Thursday, 19 February 2009

Quite a Few Things You Really Did Not Need To Know About Me


Quite some time ago, I was tagged by Andrew Jeppesen, a Language teacher from Sydney, Australia, Helena Butterfield and José Picardo, 2 other languages teachers from the UK and fellow bloggers, for the 7 Things meme.

Then, I found out that I had been tagged by more fellow languages teachers Isabelle Le Borgne-Pondaven, Amanda Salt, Alex Blagona and Helena Butterfield for the 25 random things meme on Facebook.

Why is it so difficult to talk about oneself as person without sounding unprofessional?
Anyway, I thought I would cheat and combine them all-I know, not what is expected but…
Here goes…

1. As a child, I was fascinated by my grand-parents who lived in the Pyrenees and could communicate in Catalan with people over the border. How cool… That is also why I would still like to be able to speak Catalan and write properly rather than just understand 95% of it.
2. I can play the flute-well, I could-and I took part in school productions like Oliver! in the past. Really miss it…
3. I love singing-in French, Spanish or English!!
4. I love strong accents and I first learnt my English with a Liverpool accent and my Spanish while being in Andalusia. I did not lose my French accent completely, although you may be fooled for a very short time, but acquired a wide range of other intonations and local expressions…
5. I got married in France and my husband insisted in taking his vows in French-my most challenging task as a teacher ever…
6. I love the film Amélie and I found the sound track deeply moving-not really sure why…
7. My best holiday ever was in Sicily: adored the food, the language, the people, the culture… still don’t know whether I would like to gamble it and go again…
8. I won 2 poetry competitions aged 6 and 15.
9. I once was on “Songs of Praises” (Special Christmas edition) with the school choir-not on my own, fortunately!
10. When I was 14, I won a history competition and a free one-week trip to Normandy to visit the landing beaches.
11. I am very short but loved to play basketball at school.
12. I love pasta and seriously think that I must have been Italian in a previous life.
13. I went to Montserrat, near Barcelona on my honeymoon, adapting the Catalan custom that a newly-wed husband should take his wife there. Even my totally un-religious husband loved the place-so special…
14. I do not particularly like large cities probably as I was brought up in a small town.
15. I am looking forward to my children having little cousins to play with-nobody is available at the moment!
16. I love cooking but I don’t get to cook very often…
17. I love Haribo Strawberries because my great-granddad used to buy them for me-and I still miss him…
18. I worked at Perpignan Tourist Office (France) when I was a student and loved helping out the Brits on holiday-They were the only ones to come back and say thank you!
19. I worked in a travel agency for several summers when I was a student. I ended up with a lot of Spanish customers after somebody found out that I could speak Spanish. My boss loved it!
20. I don’t get enough opportunities to practise my disco dancing these days…
21. I hardly drink alcohol at all these days. I stopped when I was expecting my sons and never really drank again…
22. I was really rubbish at sport at school but I could run as when I am determined to finish something, I always do.
23. I would love to go to Mexico and South America.
24. I am in awe of churches and old buildings in general.
25. I am convinced that nobody can improve professionally without developing personally-I am aiming for more wisdom, ambitious, eh?
As this 7 Things meme has been around for a while, I think I have nobody left to tag! I will suggest the following people but please accept my apologies if you have been tagged already ...
Kathleen Holton
Carla Arena
Sam McCoy
Michael stout
Marie-France Perkins

Monday, 2 February 2009

Images4Education: Week 1 Update


I concentrated on exploring the uses of Flicker, particularly the settings, how to add contacts, joining groups, creating albums, uploading videos and tagging. I had been using Flickr “passively” for a few years but finding out about settings made a big difference to me. I now try to regularly upload pictures of my children to share them with their grand-parents who live in France as well as other family members. The pictures are only displayed privately and any other relatives can drop in and comment-a far cry from the time-consuming email distribution list of the past…

I also discovered Flickerin and Flickr badges.
It reminded me of other “Flickr toys” like photo soup and tag galaxy that can be used to great effect to start a new topic or as a stimulus for more creative language activities.

View from my window… was a great idea to introduce ourselves. Participants took a picture of the view from their window and wrote a bit about their origin. I did try to take a picture but the light was always very poor and I am still working on producing a decent picture of the view into my back garden! So when I found this alternative: What do you have on your walls? I jumped in.

I took a few pictures of my walls and uploaded them to my page. I could see how this could easily develop in a “though the keyhole” activity. Who live there? Are they on their own? Male or female? How old? What country are they from? Etc…

On my wall there is… a symbol of my origin and a reminder that home is where you make it!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Images4Education and Online Workshops: CPD on Tap?




Before Christmas I came across a new Ning network, Images4Education , advertising a six-week online workshop offered through the Electronic Village Online with the aim to introduce its participant to various online image manipulation tools and exchange ideas on how to effectively incorporate these resources into their teaching practices. Creative uses in educational settings include photo sharing, storytelling, slideshows and comics creation.

There is also a section of the workshop dedicated to Creative Commons licensing and how it can be beneficial for classroom use.


The group now consists of 386 members from all over the world and the project is supported by a Flickr group, a Diigo group, a FriendFeed and a wiki.

There are weekly tasks set but the emphasis is on progression rather than deadlines.

One of the most powerful aspects of the project is to make you realize that anything around you can be a resource. This is all the more powerful that your everyday surroundings can be “swapped” with educators from all over the world. Check my photos for ideas...

Teaching about where people live in England? Ask me and I will upload a few pictures from the houses near me. I am teaching about places in town (in Spanish), can you help? This is the picture of a bullring from Venezuela…

First the students had to identify the place, then learn what it was in Spanish and then they had to guess where the picture came from… hopefully showing an awareness of where Spanish is spoken in the world. This is global collaboration!