Twitter for language learning

Author: Isabelle Ortiz November 20th, 2011

I’ve been trying to integrate Twitter into my French class for quite some time now, as I am absolutely convinced of its value and still (to my great astonishment!) underdeveloped potential in language learning.

The article Twitter pour l’apprentissage des langues, published by Elisabeth Buffard on the website of the Académie d’aix-Marseille (for our readers of French), has the virtue of being clear, even for novices. She explains what Twitter is, its advantages, and its potential for the language classroom. She then proposes concrete scenarios for incorporating this medium into language classes. Her examples not only serve as food for thought, but can easily be adapted to your own teaching context.

E. Buffard also reminds us of Twitter’s potential for teacher training (lifelong learning).

For the author of this article, Twitter promotes the learner’s autonomy and represents a “learning booster” as part of a virtual toolkit that plays a role in the autonomous and social learning in which the learner is the main actor and user.

This article is an absolute must-read!

If you have other examples of how to integrate Twitter in the language classroom, I would be very grateful if you would share your experience with us by posting a comment. Thank you! :-)

Major leap towards the (legal) introduction of CLIL in Flanders

Author: JillSurmont August 25th, 2011

In his long expected “language plan”, the Flemish minister of Education, Pascal Smet, made some (baby)steps towards the legal introduction of CLIL in Flemish schools. Although this type of education is already well established in Wallonia and the rest of Europe, it seemed that the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium remained blind for this innovation. The political climate and the fear that French will somehow take over the country did not help our plea for a legal introduction of CLIL.

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Author: JillSurmont April 6th, 2011

Instead of drawing your attention to an interesting article or study today, I would like to invite you all to a seminar devoted to CLIL in primary and secondary education. This seminar will be held on 28th April, in the Verlooyzaal, Oudstrijderslaan 200, 1140 Brussel-Evere. Schools and other people interested in CLIL, how it really works and how to implement it, are more then welcome to come.

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International Conference at the Universität Freiburg im Breisgau: Language Policy and Language Teaching

Author: Erik Uytterhoeven March 9th, 2011

The Language Teaching Centre (SprachLehrInstitut – SLI) in the Faculty of Philology at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau will hold a conference from September 28 – 30, 2011 entitled “Multilingualism in Society, the World of Work, and Politics. New Challenges for Teaching at Institutes of Higher Education/Universities”

This year, the discussion concerning multilingualism is to focus on the areas of “the economy”, “the employment market” and “integration”.

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Be autonomous! It is not a paradox – Part 2: an individual learning plan -

Author: Isabelle Ortiz March 9th, 2011

 Many thanks to those of you who sent me an email commenting on my previous post. Actually, it may be quite encouraging to know that other teachers are having similar experiences and problems. Moreover, sharing our experiences can have a positive impact on our practices.

Today I’d like to reflect with you on another way of promoting our learner’s autonomy: linking classroom learning with individual and cooperative learning.

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The Broad Sweeps of Imagination: Enthusiasm and creativity at its best

Author: Victoria Rios Castano February 26th, 2011

In our MOLAN project closing conference a couple of weeks ago someone took me by surprise. It was Day Two, all of us following the swing of the formal-PowerPoint-enhanced presentations informing us of aims, activities, and achievements that I felt swept into my childhood and teenage classes of English in a provincial town of central Spain in the early nineties. Thing is, when comparing what I was seeing and hearing with my school memories being nostalgic about the past was out of question. Three-hours three days per week and with neither the conversational method nor the task-based approach in my teachers’ mind it was the same old drudgery of grammar explanations, applied exercises in book, reading aloud, and responding in a quivering voice to a question my teacher put. I even remember lying sometimes;

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Bilingualism against Alzheimer’s disease?

Author: JillSurmont February 16th, 2011

Although it is said that wisdom comes with age, people of a respectable age often have to deal with all sorts of cognitive problems. This decay of the brain can be divided in two types of aging: a healthy aging process and a pathological aging process, meaning that a disease is the cause of much of the problems. In recent research, both aging processes are linked with bilingualism, based on the idea that if bilingual brains work differently, then maybe the aging process will differ as well.

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Be autonomous! Is not a paradox – Part 1 Best Practice -

Author: Isabelle Ortiz February 7th, 2011

Dr Giovanna Tassinari teaches Italian at the Language Centre of the Freie Universität Berlin. She is the head of the Independant Language Learning Centre and is the author of the case study “Tandem programme at the Language centre of the FUB“. She published in 2010  Autonomes Fremdsprachlernen, Peter Lang Verlag.  As a specialist of learner autonomy, she agreed to participate to this forum and sent us this article. More are to come. Thank you, Giovanna !

Promoting learner autonomy in the classroom: a motivating experience both for teachers and learners

Learner autonomy is the buzz word of the moment. It’s considered to be one of the musts in language learning and teaching nowadays. It’s a prerequisite for life-long learning; it increases motivation; it contributes to individual development and increased social interaction, to critical thinking and much, much more. But what exactly is learner autonomy in the classroom? How do you implement it? Have you ever tried to foster it in your own classroom? Was it successful, effective? How do you feel about this?

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Learning with games is serious business!

Author: Isabelle Ortiz January 23rd, 2011

A very interesting article for our readers who can understand French is available on the website of the Agence nationale des usages des TICE. The article addresses the issue of learning with serious games – video games combining learning with entertainment. The impact of using serious games for learning a foreign language has been illustrated by Mark Peterson, professor of Linguistics at the University of Kyoto.

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It’s never too late…for a new start!

Author: Isabelle Ortiz January 22nd, 2011

The Molan Blog editorial team could not let January end without wishing you a ….

Happy New Year, Frohes neues Jahr, Feliz año nuevo, Bonne année!

This month the Molan blog celebrates 8 months of existence.  Since its launching in May 2010, 27 posts have already been published. They all address the issue of motivation from a variety of angles: innovative teaching, intercultural skills, learning practices, e-learning, etc.  A few posts are dedicated to the announcement of current events or initiatives that relate to teacher and learner motivation. More posts are to come this year.

We hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as we enjoy preparing the articles for you.

Thank you for reading the Molan blog !