“You should blog about that”

That’s what someone said to me yesterday, and I think it’s very good advice.

As you might have guessed from the small number of blog posts I’ve put out in the last couple of years, I can’t always think of things to blog about. Or more accurately, I rarely think that the things I do or talk about over lunch are worth blogging about. And so yesterday, over lunch, I was describing to someone (if you need to know, it was @eljeejavier) a clever little app I’ve been using this semester to save myself a few precious minutes with handling audio recordings. “You should blog about that” was the answer. I think that’s a good answer. I like it. I am going to blog about that.

Things to blog about

In fact, when I think about it, there are a number of small things, tech tips for the most part, which I think I could blog about. I’ve made a quick list off the top of my head and that makes three potential blog posts to write already. Sounds like a good start, doesn’t it?

I might give a name to this series of blog posts. I think I’m going to call it “Teacher Tech Tip”. It’s hard to pronounce but it has three Ts in it, which makes it a bit catchy.

You can expect the first post soonish.

Talking about Quizlet at #LLASconf14

So the 7th LLAS biennal conference took place last week in Southampton, and just like last time it was a really good opportunity to meet people I knew and people I didn’t, all working in, near or around languages in HE. I can’t get bored of attending LLAS events as they really help putting my job in perspective: I get to see the national picture, discover what other practitioners are up to, get feedback on my own practice through the stuff I present. If you work in languages and have never attended one of these, I urge you to register for the next one. It’s the second best medium for professional development I have found (second only to Twitter, of course).

So this year again I talked about the work that the French team at @UoMLangCentre have been doing with Quizlet on our general and medical French courses. I should really give credit to @simonjhowells77 for pointing us in the direction of Quizlet in the first place. If you have read my previous blog post, Quizlet is an vocabulary app which we’ve been using for collaborative work in the classroom.

The slides are below. If you’ve any questions or comments, please use the box below.

 

Bring your own vocab’

Hi! – Thanks for reading! Apologies for being so quiet over the past few months. This first year in my new job (well, not so new anymore) has been keeping me very busy. That’s something I should reflect on in a future blog post.

For now, I just want to talk about last Friday’s conference. I attended and presented at the “Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University: Enhancing the Learning Experience through Student Engagement” conference, organised by the University of Manchester on Friday 28th June 2013.

First, I want to say a big thanks to my colleagues Catherine France, Annie Morton, Susana Lorenzo-Zamorano and Noelia Alcarazo for organising such a great and fruitful day. Also, I’m very happy that I was invited to present what I’ve been working on this past semester.

The conference (programme here) was a great opportunity to discover what colleagues around the country have been doing, to discuss the state of the language teaching sector under the new fee regime (and the tragedies it’s brought about) and on a lighter note to catch up with colleagues (and by the way, I re-iterate my congratulations to the great @AngloFLE for his new job!). I also got to meet, and briefly chat with, the very inspiring @jwyburd, whom I’d heard so much about here at Manchester.

My contribution to the day was a presentation reporting on how I used the vocabulary app Quizlet with 3 of my classes during this past semester. I’ve expressed my love for Quizlet in a previous post, and if you’re a language teacher, I really recommend you give it a go.

Anyway, if you’re interested, I suggest you have a look at my abstract and check the slides below.

Thanks again for reading!