Language World is a real highlight of the annual calendar for me. Yes the range of sessions are always great. But more than that it's an amazing opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends from across the country to discover their ideas and successes.
This year I was asked to present about our efforts at Route 39 Academy to develop a language provision with genuine real-world meaning and which is far more student-driven than anything I've been involved in before. I confess (and I confessed before the session) that I felt really, really nervous presenting this year as the work shown in the slides has been well and truly produced at the cost of, well, definitely sweat and at times verging on tears (mainly of exhaustion).
The main threads really are:
- students need to be engaged by the real-world content
- students need to know how to take responsibility for their own learning and how to develop their own progress
- students need to develop their skills, both of decoding new language and then starting to piece it together in a creative, risk-taking way (it was great to hear the emphasis put on these by all of the presenters talking about the new GCSE)
We're a long, long way from where we'd like to be still (does anyone else find that no matter how many jobs you get done there are always a thousand more that you can think of which need doing!). However, we're absolutely delighted to have appointed a fantastic new teacher to join us in teaching Spanish (both in and out of the classroom) next year, Luke Webb, and can't wait to make the most of his skills and ideas!