Scottish Languages Review Issue 8

Issue 8 - 01/06/2003

The articles in this issue have all been written by presenters at our highly successful Scottish CILT conference Inspiring your learners with ICT held on 8 February 2003. Here they revisit some of the themes they talked about during their presentations

In the first discussion paper, Graham Davies, keynote speaker at the Scottish CILT conference Inspiring your learners with ICT, writes about the development of ICT use in language teaching. Graham writes with great authority on how the use of ICT has developed over the years and, in so doing, he traces a history that many languages teachers will identify with. Graham has never lost the perspective of the classroom or that of the practice of language teaching. He combines a down-to-earth view of the possibilities with some characteristic debunking of some of the expectations that are invested in ICT. In the second part of his article he discusses the learning opportunities and training needs of language teachers with reference to the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) and introduces ICT4LT, a website specially designed to help language teachers develop ICT skills. Graham's evaluation of NOF may help us as language practitioners to articulate our training needs. In the second discussion paper, Ewan McIntosh, a trainee language teacher with experience of business language training abroad, writes in the context of a typical secondary school. From this starting point, which may strike a cord with many of us, Ewan describes how ICT can be an essential part of the teaching 'box of tools' and shows some simple ways in which even moderate resources can be exploited to great effect. If you would like to add your voice to the debate you'll find ways of doing so at the end of the paper.

The article by education consultant Heather Rendall is based on the first part of the talk she gave at the Scottish CILT conference Inspiring your learners with ICT when she showed how research into effective learning environments and brain functioning can help teachers select suitable learning materials from the Internet.

An interactive presentation by Graeme Pate, City of Glasgow Council, gives examples of the various ways in which the interactive whiteboard can be used effectivelyin the language classroom.

Gerry Toner from Heriot-Watt University summarises the benefits of using the Scholar e-learning programme for students of French in the upper secondary school.

Anne Fleck, Education Officer for Channel 4 Scotland, explains how even with limited ICT resources in the classroom, e.g. video-recording facilities, much can be achieved. She also highlights the support available from Channel 4 to both teachers and pupils on the Internet.

Education Consultant Heather Rendall reviews a series of training books for developing ICT skills.

This issue features another contribution in French from one of our Foreign Language Assistants working in Scotland, Yann Cochen. Yann writes with enthusiasm about his experiences in Scottish schools,
particularly of his experience in the primary sector.

ICT and Modern Foreign Languages: learning opportunities and training needs

by Graham Davies

The following article is an abridged and updated version of a chapter that was originally published in 2002 in International Journal of English Studies 2, 1: Monograph Issue, New Trends in Computer Assisted Language Teaching/Learning, edited by Pascual Pérez-Paredes and Pascual Canto-Gómez, Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Download full article as PDF - ICT and Modern Foreign Languages: learning Opportunities and training needs

Inspiring learners... and teachers too

by Ewan McIntosh, Musselburgh Grammar School

ICT - these three letters can mean many things to modern foreign language teachers: enthusiasm to some, but concern, fear, and even loathing to others. For this practitioner, however, these three letters have been bread and butter since the age of six, when I first started to write programs on my brother's Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Download full article as PDF - Inspiring learners... and teachers too

Developing nerual pathways: Making the most of computers

by Heather Rendall, Education Consultant

How do we learn? Or more exactly - what has to happen in the brain before new input entering via the senses becomes knowledge? 'Making order out of chaos' probably best sums up this process: the chaos being caused by new input reaching the brain without having obvious areas for storage or connection; the order being the end result where input is fixed and connected.

Download full article as PDF - Developing Neural Pathways: Making the Most of Computers

'Scholar' Advanced Higher French

by Gerry Toner, Heriot-Watt University

'Scholar' is the major Science e-learning programme of Heriot-Watt University. Currently 45,000 students are enrolled on a 'Scholar' programme in Scotland and every local authority is now a member of the 'Scholar' Forum. At the Scottish CILT conference in February 2003, a new addition to the programme, 'Scholar Advanced Higher French', was introduced and teachers were given the opportunity to explore the programme's features and potential.

Download full article as PDF - 'Scholar' Advanced Higher French

Using ICT to enhance teaching and learning in the primary classroom

by Anne Fleck, Education Officer, Channel 4 Scotland

Some of us may experience difficulties and frustrations in accessing and using ICT. Yet few of us doubt that it has a contribution to make to the effective teaching and learning of MFLs and most of us also accept that ICT skills can be enhanced through the kind of activities carried out in the MFL classroom.

Download full article as PDF - Using ICT to Enhance Teaching and Learning in the Primary Classroom

'Basic ICT Skills Series; pupils' books & teachers' books Right from the Start: ICT books for adult beginners' - Book review

by Heather Rendall, Education Consultant

Download full article as a PDF - Book review

Life as a Foreign Language Assistant

by Cochen, Yann

Download full article as PDF - Life as a Foreign Language Assistant

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages