Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: Keith Kelly's Onestop Tour

To celebrate onestopclil's first birthday, Keith selects some of the best resources published last year. Navigating a pathway through the wealth of material from 'classroom resources' to 'theories and principles' to 'connecting with colleagues' this invaluable guide helps you to find out how you can get more from onestopclil.

Dear colleagues, welcome back to school!

At the start of our second year at onestopclil, I thought it would be a good idea in this editorial to take a look back to 2008 and see exactly what we have managed to achieve on the site. With this in mind, I had a good look round and just as I suspected, it's difficult to get through everything as there is so much of it! Let me try.

Classroom resources

Let me start with classroom resources. Onestopclil is about continued provision of excellent materials to teachers in a form teachers can take and use straight away in their classrooms. These are materials based on the content curriculum and which follow clear principles for classroom-based second language acquisition. There are materials which aim to provide for language teachers looking to bring more content into their English lessons as well as for the FL subject teachers wanting to develop language through their subjects. So, what have we got that meets these high standards?

  • There are extensive materials for subject-specific vocabulary practice such as the 'Biology' vocabulary resource. The vocabulary materials visualise, activate and contextualise new subject concepts and terms as well as academic language in one package. 
  • There are very practical primary resources including the primary focused vocabulary resources and the hands on art and craft resources such as the work with mathematical shapes in 'A Shape Exhibition' and the colour-in animals in 'Wild Animals'.
  • There are interactive speaking tasks such as the 'Human skeleton and muscles' question loop or the paired information gap speaking tasks such as 'the life of George Washington'. Students simply have to talk to find information they need and the affective intelligence is also engaged with the very interaction involved in the task. Have you tried out a question loop? Let us know how it went in the discussion forum.
  • There are guided reading activities such as the read and take notes task in 'Farming in Britain' as well as read and information transfer as in 'The Earth's Biomes'.
  • There are guided writing tasks such as 'Urbanization and World Population'. Students are given a structure to work with as well as phrases and terms to help them create their own written texts.
  • There is also embedded language supportthroughout the resources generally, for example the language embedded PowerPoint templates to help students deliver their own presentations in a variety of subject areas such as 'Sea Action'.
  • The growing number of animations and experiments with accompanying activities are emblematic of the site in that they provide core material teachers tell us they need to have, but the content has been presented in a classroom-friendly way so that colleagues can simply download and off they go. Experiments like Gone with a Bang! are, again, examples of fun, practical resources for the primary classroom.
  • There is topic-based listening such as 'Consumer hot topics - obesity' with mp3 files to accompany worksheets and tasks.

Theory and principles

It was a very busy year for CLIL particularly, but also in Immersion Education and Bilingual Education generally. Around the world more and more young people are being offered their learning through the medium of a language other than their mother tongue. This has led to an ongoing discussion of what this means in practice and the 'featured articles' from Phil Ball as well as pieces from other guest writers mean that onestopclil is at the forefront of that discussion. The 'methodology section' has a growing number of articles from a number of experts in the field of CLIL ranging from classroom practice, through case studies of country projects, project management and general principles of learning in a foreign language. We also have the first in a series on 'Skills for CLIL' of what I'm sure will prove to be excellent  reading from Jean Brewster this month.

Connecting with colleagues

There have been a number of global aspects to the website this year such as the CLIL debate from Cardiff with audience straw polls, plus on-going data from visitors to the site. All of this is still available for you to read and respond to. In the same vein, Café CLIL was linked to onestopclil and there have now been 7 hour long discussions on topics relevant to foreign language subject teaching you can access through onestopclil. There will be more! Personally, I've really enjoyed the news and articles from teachers and colleagues around the world, such as 'CLIL in Lithuania: Interview with Rima Morkuniene'. All of these perspectives are representative of what is actually going on in the classroom and so the more we have of them, the more we can say that we have our finger on the pulse. Keep sending us your news and ideas!

A world of resources

All of this is not to mention the rest, (I did say that there was a lot!) of the vast range of CLIL primary and secondary materials for a range of subjects, the Interactive Worlds for use with ICT in the classroom, the wordlists, access to the Macmillan School Dictionary, lesson share, the discussion forum and an invitation for you the reader to suggest future topic areas to meet your own teaching needs on the site. Let us know what you want, and we'll do our best to provide it for you.

Looking very much to working with you again in 2009-2010!

Best wishes

Keith

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