• Blaine Pike

What are the best tips for teaching MFL online? Here are some of the best suggestions from the web!

10. Señora Peace (@louboops)

Kicking us off at number 10 is Señora Peace. She's hacked a specific problem that comes with teaching MFL online: accents! The fada is the Irish equivalent of the acute accent, and below she is referring to Windows devices (but I presume it works on Chromebooks, too). For those using Apple devices, you can long-press a vowel down to get an accent. If this doesn't work, on Macs you can also press OPTION + ` (`), e (´), i(^) , n(~) or u (¨) - followed by a vowel - to apply the accent. Good luck all!

9. Joe Dale (@joedale)

In at number 9, Joe Dale has shared a recording of the January TiLT "Show & Tell" webinar. Although the four guest speakers are amazing, two hours of screen time is a long time to dedicate for some teachers! Each speaker only spoke for 20 minutes, so I've provided links to their individual segments below. If you don't have time to watch the whole CPD, here are the speakers, the YouTube links, and their topics:

  1. Esmerelda Salgado (11:00) covers the awesome tool LearningApps (learningapps.org), and explains how to make puzzles, gap fills and lots more. She also covers Genially (genial.ly) for combining resources in one place, and Decktoys (deck.toys) for making games such as MFL escape rooms and speaking activities.

  2. Adeline Moston (39:30) then teaches us how to make listening activities using text-to-speech technology, again using LearningApps (learningapps.org). This includes card games (categorising games, matching games, and labelling games) - all without the need to record any new (or locate any existing!) audio files.

  3. Julia Morris (1:04:00) then covers how to deliver consistent and effective retrieval practice in the classroom, ensuring students are tested on both new and old topics every single lesson. She uses a fantastic home-made spreadsheet which you can edit yourself so that it only includes the language you've taught a specific group. You can then quickly create activities that build only upon the language you've taught so far.

  4. Jerome Nogues (1:32:00) closes the session with tips on how to make lessons for blended learning using Wakelet (wakelet.com). It helps you combine resources into "collections" (which you can build as individual lesson packs). He also provides great hacks for YouTube and Google Sheets, and then tells us how to remove backgrounds from photos for our resources using an awesome site called remove.bg.

8. MrBCurrier (@MrBCurrier)

At number 8, Mr Currier has been using his year 11s as guinea pigs for a free tool called Spiral. It looks like a great way to get instant feedback from an entire class on a single question, similar to "show me your mini whiteboards" in class.

7. Miss F (@MissFedrizzi)

In at number 7, and based on her experience from the previous lockdowns, Miss Fedrizzi has gathered her six top tips on how to make video lessons which engage students. How long should your videos be? At which point do students stop paying attention? What should you say / not say when recording your videos? All here.

6. Alyson Coombes (@acoombes17)

In at number 6 is Alyson Coombes. She's made a PowerPoint template slide to represent her "virtual classroom". For those doing blended learning (almost everyone!), this is both an interactive and engaging starter slide. Alyson made this slide herself using only PowerPoint, and she explains how you can make your own version really quickly in the replies to her post. Why not design your own "virtual classroom" slide? You can then add different objects that can serve as links to different resources or tasks!

5. Caroline Heaney (@CarolineHeane10)

At number 5 is Caroline Heaney. She kicks off her live lessons as normal. However, once she sets her students onto a number of tasks, she gets them to "like" a message in Microsoft Teams after they've completed each one. Even if this is quite top-line, it's a really nice way to monitor a group's progress through a lesson. Why didn't anyone think of this before?! As ever, the simplest ideas are always the best!

4. Meredith White (@PRHSSpanish)

In at number 4 this week is Meredith White from the US, who's a big fan of the tool EdPuzzle. This tool lets you assign video-based tasks and activities to your class (either recorded yourself, or linked from YouTube) and monitor student progress. This is great for all subjects but especially MFL, as students can watch target language videos and complete the activities at their own pace. You can even see who's watched which parts of the video (and for how long) - great for checking in on students who may be easily distracted. This week, Meredith shared the fact that you can now change a video after you've set it!

3. Dannielle Warren (@morganmfl)

In at number 3 this week is Dannielle Warren, who's made a smart holding screen for her live lessons using the design tool Canva. If you haven't used Canva before, give it a go!

2. MrBCurrier (@MrBCurrier)

In at number 2 this week is Mr Currier, who's shared a really helpful keyboard shortcut for Windows that lets you split your screen into two quickly and easily. This will help you keep on top of two things at once (at least...!) much more easily.

1. G Campello (@campello_mfl)

And in at number 1 is G Campello with a top tip for doing MFL translations, something which is especially tricky now all our students are studying online. There will always be one student who tries to find shortcuts instead of doing translations manually, but this will help prevent that. The tip also kicked off a conversation thread of other teachers' suggestions and recommendations to get around this problem. Power in numbers!

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Wishing you all a fab weekend, and hope you have a fantastic week ahead!


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