 20-odd years ago.  What once had been a school of all-white Irish children suddenly became host to children from fifty different nationalities, and the children of Irish descent suddenly found themselves in the minority, making up only 20% of the school population.  The school found itself in crisis: what to do with this massive shift in population as the test scores for English and Irish languages plummeted? 

The team of teachers decided to make a radical move: to welcome the children, with all of their languages, into the school.  Instead of banning their home languages from the school environment, the teachers made space for these in a myriad of ways, deciding to view these languages as part of each child’s individual language repertoire and therefore useful to their learning.

For example, when teaching young children to count, first in English, then in Gaelic, they then continued the experience by asking the children how they count in their home languages.  Soon, children began to share their languages: Russian, Polish, Angolan, Hindi, French, and the other children joined in, copying their classmates’ counting words.  If children didn’t know how to say something in their mother tongue, they were encouraged to ask their parents about it and to develop these concepts in their mother tongues as well.  As a result, the learning at school and home reinforced each other. 

This approach had an unexpected impact on the Irish children, who then began to wonder about their own mother tongue, the Gaelic.  They soon started asking more about the Gaelic and developing their own language skills, giving this dying language a boost back into the world of the living.

Soon, the test scores for English and Gaelic turned around.  These days, children at this school score well above the national average.  As for the children, they are attuned to the fact that having a variety of languages at hand to express oneself is a valuable thing, and feel sorry for children in monolinguistic schools. 

This realization – that a plurilingual environment is valuable to our children in more ways than one – is just now beginning to arrive in the Netherlands.  One need only look through the “Grote Opdrachten” now being developed by Curriculum.nu to see this.  “Language sensitivity” is translated into Dutch as “talensensibilisering”, and as a concept deserves our full attention.  Plurilingualism is the way of the future, and it is up to us to be prepared for it.

Dierdre Kirwan’s retirement speech: http://scoilbhridec.ie/letter-by-principal-deirdre-kirwan-printed-in-the-irish-times/

Further reading about Language Awareness in primary education: 

https://www.britishcouncil.fr/en/sharing-languages-conference/programme/sessions/deirdre-kirwan-linguistic-diversity

Crossing your borders:

op weg naar een leerlijn Engels po-vo

Het SchoterLyceum 

Bijdrage van Louise Taylor

Op woensdagmiddag 21 november jl heeft het Schoter lyceum in Haarlem een mini conferentie gehouden geheten “Crossing your borders: op weg naar een leerijn Engels po-vo” met als duidelijk doel de samenwerking tussen po en vo te verbeteren voor wat betreft het Engels. Zoals al meerdere keren in Levende Talen tijdschrift is genoemd, zijn er vooralsnog weinig initiatieven van structurele samenwerking en, met de volgende stappen van Curriculum.nu in het kielzog zijn zulke initiatieven goud waard! Scholen kunnen hier beter zo vroeg mogelijk mee beginnen om alvast ervaring op te doen en te delen.

De kick-off is verzorgd door Lauren Salomons, vakleerkracht Engels in het po (zie: spelenmetengels.nl) die iedereen niet alleen informatie gaf over de voordelen van vroeg beginnen met een tweede of derde taal maar ook de stappen die een school kan ondernemen om hiermee te beginnen en een paar TPR activiteiten als voorbeeld van hoe het Engels in het primair onderwijs eruit kan zien en natuurlijk ook als warming up aan het begin en energizer tussendoor. Hierna zijn er twee workshoprondes geweest met thema’s zoals CLIL in het po en in het vo, taalvaardigheid, subsidie mogelijkheden en spelen met woordenschat. De ruim 30 aanwezigen (uit zowel het po als het vo) waren bijzonder enthousiast over de workshops evenals het verhaal van Bart Oremus, rector van het Haarlemmermeer Lyceum, over de samenwerkingsverbanden die zijn school heeft met een drietal po scholen.

De middag is afgesloten met een vragenronde voor de heer Oremus en  een discussie over mogelijke vormen van samenwerking en, natuurlijk een borrel en tijd om alvast afspraken te maken tussen de verschillende aanwezige scholen.

Free symposium on Friday May 17th. The UNED (United States / Nederland) symposium will be held in Amsterdam. The event is to present primary and secondary research. More information: www.hva.nl/uned.

Sinds 2015 is Newswise op de markt, een product van de CED-Groep (www.newswise.nl/www.newswise.eu). Newswise is een aanvullende methode, die lessen begrijpend lezen in het Engels biedt (niveaus A1-A2-B1), gebaseerd op de aanpak van Nieuwsbegrip (www.nieuwsbegrip.nl). Newswise is in te zetten vanaf de bovenbouw po. Om de week verschijnt er een nieuwe les, op drie verschillende niveaus. Omdat de onderwerpen en de aangeboden leesstrategieën op alle niveaus hetzelfde zijn, is het materiaal zeer geschikt voor differentiatie in de (lees)les Engels. Vanwege de actuele, mondiale, onderwerpen past Newswise goed binnen de CLIL-aanpak. Het materiaal wordt dan ook genoemd op de materialenlijst vvto van Nuffic. De CED-Groep biedt de vvto-pabo’s in Nederland de mogelijkheid om gratis een licentie Newswise af te nemen, zodat zij hun studenten kennis kunnen laten maken met het materiaal. Mocht u hierin interesse hebben, dan kunt u mailen naar newswise@cedgroep.nl.

Upcoming events

http://www.cvent.com/events/ecis-mlie-conference-2019-london/event-summary-e21ee11201d7453c93240e559f849a6b.aspx

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NCE, 15 maart 2019

De Reehorst Ede

Inspiring Personal Learning Pathways

De uitdagingen waar (Engelse) docenten voor staan, zijn legio: de verschillen tussen klassen en tussen de leerlingen in die klassen worden steeds groter. Er wordt veel van docenten verwacht: ze moeten creatief en flexibel zijn en voortdurend werken aan hun eigen professionele ontwikkeling.

Onze scholen zijn leergemeenschappen aan het worden die steeds in contact staan met de wereld om ons heen en we bereiden voor op een grenzeloze, onzekere toekomst. Hoe kunnen docenten tegemoetkomen aan alle uitdagingen waar ze voor staan? Hoe kunnen ze lessen ontwikkelen waarbij elke leerling betrokken is en hoe kunnen ze zorgen dat geen leerling zich buitengesloten voelt?

Welke talenten, van zowel onszelf als onze leerlingen, kunnen we inzetten en welke vaardigheden vereisen verdere ontwikkeling om onszelf duurzaam voor te bereiden op de toekomst? Het Nationaal Congres Engels 2019 biedt een platform om te werken aan ‘inspiring, personalized learning pathways’ voor zowel docenten als voor hun leerlingen.

Op dit moment wordt hard gewerkt om het programma rond te krijgen – eind december verwachten we het complete programma te kunnen publiceren op onze (vernieuwde) website. In januari gaat de inschrijving van start. Kosten voor de hele dag (inclusief koffie, thee, lunch en borrel) zijn 150 euro (studenten betalen 75 euro).

Houd onze website in de gaten: www.nationaalcongresengels.nl of volg ons op Facebook of Twitter.                                      

Het NCE-team

NCE 2019

Information for exhibitors / sponsors

1) There is ample opportunity to park your car at the back of the building – we will provide you with a

coin to exit the parking lot at the end of the day.

2) You can send material to arrive a few days before the conference.

Please note that the storage space at De Reehorst is limited though!

If you are sending material beforehand please address it to:

Nationaal Congres Engels 15 maart

De Reehorst

Bennekomseweg 24

6717 LM Ede

3) The exhibition will take place in the New York Hall. From Thursday 14 March, 19.00 hrs., the hall is available to build up your stand, until 23.00. On Friday morning building up is possible from 07.00 onwards, your location will be clearly indicated. I’ll be available at the venue on Thursday evening and on Friday to help you find your location and to answer your questions.

4) On 15 March, the conference programme starts at 09.45 but the first participants arrive early already. So please make sure your stand is ready at 9.00, when the hall is open officially for participants.

5) A lunch will be provided from 11.30 onwards (lunchtime for the participants is from 12.45-13.45) for two people per stand – if there are more people in your stand please let us know beforehand.

6) The morning coffee/tea break is from 11.15-11.45 and the afternoon coffee/tea break from 14.45-15.15.

7) You will be provided with all the conference information on arrival, including the programme of the day and the speakers. If you want to know more already, check our website www.nationaalcongresengels.nl

8) The workshop sessions are from 11.45-12.45 and from 15.15-16.15. If you need technical assistance in the room contact my NCE colleagues Hans Brand and/or Florian Kempe, who will also be walking around.

9) In the hall you can access the internet through WIFI, and per stand there is one power supply point.

10) The NCE 2019 will close around 16.15-17.15 with (free) drinks & nibbles.

Thank you and looking forward to meeting you on 15 March!

Betty

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53rd International IATEFL Conference The IATEFL International Annual Conference and Exhibition each spring is one of the main events in the English Language Teaching calendar. Attended by approximately 3,000 ELT professionals from more than 100 countries, it involves a 4-day programme of around 500 talks, workshops and forums as well as a vibrant social programme. This offers delegates a unique opportunity to meet leading trainers, theorists and writers, and exchange ideas with fellow professionals from all sectors of English language teaching and learning.

In addition, a large resources exhibition involving around 50 ELT-related exhibitors is your one-stop shop to see the latest ELT publications and services. Plus, the IATEFL Careers Fair continues to grow in popularity with more and more recruiters and candidates using the conference as an opportunity to discuss and fill some of the best vacancies in TEFL.  https://conference.iatefl.org/#