Title Image


An outline by Joe Dale of his two talks at this year’s Language Show.

  |   Speaking, Visiting

Attending the Language Show at Olympia is always one of the highlights of the year for me. An annual fair for language professionals and learners, there is something for everyone, be it free teacher seminars featuring national speakers, amazing networking opportunities with likeminded peers or the chance to peruse the wide range of stands and perhaps pick up a freebie or two!


This year, The Language Show takes place on 15th-17th November and I’m delighted to be giving two talks again around the topic of enhancing language learning through the purposeful use of technology. My first talk ‘New Techy Tips and Tricks to get Students Talking and Listening’ will provide an overview of some effective ways of using free cross-platform apps and web tools for encouraging students to practise recording themselves speaking in the target language. We will begin with looking at the web version of Book Creator and how to make your own personalised narrated photo story with invisible clickable audio hotspots for each speech bubble to bring a conversation to life. I’ll demonstrate how to remove the background of any photo featuring a person or people using a free web tool so students can place themselves into any creative context they see fit. We’ll look too at using the new Autodraw feature in Book Creator to make your own talking vocabulary guide.


Next I’ll show how teachers can use QR codes to give audio feedback to students and for setting speaking homework. We’ll also explore the potential of creating classroom podcasts for promoting speaking and listening skills as well as creativity and collaboration. Then, we’ll trial the new free web tool Charlala for encouraging conversation through drawing. Finally, I’ll ask a volunteer to create an animated screencast using Seesaw to indicate how students can provide evidence of their speaking while channelling their creativity. We’ll then transfer the results to Book Creator to complete the presentation. 


For my second presentation ‘The making of the #mfltwitterati podcast – Free professional development for your ears.’ I plan to tell the audience all about the new podcast I started back in January with my co-host Noah Geisel from Denver, Colorado which showcases techy and non-techy ideas shared by the #mfltwitterati community. The podcast is in the style of a magazine type show and is designed to celebrate the voices of the modern language teaching community from around the world. Having described the format of the show and the benefits of listening in, I will highlight some of the great ideas we’ve discussed so far from practising teachers from the U.K. and US in particular. These will include examples of using escape rooms, virtual reality and GCSE revision tips amongst other themes. 


We’ll take a deep dive too into the free cross platform Wakelet for curating interesting lesson content, Twitter chats and creating collections of resources with students. I’ll also demonstrate Wheelofnames.com as a way of randomly selecting students’ names, vocabulary items as conversation starters and for chunking language with multiple wheels at the same time. 


To finish with, I’ll share some of the feedback Noah and I have received so far about the podcast and encourage everyone to check out our website mfltwitteratipodcast.com or their podcast listening app of choice.


So I look forward to seeing you all in November. Please come and say hi and don’t forget to follow the hashtag #LanguageShow and #mfltwitterati too on Twitter to keep up with all the action!