Thea Pallut, a teacher of French at Grantown Grammar in Speyside, has described in the latest issue of Scottish Languages Review how she has used blogging to revitalise her teaching.
She was inspired to try out new technologies after attending a series of workshops at Scottish CILT's Communicate.06 conference. Now she uses the school's computer suites nearly every week, sometimes designing lessons around a French website for reading comprehension, or using language learning websites for vocabulary acquisition through games and interactive activities, Ms Pallut also gives her students webquests where they have to use websites to find out information.
But it is the subject of blogs that she is enthusiastic about: "The blog has been particularly useful for speaking assessments in S3-4. To help students prepare for the role-play speaking assessment, I recorded a model hotel dialogue with a student and uploaded this to the blog. I then recorded myself playing the role of the receptionist with pauses between statements to enable students to say their phrase when they were practising for the test. In this way, they knew what to expect and also knew what they had to aim for.
"To challenge more able S1 students, I asked them to record themselves saying a list of French words, which I have uploaded to the blog for other students to listen to in order to help them with their vocabulary learning homework. Students often find pronunciation difficult, so having them on the blog helps overcome this problem," she writes.