Schoolshape Symposium at The Bolles School, Jacksonville, Florida

The Bolles School Florida is internationally recognized for excellence in academics, arts, athletics*, and activities.

Their World Languages Department, recently opened its doors to delegates from other institutions.

This was a practical, hands-on session for language teachers, hosted by Moya Marks, upper school principal and Chair of World Languages at The Bolles School. The seminar and workshop were led by Dom Armstrong, technical advisor for the Schoolshape Online Language Lab, which has been successfully used at Bolles for the last two years.

“The Schoolshape program has been a phenomenal teaching tool for us at Bolles,” said Moya Marks, “With the recent implementation of improved bandwidth throughout the school, we will integrate even more use of the program in the classroom. We were pleased to host this workshop and lead the way in facilitating Schoolshape’s use among Jacksonville schools.”

Delegates set online speaking, listening, reading and writing tasks for their students to complete on iPads or other online devices. They also practised adapting existing resources for setting in online format with automatic correction and grading, performance tracking, and, above all, plenty of speaking practice in the foreign language.

In addition to the meeting at The Bolles School, Language specialists from around the world were invited to participate in two stages of an online workshop.

In Stage 1 they acted as students with iPads or other online devices, handing in tasks set for them by the delegates at Bolles.

In Stage 2 they created, adapted and set online tasks for their own students to complete.

In the week prior to the event, teachers in 50 schools and universities signed up for the online workshop..

Schoolshape is mainly used at The Bolles School as a full online language laboratory. Teachers can supervise their students by listening in to individuals, wherever they be, exchanging messages, pairing them up for oral work, and giving demonstrations by controlling the screens of individuals or groups.

Schoolshape is also used as a means of preparing and differentiating tasks and courses in advance. Work is set for students to complete and hand in on their online devices. Students are never in doubt about what to do next. Teachers are confident that the work they have set is appropriate for the needs of each individual or group. Most corrections and grades are done automatically and results placed in their electronic gradebook. Teachers therefore have the time they need and the data they require to pinpoint weaknesses, identify progress, and give appropriate feedback.

Here are some examples of tasks handed in to language teachers at The Bolles School meeting.

Submitted to Duval County Public Schools by Hurstpierpoint School, a Spanish listening and speaking exercise about School, and a writing exercise on the Spanish Subjunctive

Submitted to Bolles from Cardiff School of Education, a speaking and writing exercise about a French tourist office, from Anadolu University, an English grammar exercise on the use of apostrophes, from Groton School a listening speaking and reading exercise on Mandarin pronunciation.

Submitted to North Florida University from St Mary’s Grammar, a Spanish listening and speaking exercise entitled Madrid 2020

To the Episcopal School of Jacksonville from Highcliffe School, a Spanish listening and speaking exercise on the 2012 London Olympics

To St. Johns Day School from the Bridge Academy and the Open University a listening writing and speaking exercise based on an Asterix video clip.

*Example of this school’s achievements in the 2012 London Olympics can be seen at:

Article on Bolles website at

Many thanks to the following teachers who kindly submitted work as part of the online workshop

Submitted to The Bolles School

Collette Ballew Honesdale High School

Althea Greenidge Raines Foundation School
Seray Tanyer Anadolu University
Frankie Stevens Cardiff School of Education
Juliet Park Yewlands Academy
Kristine Simpson Forest Area Middle/ High School
Leigh Arrathoon Rochester College
Kim Rhodes Deep Run High School
Kristine Simpson Forest Area Middle/High School
Theresa Delphonse Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School
Yao Cheng  Reading Chinese School
Laura Amy Duncraig Senior High School
Maggie Sproule George Watson's College
Vivien Zhang City of London School for Girls
James Rolle Groton School
Roger Crandall Indiana University
Xiaojing Kou Indiana University
Shun Ji Macfarlane The Marco Polo Academy
Alysse Rasmussen Valencia College
Deb Blaz  Angola High School

Submitted to West Nassau High School
Paul Almeida Werneth School
Georgia Jarrell Meridian High School
Patti Marinelli University of South Carolina

Submitted to University of North Florida
Richard Detwiler Jenkintown Middle/High School
Catriona Donoghue St Mary's Grammar

Submitted to Episcopal School of Jacksonville
Edward Stanko Patrick Henry High School

Submitted to St. Johns Country Day School
Susanne Winchester  Open University
Anu Jain  The Bridge Academy

Submitted to Duval County Public Schools
Margarita Payeras-Cifre Hurstpierpoint College
Julia Royall Mason Preparatory School

Submitted to Fletcher High School
Carmen Montas P.S.19q
Gina Pitches Hockerill Anglo-European College
Lucy Marsh Robert May’s School

Submitted to Episcopal School of Jacksonville
Marianne Walton Highcliffe School