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Friday, 22 May 2015 08:30

Summer Newsletter 2015


News update from Post-Primary Languages Initiative - latest news, activities, and compeititons Is this email not displaying correctly?
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PPLI Newsletter

Tablets & Apps in MFL Teaching and Learning 

"I have so many new ideas I may never sleep again" was one of our favourite quotes from the Twitter feed at #apps4MFL. Have a look at the Storify below created by Joe Dale to get a sense of the buzz created by a bunch of super-enthusiastic MFL teachers who came and shared so much good practice - one teacher was so eager to use some of these great ideas that she tweeted "It’s a pity we are not back to school tomorrow to try out what we learned" (it was Easter holidays!). You get the picture - it was fab Thanks to all who came and thanks for all the great feedback - we will incorporate all and see what we can do in terms of doing something similar but better again. All the presentations are available on our website at

Since the conference we have assisted PDST Technology with the production of two great videos of MFL teachers using apps in their classrooms in Presentation College Wexford. Scroll down to the end of this newsletter to view them! They are a 'must see'.

RELANG: Relating Language Examinations to the Common European Reference Levels of Language Proficiency

A group of experts from various stakeholders in post-primary education including the DES, the PDST, the NCCA, JCT, SEC, and a number of providers of MFL pedagogy on ITE programmes attended this workshop, which provided a training opportunity within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the European Commission on Innovative Methodologies and Assessment in Language Learning.

In Europe most foreign language teaching and learning is benchmarked against the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for language proficiency. Having language qualifications benchmarked against the CEFR is seen as a way of increasing mobility opportunities across Europe, where CEFR levels are widely understood and used. This event allowed for the sharing of expertise, as well as ensuring that there is standardisation of work done across agencies of the Department of Education and Skills.

In Ireland, the introduction of the new Junior Cycle Student Award presents an excellent opportunity to rewrite foreign language courses with assessment linked to the CEFR. It is also timely in the context of plans by the Department to publish a strategy on Foreign Languages in Education later in the year. For more information on the strategy and to see submissions and relevant presentations click here

We will be looking at how we can best multiply the RELANG workshop in the next academic year.

Spanish scholarships for two students and their teacher

Check out the winning video above - two students and their teacher from Ashton School in Cork won a week in Castilla y León covering the cost of flights, home-stays, and language school for one week. Second and third prizes also included home-stays and language school for a further two sets of two students and their teachers - second prize was won by the Dominican College in Griffith Avenue (click 
here to view) and third prize was won by Gaelcholaiste Luimnig in Limerick (click here to view). We think you will agree that the standard of the videos is impressive - the judges found it difficult to choose winners and commented particularly on the creativity demonstrated by the students.

This scholarship competition was run in collaboration with the Consejeria de Educación and prizes were sponsored by La Junta de Castilla y León and the Spanish Tourism Office in Ireland. Thank you to all.

Are you learning or teaching French? Do you follow Souris c'est lundi!?

We publish every week, videos, text, and accompanying resources. Check out the latest entry. Cannes festival French classroom challenge! How about creating a lip dub based on the catchy and ‘simplissime’ 1960s hit tune ‘l’école est finie’ (Sheila). Liberté, jeunesse, amour, joie de vivre… A vous les choeographes et cineastes! Souris‬, c’est lundi!

Using Tablets to Support Language Learning (German)

In this video, German teacher Tina Killackey from Presentation Secondary School, Wexford describes some of the apps she uses to support language learning with her 1st year class. These include Quizlet, Notability, Book Creator and Socrative. These apps can be used in any area and support independent and collaborative learning and many forms of assessment.
Make sure and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook (just click on the icons above) to be keep up with what's happening in post-primary languages and other material of general interest to anyone interested in Modern Foreign Languages education.
Language Fair

Post-Primary Languages Roundtable for languages teachers associations in September

The purpose of this event will be to raise awareness of existing national and European collaborative support for language teaching and learning at post-primary level, to facilitate an exchange of good practice between language teachers associations in Ireland, to discuss the challenges faced by language associations in Ireland and to discuss the benefits of collaboration. The event will provide an opportunity to present relevant European initiatives in this area, and to network and explore challenges, opportunities and common issues of interest in the Irish context.

This information and networking forum is being organised by PPLI and will take place on September 26th from 10.30-3.30pm in Marino Institute of Education, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9.   Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Using Tablets to Support Language Learning (French)

In this video, teacher Sandrine Pac-Kenny from Presentation Secondary School, Wexford describes some of the apps she uses to support language learning with her 1st year class. These include Kahoot, Educanon, Make Dice Lite and Edmodo. These apps can be used in any area and support independent and collaborative learning and many forms of assessment.

More good practice videos from PDST Technology in Education are available here
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