12 May 2007

Another interesting week...


Just as PE teachers kind of have an unwritten bit in their contracts that says that they are expected to run fixtures after school, and like Music teachers organise concerts and performances, MFL teachers involve themselves in the colourful world of Exchanges. As some of you may know, our school's 6th Form French Exchange has spent the week in town, and it has been a successful week. in fact it wasn't difficult when you consider that our trip to St Etienne involved us returning minus one student's appendix!

Anyway, the chaps from the Lycee St Louis have been our guests, and as a host teacher, it has involved doing the little things that we wouldn't normally do. These sorts of things include, in no particular order...

* Getting dressed for breakfast, and eating it at the dining table, as opposed to sitting on the sofa, in my dressing gown, watching Sky Sports News.

* Cooking meals every night. I made a conscious effort to prepare typically English meals. I was particularly impressed with the steak and ale pie, if I do say so myself.

* Doing the touristy thing - I spent 3 years as a student living in Norwich, and yet never went to the cathedral or castle. (I think I must have had other, more important places to visit!)

Now, don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed the week, despite the exchange coinciding with GCSE Speaking Tests, and the students also appeared to have had more than a good time, judging by some of the stories! But I have to feel for one of my colleagues, who having hosted a teacher from France, has now left to take part in the Y10 exchange in Amiens!

Blogging News

This week I was invited to take part in a Key Stage 3 project aimed at looking at ways in which we can develop pupil independence in language learning organised by the Suffolk LEA, and thanks to the success of the Northgate MFL blog, and our school's attempt at podcasting, I hope that I can have something to offer. Since starting on the blogging road, I have become a real advocate of the benefits that it can have for our students, and after a year of working on it with some help from colleagues, we will have our blog featured in the Northgate Review, the school's magazine. It will be interesting to see if that has any effect on the interest generated in the blog amongst parents, as opposed to just the students. It is always important to publicise a blog to get people to read it and use it. At school we have done this by placing posters around the language centre, and even having a big banner in our computer room with the website address on it! Thanks to the guys in our technical support department, they have even created a desktop icon on all school computers so that students can click there first! Now we have the article in the school magazine. I'm toying with the idea of trying to get the local paper interested in the story, as we are still the only school in Suffolk with an MFL blog... I'd be keen to have people's advice on publicising a blog... Any thoughts?

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