Adding a teacher

This video shows how to add another teacher to the lab. This is useful, not only if you need students to submit work to another teacher but also if you plan to collaborate with other teachers on language projects.

Example English Resource with Environmental Theme

This video shows how, with one Schoolshape resource, teachers can provide more language practice, social interaction and assessment for their students than you can shake a stick at.

Are Zoom meetings enough for Language Students?

To learn another language, the best path to proficiency is practice. The more practice, the better the learning and skill. In the best of times, classroom practice has always been heavily restricted, and in lockdown language students do not even have that. Meetings of the ‘Zoom’ variety have been much vaunted by teachers connecting with their students, but it is hard to evaluate how much language practice can be achieved by this method. The way to help students with language fluency is to provide them with daily opportunities for language practice with peers, regularly structured and encouraged through formative assessment. The only way to do that properly and professionally is to use an online language laboratory.

Schoolshape Webinar today I am looking forward to showcasing Schoolshape today in a webinar with @JoeDale, a highly respected UK education advisor. Joe’s expertise in the use of technology for language teaching and learning is second to none. His recent series of webinars on this subject has been appreciated by a wide audience of language educators. First there will be a brief history and rationale behind the Schoolshape Language Laboratory, and how it has come to be used by schools around the globe as a hybrid/blended language learning tool. I’ll then present a combination of slides and video explaining in detail how you and your students can work closely together, in or out of school, building their skills in any language.

Foreign Language Learning: An aid to Friendship

Writing this in the 48 hour Twitter protest about hate messages, I recall an interesting discussion on Sunday about the future of foreign language teaching. The school and university subject, often known as ‘Modern Foreign Languages’ in the UK, or ‘World Languages’ in the USA, has been woefully sinking in popularity with students in recent years. Trade with foreign lands is of course the bedrock of any nation’s economy, and plainly the last thing a post-Brexit Britain needs is a population able to communicate with foreigners only by shouting loudly in English. However, there is a more vital reason to encourage young people to engage with foreign cultures. On Sunday I posed a Twitter question about students exchanging information, sharing points of reference, common interests etc., thus strengthening and bonding foreign links between our country and others around the world, and received the following response from an eminent professor of languages. Prof: “It should be included alongside art, theatre, sport, history, science, youth culture, architecture etc etc - in the countries where the #languages are spoken. This enables some shared ground when learners meet peers. Discussing similarities & differences is fascinating” The wisdom of his words is twofold. 1. Surely an understanding of foreign cultures will foster empathy and reduce animosity between individuals and nations. 2. Sharing ground with foreign people is fun and endlessly fascinating. Me: “Today being a day of reflexion for some, would you feel comfortable with linking this to a teacher's moral obligation to open students' minds in this way? I certainly would!" Prof: “Definitely! That’s the greatest benefit!” What nobler mission for a teacher or student than to fight the scourge of hatred?