Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why do we all need to be life long learners

I am reading an article by Bruce Hammonds, “ Why do we all need to be life long learners”, that makes me think, especially one thing. When Bruce Hammonds write “For students to remain positive towards learning our classrooms learning communities need to provide students with the following vital elements.Students need to be given choice about what it is they are to learn...”, it actually makes me feel good.

I explain. Last week, I asked my year 9 students what they want me to teach them. I have enough of teaching them what I HAVE to teach them. So I asked my students. Some boys want me to teach them about cars, well I felt embarrassed at first because I know nothing about cars at all, and then I said to myself “ you know what that could be a good thing for me as I would learn something”. But what actually surprised me is that my students want me to teach them about what I am supposed to teach, I mean they asked to be taught about “giving directions in French, shapes, animals etc…”, exactly what I will teach them soon.

I am thinking that next year instead of teaching the curriculum, I am going to ask the students at the beginning of the year what they want to learn, knowing anyway that they would ask for the topics from the curriculum. If I start that way they will feel more enthusiastic and will feel that they are in control of their own learning. I hope by doing that they stay happy learners.

I will write another post about that in a year time to say if it works :-)

French immersion week-end 04-05/07/09

Last year Ruth Bourchier, French National advisor, organised a French immersion week-end in Wellington at the beginning of our winter holiday (July) just before the NZALT meeting. This week-end was very interesting for both Kiwis wanting to ameliorate their French and the Francophone presenting workshops. We all learnt heaps during these 2 days.

Due to the success of that week-end, Ruth has been begged by several people to organise another one this year.

And here we are it is the French immersion week-end and once again it is grandiose!!!

The venue was Kings College in Auckland. I had obviously heard about it, who hasn’t?, but I had never seen any picture of it ( Yes I know I live like a yokel in my country house with the cows!!). OMG!, I thought I was in a Harry Potter movie (with better actors though). The buildings were stunning and the grounds were incredible. Mr Simon Curnow (French teacher at Kings College) was a fantastic host and we felt like diplomates.

I have to admit that I enjoyed terribly Saturday during which we played divers games, I think I haven’t laughed like that in years.

There were teachers from all the country and heaps of francophones. 6 of them presented workshops, among them myself. I was very happy to attend others workshops as it gave “un coup de fouet” after a hard and long winter term. I feel now very refreshed and enthusiastic. I came back home with my head full of ideas and I have already started to work on new activities. I am so existed about what I have learnt during that week-end.

I really can’t wait the next one :-)