ISMLA Spanish Day
Instituto Español 'Vicente Cañada Blanch',
317 Portobello Rd, London W10 5SZ
Saturday 11th June, 2016

The following academic lecturers will be speaking on an aspect of their research that could be adapted for or relevant to the secondary classroom:

 

  •  Dr Jo Evans (UCL)
  •  Professor Stephen Hart (UCL)
  •  Professor Dominic Keown (Cambridge)
  • There will be two further sessions on:
  •  'Preparing VI-Formers for Higher Education in Spanish' (Dr
  • Mariama Ifode)
  •  Portuguese (Mr Felipe Schuery, Cambridge)

 

Tickets are £55 to members (If a school sends more than one delegate, there will be a £20 reduction for each of the extra delegates) and £65 to nonmembers.

If you wish to attend the day, please obtain and return the form available at http://www.ismla.co.uk/. Alternatively, email Kevin Dunne (kevindunne23@me.com) or Daniella Mardell (Daniella.Mardell@spgs.org)

 

 

 

We look forward to seeing you then! 


From the Chair

I thoroughly enjoyed my first ISMLA conference as Chair just a few weeks ago at the end of January and I thank many of you for your very positive feedback. Manchester Grammar School were superb hosts and Vice-Chair John Wilson, assisted by a very conscientious committee, did a very slick job. I came away with lots of ideas to put into practice the following week, as well as being armed with the most up-to-date facts and statistics regarding the demise of Modern Languages as a subject in the UK. Summaries of all of the talks can be found in this edition of our newsletter. The opening and closing talks by Jocelyn Wyburd and Barnaby Lennon to the whole group of delegates were extremely thoughtprovoking and made an impact on us all. This was evident from all of the ڔISMLA2016 tweets that appeared during and after the conference. 

I would like to reflect here a little on some of the points that Jocelyn Wyburd made in her speech. Jocelyn holds several high-profile roles within the sphere of the learning, teaching and promotion of modern languages. She is Chair of UCML (University Council for Modern Languages), Chair of the national advisory board for Routes into Languages and Director of the Cambridge Language Centre. Many of you will have heard that the government funding for Routes into Languages has been withdrawn and Jocelyn made a plea at the end for you to contact your local branch to see if you could get involved. There might be a possibility of independent schools subscribing to the events and projects and there have certainly been many excellent initiatives brought to our areas over the last few years by Routes. It would be terrible if it were to disappear. 

I would like to reflect here a little on some of the points that Jocelyn Wyburd made in her speech. Jocelyn holds several high-profile roles within the sphere of the learning, teaching and promotion of modern languages. She is Chair of UCML (University Council for Modern Languages), Chair of the national advisory board for Routes into Languages and Director of the Cambridge Language Centre. Many of you will have heard that the government funding for Routes into Languages has been withdrawn and Jocelyn made a plea at the end for you to contact your local branch to see if you could get involved. There might be a possibility of independent schools subscribing to the events and projects and there have certainly been many excellent initiatives brought to our areas over the last few years by Routes. It would be terrible if it were to disappear. 

I would like to reflect here a little on some of the points that Jocelyn Wyburd made in her speech. Jocelyn holds several high-profile roles within the sphere of the learning, teaching and promotion of modern languages. She is Chair of UCML (University Council for Modern Languages), Chair of the national advisory board for Routes into Languages and Director of the Cambridge Language Centre. Many of you will have heard that the government funding for Routes into Languages has been withdrawn and Jocelyn made a plea at the end for you to contact your local branch to see if you could get involved. There might be a possibility of independent schools subscribing to the events and projects and there have certainly been many excellent initiatives brought to our areas over the last few years by Routes. It would be terrible if it were to disappear. 


ISMLA Conference 2016

Screenshot_2

Members of the committee share their experience of the conference:

Helen Myers: The new GCSE specifications

Helen Myers is widely known for her meticulous research and well-informed presentations on changes to the examination systems. When invited many months ago, Helen fully expected to be in a position to be able to do a thorough objective comparison of four approved examination boards specifications. However, only one has so far been approved (AQA). Helen therefore concentrated on outlining the following three areas:

1) The context for the change

2) The subject content, subject conditions and subject guidance as laid down by Ofqual and the DfE

3) The possible 'variables' which may influence school choice of exam board, once approved.

Helen took us through the process that had led up to the new specifications, giving the wider context and explaining the roles taken by different bodies. A key challenge had been the staggered introduction of the reforms, resulting in not inconsiderable confusion for parents and teachers. Helen then focused on how best to choose the specification which was right for pupils, highlighting the need to look at question types, length of examinations, differences in approaches and clarity of assessment criteria. Helen advised teachers that the most important questions to consider were:

Validity – does the exam test what it is meant to be testing?

Reliability – does it test fairly?

Accessibility – does it allow the whole cohort to show what they know, understand and can do?

Helen was kind enough to make her presentation available on her web page immediately after the conference and the full Powerpoint in pdf form can be found at http://helenmyers.blogspot.co.uk/.

Jenny Davey 



Simon Barlass: Thoughts on the new A Levels for Modern Languages

Simon had spent a considerable amount of time researching and comparing the draft specifications and sample papers offered by AQA, OCR and Edexcel and, more importantly, he had been in touch with the boards right up until a few days preceding this talk. He was therefore in a very strong position to offer his thoughts and, as someone who, like everyone in the audience, has to make a decision sooner or later on which board to choose for A-Level language teaching in September, his succinct and objective summaries were most informative. 

Simon had spent a considerable amount of time researching and comparing the draft specifications and sample papers offered by AQA, OCR and Edexcel and, more importantly, he had been in touch with the boards right up until a few days preceding this talk. He was therefore in a very strong position to offer his thoughts and, as someone who, like everyone in the audience, has to make a decision sooner or later on which board to choose for A-Level language teaching in September, his succinct and objective summaries were most informative. 

Louisa Dawes: Overcoming challenges in Primary Transition 

Louisa Dawes is currently working at The University of Manchester, where she is a subject leader for the Secondary ML PGCE, a primary ML tutor and also part of the Teach First Team. 

Louisa Dawes is currently working at The University of Manchester, where she is a subject leader for the Secondary ML PGCE, a primary ML tutor and also part of the Teach First Team. 

Louisa Dawes is currently working at The University of Manchester, where she is a subject leader for the Secondary ML PGCE, a primary ML tutor and also part of the Teach First Team. 

Barnaby Lenon: A time for optimism? 


newsThe ISMLA conference was closed by Elthamian, ex-Harrow Headmaster and Ofqual board member, Barnaby Lenon, who spoke on reasons for optimism in the context of A-level reform. Wittily and piercingly, he spoke of the fall in standards in examinations over the past half-century and pointed at 2010/11 as the nadir both in terms of grade inflation and exam dumbing-down. He noted a number of problems with the current exam setup: the ever-problematic re-marks


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