Supporting Modern Foreign Languages in a primary school

Lisa Stevens is a Primary class teacher, a Modern Foreign Languages specialist and an enthusiast for embedding innovative technology in the teaching and learning process. She explains how she uses Voki – an avatar that talks, for children to record their voice – not only for Spanish, but also for recording poetry. It is also used for peer and teacher assessment purposes.

She uses VoiceThread to enable pupils to add their voices and other sound to a wide range of programs. Lisa talks about the ways in which the interactivity of ‘Web 2.0’ contributes to the wider educational development of her pupils – and is approved by their parents – as well as supporting mainstream curriculum areas.

Lisa Stevens: pupil involvement

There are three interviews with groups of primary pupils that form the basis of these case studies. In the first, members of the class explain how they use PowerPoint and VoiceThread to add sound to group presentations.

Using PowerPoint and VoiceThread

More detailed explanations are provided by pupils of the techniques – and advantages – of using VoiceThread and other interactive programs.

How to use VoiceThread

Boys then explain how they use Voki to create avatars and record their voices for poetry, and for Spanish – and how they set up their own closed version of Facebook.

Using Voki to create avatars.

For these pupils, therefore, all of the elements identified in the typology are particularly powerful: Learner involvement; Creativity; Personalisation; Collaboration; An awareness of audience; and wider audience than that of the teacher – the class; the home and a global audience through international links.

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You can follow Lisa Stevens on Twitter: @lisibo, or her blog.

The Video Team

Theo Kuechel and Leon Cych produced these video interviews.

Theo Kuechel is involved in Technologies for Learning, Archives – Collections, Open Educational Resources, Music and other social activities. You can follow Theo on Twitter: @theokk, or on his blog.

Leon Cych is a web designer, coder, teacher, poet, artist, broadcaster, journalist and educationalist. He set up the nationwide poetry magazine – Poetry London Newsletter in the seventies. You can follow Leon on Twitter: @eyebeams, or his blog Learn4Life.

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