#EP 7 – Wheelofnames, Skittles, ConnectLingo, Music, Songs, Phonics and TechTalk interview with Paco Fernández


In episode 7, we take a deep dive into the power of music and song in the languages classroom and showcase lots of great ideas from the community. We announce the winner of our Linguascope competition too and share some sweet ideas on using Skittles as a language learning tool. 

Noah gives a shoutout to the flexible wheelofnames site and I champion the inspiring ConnectLingo Windows app made by a group of sixth formers designed to help students revise for their French and German speaking exams.

Our TechTalk interview is with Paco Fernández, a passionate languages teacher and lead practitioner currently working at the CAM Academy Trust. Paco passes on many helpful tips that he finds to be successful in his classroom about learning grammar in context and being active amongst other topics.

You can follow Joe (@joedale) and Noah (@SenorG) on Twitter, and follow the hashtag #mfltwitteratipodcast for more info. You can also email us with questions or ideas, info@mfltwitteratipodcast.com and subscribe to our newsletter to keep updated about the latest episode.

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The #mfltwitterati podcast – Celebrating the voices of the modern language teaching community!

Thank you for listening!

Joe and Noah

Show notes

[1:27] Radar: Announcing the winner of the Linguascope subscription competition. 

[2:36] Noah shares the iOS and Android app DJ Horn and I mention the iOS app Bossjock Jr and the Windows software Jingle Palette for creating customised soundboards for use in class. See Keezy too.

[6:33] Reminding listeners of the Linguascope commission codes which allow you to receive a whopping 25% discount at their online shop and which expire next month!

[7:08] Noah reflects on the recent Badge Summit and ISTE 2019 which took place in Philadelphia and the ONeducation podcast he guests on with regular co-hosts @irvspanish and @misterwashburn with their Dig it or ditch it section.

[10:55] Noah talks about wheelofnames.com – a browser-based random name picker which also let you upload images and create your own unique URL so you can save and share your spinners. It’s free and works on any device. You can add images too plus bulk copy and paste words into a spinner to save time. Check out wheeldecide.com, iOS app Decide Now and the Random Name Picker on Classtools.net

[12:29]Splitting your screen so you have two or more instances of wheelofnames.com running with the Tab Resize Chrome extension or Split View in Safari by holding down the icon with two squares superimposed one over the other top right of the Safari browser and tap Open Split View. 

See @VEverettmfl and my examples:

[13:10]  using Autodraw.com to generate simple clip art from hand drawings using Articial Intelligence and uploading them to your spinner or inserting them into Book Creator and adding invisible audio hotspots to make a talking dictionary.

[15:56] @Etienne2 from rockyourclass.com and @BellasMFL talk about using Skittles as an incentive to help students learn a language and prepare for the general conversation in the GCSE speaking exam.

[20:58] MFLtwitterati Takeaway: @ConnectLingoYE an inspiring story of a group of sixth formers as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme who decided to build an app to help GCSE students revise for their French and German speaking exam plus Mr Schauer explaining how proud he is of his students. Download the app from here.

[25:15] Noah talks about the free resource NOTICIAS DE LA SEMANA y MÁS (news of the week and more) from M.G.Thompson a.k.a @SpanishEagles which is a 10 page Google Doc full of authentic resources compiled around a specific theme with comprehension questions included.

[26:23] Linguascope

[27:26] MFL Show and Tell: Music and Song special. @CI_LanguageLab talks about the Extra Chunky Spanish podcast created by a group of Spanish teachers who like to use authentic resources in their classroom and the each episode of the podcast dissects a particular song and suggests how it could be used.  

[30:00] the power of using authentic resources in the languages classroom. Noah’s MemeMartes Tumblr blog

[31:27] power Pinner @Alenord and the #authres hashtag

[31:54] Allison Wienhold a.k.a @MisClasesLocas talking about her Baile Viernes (Dance Friday) initiative. Check out her references below …

Allison’s Baile Viernes playlist

The Ketchup Song

Sofia by Alvaro Soler

La Bicicleta by Carlos Vives and Shakira 

[34:23] @acantwelled talking about how @MisClasesLocas inspired her to try out Baile Viernes in her school too with songs including.

Bailar by Deorro

Limbo by Daddy Yankee

[37:07] @RickyMFL and their MFL Factor evening based on the popular television franchise to motivate students and help them with their language learning. Songs mentioned include:

Je joue de la musique by Calogero 

Cotton Eyed Animal

So ein schöner Tag

Das Wochentage Lied 

Shoutout to @LanguageStones at the end too. If you’ve not heard of LanguageStones, check out a description in Episode 4 

[39:49] @Jacquitilt, @mfl_swavesey and Julie Bartoli from Chard School share their interpretations of @rachelhawkes60‘s Spanglovision idea

[40:34] @jacquitilt on Hanleyvision

[42:10] @mfl_swavesey on Francovision


Skin Rang’n’Bone Man

One Last Time – Ariana Grande

[44:01] Julie Bartoli from @chardschool on Spanglovision for Primary

Singing Spanish 

[46:27] @MrVinalesMFL coming up with his own version of the popular Despacito song and using the online tool TeachVid to make it into a listening comprehension exercise.

[49:17] @StevenFawkes on the power of using songs and rewriting the lyrics of popular songs to help language learning retention such as Le passé composé to the tune of the Can-Can by Offenbach

[52:47] @senoraelliott describing her hip hop phonics routines for Spanish

[55:00] @janebrierly tell us about how she uses Alphabet phonics with her visualiser. Check out her blog here

[56:48] @ajbmfl walks us through her French phonics poster toolkit

[58:21] @icpjones on using music rap as a way of helping her students to learn their structures in a fun and motivating way.

[1:02:05] @NadineBleu talking about the power of songs at her bilingual primary school

[1:04:59] Mark Pentleton from Coffee Break Languages giving us some more top tips on using songs in the languages classroom

[1:08:38] TechTalk interview with Paco Fernandez a.k.a @MFLMusicMania loving music from an early age and accessing music for free in the 21st century creating limitless language learning opportunities 

[1:11:13] Using LyricsTraining to create gapfill / cloze activities from authentic songs on YouTube and teaching language in context. Selecting the Print option and choosing which language you’d like to test your students on in a time efficient way.

[1:13:28] having greater access to songs in different languages and tips on choosing which ones that can help learning in the classroom particularly grammar points.

[1:16:35] The nuts and bolts of using a song in class and promoting creativity and autonomy using buscapalabras  and Rimes Solides

[1:19:02] Harnessing the growing popularity amongst students of authentic songs in the target language.

[1:20:33] Using Spotify playlists in class and for homework by flipping the classroom

[1:23:09] exploring more ways of using Spotify e.g collaborative playlists and the browse by country feature

[1:25:02] grammaraerobics to support phonics and learning sounds by combining imagery and music together

[1:29:52] A few final thoughts and looking forward to the next episode

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