One of the many benefits, of participating in the LSEF Project, was being able to attend any Network for Languages courses for FREE!
I was lucky enough to receive 100 tablets at my school and I was willing to use them in my Spanish lessons. But how? Which apps should I download? How can they practise Spanish using the tablet? I knew that I did not want children accessing websites to practise exercise after exercise; I wanted them to create something, tell something, show that they could do something in the foreign language, in Spanish.
In December, Joe Dale ran a course for Network for Languages London about how to use iPads in the language classroom. We were asked to download some apps beforehand and bring our iPads to the course. It was a hands-on, very practical session, after which I felt confident enough to start using some of the apps with my students.
These are some examples of activities I learnt. I recommend using:
– The app 30Hands to explain daily routines at school in Spanish.
– With Tellagami, you can learn dialogues about feelings in Spanish and practise them.
– Puppet Pals cans also be used for a similar activity.
– Apps like iMovie or Lego Movie Make will allow you to record a video at your school and show it to your pen pals in Spain.
– PicCollage is easy to use for everyday learning vocabulary, to create labels for classroom equipment.
– With Book Creator, you can create books; a good idea would be to create a class book talking about Spanish speaking countries.
– If your students enjoy playing the game, ‘who is who’, you can use these apps (ExplainEverything, Slides How Lite and Face it Lite) to play with classmates or pen pals.
– For clothes or description of places, you can use Story Maker HD app.
– Finally, you can download the app i-nigma in order to scan QR codes. You can teach your students how to create QR codes about cultural places around your city and your pen pals can do it around their city. Within the school, you can organise a treasure hunt in Spanish and children can go around scanning QR codes for hints. QR codes can also be used to create interactive displays in our classrooms or you can print them for the students to take home and practise the song learnt at school or play their favourite language game.
Later on, the LSEF Project invited Joe Dale to the LSEF Summer School in June 2015. He presented more innovative ideas to use apps for language learning – lots of new ideas were presented to all of us with the contagious passion that Joe Dale knows how to share with us! His input at the Summer School created an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the way that we can use technology inside the classroom. Once again, LSEF Project provided me with interesting food for thought…
Written by Mònica Pérez, Minerva Academy, City of Westminster – London School Excellence Fund Project participant (LSEF)
Mònica’s main teaching experience has been in the UK. She started teaching Spanish language clubs and later she had the opportunity to develop a thematic approach to language learning. Mònica is doing a Masters at the IoE (UCL) and has recently moved to Cambridge where she still teaches Spanish. Mònica is a good ambassador of Barcelona and has a great passion for teaching languages with technology.