Thursday, 10 December 2015

MTOT Entries

Entries have been arriving thick and fast in our inboxes here at SCILT. It is fantastic to see the hard-work and enthusiasm of your pupils in a multitude of languages being creative in such a wide variety of themes from football to holidays, memories of family to recent terrorist events in Paris.

Just a reminder that the closing date for entries is 18th December.  All the information and documentation you need to enter pupils' work can be found in the Teacher's Pack within the RESOURCES tab on out MTOT page.

The maximum is a total of 10 entries per school across whichever age categories you wish to put forward, and please remember to send us the relevant entry forms and permission slips (either scanned by email or by post) to accompany each entry.
Please send entries via email (or you can send via post  if you are sending a disc or memory stick with video entries due to large file size) to:

Lord Hope Building
Room LH232, Level 2
141 St James Road
John Anderson Campus
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow G4 0LT

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

10 Fun Poetry Ideas!
Whilst prepping for the Language Show Live (11th & 12th March 2016 @ SECC, Glasgow http://www.languageshowlive.co.uk/) I came across a presentation from the London event by Suzi Bewell, MFL lecturer at University of York, which featured some simple, fun poetry ideas I thought you might like:

1. Poem-a-week

Aim to include at least one poem (song / rhyme) into your existing planning framework.


2. Use ICT

(such as www.storybird.com * ) to help to engage reluctant writers in languages

http://mfl-storybirds.wikispaces.com/   (collection of Storybirds ready to use)


3. One image many words

Choose one piece of artwork and let their imaginations go wild!

4. Start simple

Acrostic poems and calligrams are a great starting point. Once learners confidence grows, move onto Haikus and other more advanced types of poetry.


5. Poetry Slam!

Turn it into a competition and have learners ‘perform’ their poems in front of an audience. This could be peers in class, in a year group assembly or even to parents.

6. Create a classroom poetry anthology

Learners of all abilities could contribute to an annual languages poetry anthology. The final version could be printed / published and held in the school library and / or the web.


7. Poetry quilt

Create a colourful paper quilt wall display of pupils’ poems and art work (based on Barefoot Billion project.

8. Podcast Poetry

Encourage creative speaking as well as writing using tools such as Sonocent Audio Notetaker and Periscope.


9. Poet-tree

Hang pupils’ work off the branches of a tree like you would Christmas ornaments.


10. Longform poetry

With older or more advanced learners, delve into sonnets, limericks, ballads and odes.


Also, don't forget there is a wealth of poems, rhymes and songs in hundreds of languages at www.mamalisa.com

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Happy St Andrew's Day!

With St Andrew's Day approaching on Monday 30th, I thought it would be fitting to post some links to a wealth of poetry written in Scots language that would work well with children.

From the Scottish Poetry Library website, simply click on hyperlink below to find a collection of Scots poems for children:

Or for a more traditional flavour of Scots poetry from Burns you can see his complete works at: http://www.robertburns.org/works/  and you will also find some of the vocabulary translated into English, French, German and Spanish.

Or if you want to explore rhyme in Scots, why not watch and listen to The Gruffalo in Scots?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2qmm9o77NU

With just over three weeks until the deadline for MTOT entries, we hope your pupils are enjoying being creative with language.  Remember to send written entries as scanned documents or performances as video clips to us by 18th December. Any queries, just drop me a line:

Image result for gruffalo                                      Image result for robert burns

Monday, 2 November 2015

MTOT at St Rose of Lima PS, Glasgow

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of working with EAL teachers Claire Stevenson and Kirsten Barrett and observing the lasts of their poetry sessions. Children used talk for writing to create word/phrase banks for Halloween senses poems in English and in their Mother Tongue languages.
From the smell of 'rotting zombie flesh' in Polish to the sound of 'skeleton bones rattling' in Malayalam the children had fantastic ideas, many of them working in pairs to support literacy and translation skills in their home languages.
I cannot wait to read and hear their work!


Also, below is an extract from an excellent free resource by www.teachitprimary.co.uk which I received via an email. It has some short, simple ideas for creating poetry in an interdisciplinary way - why not give it a go in Mother Tongue or Other Tongue?

Historical riddle
The kenning is an Anglo-Saxon form of riddle poetry, but this fun activity would be fantastic with any History topic!  Give each child a historical artefact, and challenge them to describe it with a list of evocative two-word phrases.  For example, a battle-axe becomes a ‘skull-splitter’ and a ‘widow-maker’.  For an interactive display, put the finished kennings in the middle of the board with pictures of the artefacts around them. Can the children solve the riddles and match the poem to the artefact?
Rhymes tables
We know that rhymes aid memory, and certainly all kids love the silly mnemonic ‘I ate and I ate till I was sick on the floor. 8 times 8 is 64’.  Challenge children to make up and memorise their own rhyming couplets for the times tables they are learning.  You could finish up with a poetry slam, where the children perform their mathematical poems to another class!

Paint with words
Children sketch or trace the outline of a famous artwork, and then fill the shapes with words and phrases inspired by the painting.  Encourage them to experiment with figurative language, explaining that writers use metaphors and similes to help create vivid images in the reader’s mind – just like artists create images out of paint! For a striking effect, have the children write the words using coloured pens to match the original artwork. 
Summing-up science  
At the end of a science topic, choose five key words and challenge children to write a poem including all of them.  For example, a poem about the Earth, Moon and Sun might have to include the words ‘gravity’, ‘orbit’, ‘sphere’, ‘axis’ and ‘solar’.  Give bonus points for the use of additional scientific vocabulary!
Pop poetry 
Play the class a pop song by one of their favourite artists.  Ask them to work in small groups to rewrite the lyrics about something they enjoy – whether that’s reading or rugby, go-karting or guinea pigs. The rhythm and rhyme must fit the original tune. Once they have finished writing, each group sings their new Pop Poem to the class!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Opportunity to take part in French research project

Dear teachers,

As a PhD student whose research focuses on multilingualism in the United Kingdom, I find Mother Tongue Other Tongue a really interesting project to follow!

I am keen to find out how pupils from different language backgrounds view their language(s) and how Mother Tongue Other Tongue experience can have a positive impact on their perceptions of languages.


I would like to visit participating classes in order to observe the dynamics of the groups whilst working on their poems and interview a few pupils about their experience with Mother Tongue Other Tongue.

To see this project happen, I need your participation… This would mean letting me come into your class a couple of times between now and Christmas.

 If you are interested in my project or would like to know more about it, please don’t hesitate to contact me for further details!

I look forward to hearing from you!
Malika Pedley

Thursday, 8 October 2015

I hope you have all had a great day and got the chance to enjoy some poetry today.
It's been a busy week for MTOT......

On Saturday, we had the second teachers' poetry workshop with Juliette Lee and the group produced work in English and French.

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting the children at St Maria Goretti Primary School in Glasgow and watching them perform a fantastic assembly sharing their celebrations for European Day of Languages (I even had a croissant and brioche in the staffroom thanks to the lovely Mrs Barrett!)

Today, I spoke with two teachers keen for their classes to take part, one of the entries being in French Braille - wow!
Also many thanks to Georgi at the Scottish Poetry Library, who has had an extremely busy week but still found the time to send me some inspirational poetry to share with you:

One is a BSL/Shetlandic/English poem film that Kyra Pollitt made while she was one of their Artists in Residence http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/connect/blog/signedI personally love the performance in this and think that the signing and non-verbal speak louder than words. 

The other is very apt as Scotland are playing Poland today at football. Their current Poem of the Moment quotes from the Scots translation of a Polish poem for children called 'Pstryk’ (‘Switch’)http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/.  After this week, the complete poem in Scots and Polish will still be available on the site at: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/pstryk

Finally, tomorrow holds the penultimate teachers' workshop in Edinburgh - I look forward to meeting some of you there. What a busy and exciting week, I'll feedback after our final workshop in Inverness next Wednesday. In the meantime, happy national poetry day and happy half-term.



Friday, 2 October 2015

After our very successful pilot in the Glasgow area last year, we are rolling MTOT nationally so that children and young people from P1 - S6 can participate and express their creativity through languages.
We've also been busy finding new partners to support the competition:
Georgi from the Scottish Poetry library has been sending us lots of poems in a variety of languages (these will be posted in our Resources pages of the SCILT website and here on the blog).
Juliette Lee, poet and creative writer, is leading the teachers' workshops and inspiring teachers to give poetry a go in Mother Tongue and/or Other Tongue in their classes.

This year, we are running four free poetry workshops for teachers  - the first of which took place in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde on 19th September.  Teachers from primary and secondary sectors participated and went home enthused and full of ideas to take back to the classroom.

Tomorrow (Sat 3rd Oct) will see the next of the workshops being held at Dundee University. The next will be held at the Open University in Edinburgh on Friday 9th October (13.30 - 16.30) - there are a few places left and you can still register by completing the MTOT workshop registration form on the SCILT website.
For more information about MTOT and to register your school to take part in the competition visit the MTOT 2015-16 page of our website. But hurry, the deadline is Friday 9th October!