Monday, 29 July 2013

Celebrating MFL success

The end of the Academic Year saw the celebration of the amazing success of Tomlinscote's finest linguists. 

A selection of students from Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 were nominated by their MFL teachers for the consistently detailed, complex, and accurate work they produced over the months. Their efforts were acknowledged with the award of a badge (in the style of those issued by the PE department) for the language(s) where they have been shining over the course of the year and we hope that they will wear them proudly on their jumpers as from September.

A fine bunch of students!
In the meantime, some well-deserved rest is undoubtedly needed by our MFL ambassadors after so much effort. Well done!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Auf Wiedersehen and Danke Schön to Mrs Brown - Director of the Language College

It is with the utmost regret that we have to announce that Mrs Brown, Director of the Language College, is retiring at the end of this academic year.
Mrs Brown has been teaching at Tomlinscote  for 24 years and led this school to becoming one of the first designated Language Colleges back in 1996. 
Our latest Ofsted report states rightly that "the impact of specialist status permeates the school's whole existence, philosophy and ethos". This is to a very large extent due to Mrs Brown's boundless passion for language learning and her untiring work to give our children copious opportunities to experience other cultures. 

Not only do all students learn French or German and Spanish, but they also enjoy taster sessions and extra-curricular courses in Japanese, Chinese and Latin. Mrs Brown introduced the international week trips enjoyed by year 7s and started the German exchange (back then through her own former German exchange partner with whom she is still in touch after 50 years!). 
As part of the Language College status, Tomlinscote has been a pioneer in primary language provision and in bilingual teaching, leading to cross-curricular projects with geography, science and history, and this year's handball sessions with P.E.. 
Thanks to Mrs Brown's application and groundwork, we have become a PASCH partner school for the German embassy, leading to additional funding and resources, as well as great enrichment events like theatre performances, cooking demonstrations and workshops taking place at Tomlinscote, and students being sent on trips and courses to London and abroad. 
Her vision has also infected staff throughout the school: teachers from all departments have enjoyed staff exchange programmes with Germany and embarked on multinational projects, such as the music exchange with Munich, a maths trip to Paris, science projects with Germany and an Erasmus economics project with Hungary, to mention only a few). 
Fluent (and incredibly accurate!) in French, German and Spanish, and having learned Latin and Russian as well, Mrs Brown has been fighting monolingualism in Britain and has explained to many students and parents the advantages of language learning for their personal development and careers, as well as for the UK economy.
Our Director of the Language College  has touched the lives of many, inspiring and encouraging students and colleagues alike to become better linguists and to appreciate and celebrate cultural differences.

We thank her for the many years she has dedicated to our school and wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement - or, as she prefers to call it, her jubilación!

Isobel Leigh (year 11) writes:

"Frau Brown hat mir und allen Studenten viele Möglichkeiten für das Lernen der Fremdsprachen und besonders für Deutsch gegeben. Es ist so wichtig, dass Lehrer ihr Fach lieben und ich kann einfach sagen, dass Frau Brown Deutsch liebt. Sie will immer unser Deutsch perfektionieren und sie möchte, dass wir die Vorteile des Deutschlernens erkennen. Als ich eine Deutsch Ambassador war, hat Frau Brown mir und den anderen Botschaftern geholfen, und als ich eine Rede im Mock EU -Council halten musste, hat Sie bei meiner Aussprache geholfen, und jetzt fühle ich mich selbstbewusster mit meinem Deutsch." 

Rachel Daw (A2 German & Spanish 2008):

"Thank you so very much for all that you have done for me over the years. From right at the beginning of my seven years in Tomlinscote, you have always gone the extra mile for me, encouraging and enabling me to take German and Spanish for GCSE and A-level.
You went above and beyond the call of duty as my A-Level teacher to arrange our work experience in Wendlingen and to offer me additional tuition in preparation for Oxford interviews, and although I studied German and Spanish in Durham in the end, I went away with a greater knowledge of German, Germany and German culture thanks to our extra lessons.
I can’t thank you enough for inspiring me to study languages, from the age of 11 back in Year 7. Some of the most fantastic experiences of my life have been had through languages. 
Thank you for always believing in me, for your lovely emails and your never-ending willingness to help me." 

Chiara Giovanni (A2 German & Spanish 2012) 

"In dieser oft von falscher Bescheidenheit geprägten Gesellschaft war Frau Browns Begeisterung für Fremdsprachen wirklich ein Fanal der Hoffnung für mich. Mir wurde oft gesagt, ich müsste meinen Enthusiasmus für mein Fach abmildern, wenn ich ernstgenommen werden möchte. Zum Glück zeigte mir Frau Brown, dass eine echte Leidenschaft auch nach Jahrzehnten weiterleben kann und soll, und dass man sich nicht für seine Interessen schämen sollte. Zahllose Stunden habe ich an Literatur und Grammatik in ihrem Büro gesessen, aber mir war kein einziges Mal langweilig. Ich war damals und bin immer noch so dankbar für die Zeit, die Frau Brown mit mir verbracht hat, und die ich nie vergessen werde.
Viel Spaß wünsche ich ihr in dieser neuen Lebensphase !"

Private Study: Film: Französisch für Anfänger

Are you looking for private study ideas over the summer? Why not use youtube and find dubbed versions of your favourite US series (just search for "How I met your mother deutsch", "scrubs francais"  etc.).

You can also find whole films in various languages -dubbed and original. Here is a little gem I found by searching for 'ganzer Film' (whole movie).

It's sweet German film about teenagers falling in love. The setting is a German-French school exchange, so all you French students (maybe with some primary German?) do have a look, too. If you know both languages it's probably funnier. They do resort to English at times - but you'll see not everyone speaks English abroad! Enjoy!

Warning: there are rare occasions of inappropriate language and some mild sexual references in this film, so our primary cluster pupils should refrain from trying to watch it....

If you don't have time to watch the whole film, just have a look at around 42 minutes: Despite hardly knowing any French, Henrik has joined the exchange to be near Valerie. In this scene, she promises to dance with him on the 'boum' (party) the next day, and they agree to meet at 8 o'clock (being Germans...), but he doesn't know about the dinner customs in his French host family...

It's always great to receive comments - so let us know what you think of the film...

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Year 7 International Week to France - booklets

During the trip to France in International Week, the pupils had to complete tasks and keep a diary. The best booklets were produced by Katie Pearson, Hannah Zaman, Chloe-May Patrick and Charlotte Ezzard
Well done!

Year 8 Spanish - El sistema solar

For this last half term, Year 8 Spanish students have been working on a CLIL project, learning about the solar system in Spanish. The final task of the year has been to use all the Spanish learnt
this year including information about planets and describe life as an alien!

Here are a few fantastic examples of work from students in 8M.

Scroll down to see the whole powerpoints!

Au revoir and Tschüss!

It's time to say au revoir and merci to Madame Petros, who has worked as our French foreign language assistant for the last six months preparing students for their speaking exams and working with small groups and sixth formers.
We also have to say Auf Wiedersehen and Danke schön to Frau Bauer, who completed her Erasmus internship after five months. She has been an asset to the MFL department, teaching across the age range and producing excellent resources for the year 8 handball project and the year 7 German music project as well as accompanying students on various trips.
We are grateful to both and wish them all the best for the future!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Search and Sign up - MFL blog navigation

Be the first to know what's new on the blog: 
Just sign up (below on the right) to receive emails whenever a fresh article has appeared here.

It is also become easier to navigate the blog: Apart from using the labels, you can search by key words in the new search function!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Japanese and Chinese Intensive Courses

Around 90 Year 8 students (and some Year 9s) have been working hard during their Japanese and Chinese intensive courses. For two weeks, they discarded their normal timetable in order to attend all-day sessions in their foreign language, culminating in assessments at the end. Probably more fun than the tests were the several practical workshops they attended:

The Chinese learners had wok cookery lesson and and were treated to a trip to Wellington College to experience the school's new Chinese Centre, where they watched paper cutting and Taichi fan dancing demonstrations and could join in a fan dance routine.

Fan dancing practice at Wellington College
The Japanese students could try their hands at making sushi and learned about origami, producing lovely creatures by folding paper. Aided by visitors from Japan 21, an organisation promoting Japanese language and culture, they could also find out about Kimonos and try them on themselves. 
Both groups had instruction in martial arts by visiting experts!

The Japanese teachers and the samurai experts
Derek from Wutan UK teaching the Chinese students
Luckily, everyone survived the sword fighting
Beautiful origami swans

Making sushi - Don't get fish fingers...
No, you can't take them home - but they look very fetching....

Pupils' accounts of the French trip

Here are some more pupils' accounts and pictures of the year 7 trip to France 2013.

My time in France
Harry Walton (7G) writes:
On Monday I got up for France at 2:00 to get on the coach and leave at 3:00. I was really tired but excited at the same time. When we got on the coach and we started to drive off, I waved goodbye to my mum and sat down and went to sleep until we got to Dover. Then we got the ferry and sailed to France. We got to Calais and drove for a good 8 hours. We stopped for lunch and we carried on and I listened to music until we got there and as soon we got there we went straight to our rooms and put everything where we wanted it to go and we left our room to go and play on the field for a while.
The best part of the trip was the laser show because it would put images on the water and make a story out of it and it started like a beautiful story with ballerinas and then after a while it went bad. Evil ro-bo bugs started to attack the light people and then they started to fight back and then fireworks went off to show that they had won and all the machines turned into flowers. It was over a lake in Futuroscope at night and we didn’t get back till 11:00pm.

Callum Foster (7G) has written this report:

Day 2: waking up in the morning after my first night in France. We all woke and then the teacher was knocking on the door to tell us to get up. After breakfast, we all went to Futroscope for the day, a theme park with lots of rides. We went off in a group of 6. We went on all the rides and my best ride was dancing with the Robots: it was so much fun, we could pick levels up to 3 and my friend knows I don’t like rides so he picked level 3. After that I loved the ride. I wish there was a level 6. In the evening we went to the laser show and I liked it because the lasers were on the water and there were really cool special effects.

Day 3: our teacher waking us up once again, getting ready to go to the town Bordeaux and the trip on the coach was 2 hours - that was really long. When we got there, I was excited because I had never been to a French town and it looked beautiful and I bought a few things for my mum and dad. In the town I spent 20 Euros because I thought there were lots of good things there.

Day 4: we went to La Rochelle to visit the town and that was nice as well. My friend Harry bought a baguette, which he ate in half hour  although the bread was massive. We walked around the town a bit and then went to the aquarium and we saw lots of fish and sharks. They were cool and the shark was bigger than me.  

 And Kirby West (7G) writes about his trip:
My time in France was great, we had a laser show and we went to an aquarium and then we went to La Rochelle. The laser show was great: there were robots, smoke jets, water jets and fireworks. It lasted for an hour. After that I helped Miss Merle check the rooms.
Later that day we went to Futuroscope and spent the day there. The rides were all free and I went  to the bikes on the water and spent 10 minutes on there and then we went to a café with water jets outside. Me and James went to play on the water jets and got soaking wet and we had to dry off before we went on a ride.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Auf Wiedersehen im Oktober! German exchange leave Tomlinscote

After ten fun-filled days of making new friends and finding out about one another's culture, the first leg of the German exchange has come to an end. The Germans had a fantastic time over here, enjoying every minute of it. They didn't want to go home and their partners didn't want to see them leave, judging by the hugs and tears when it was time for good-byes today before the coach left for the airport.
The great consolation, however, is that they will see one another again in Oktober for the second part of the exchange, when we travel to Wendlingen near Stuttgart.

Did you take part? Write a comment below to tell us what you think (in German or English!)

Now it's easier to tell them apart: The Germans are wearing the 'I love London' uniform....

Vielen Dank an Herrn König und Frau Sailer for bringing our guests over here!
Auf Wiedersehen!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

More Fantastique French Work with Storybird!!

As promised, here are more little books produced by Madame Tsang's Year 9 class.

Aren't they amazing???

Have a look through all the books to appreciate the excellent language and lovely content!
Very well done to all students!

Please leave a comment - I'm sure the authors would appreciate your feedback!

Monday, 8 July 2013

German Exchange Partners at Tomlinscote

Guten Tag! to our 27 German exchange students who are currently staying with their partners enjoying the uncharacteristic British summer sun. Our students and their families have been making them feel welcome in their homes. The visitors have experienced school life at Tomlinscote, marvelling at our school uniforms and interactive whiteboards (in Germany, there are still black boards in class rooms!). They attended a variety of lessons, where our students could try out their language skills on them.
Over the last few days, they have also been to London for sightseeing, shopping and Madame Tussaud's, and went punting in Oxford (don't fall in the water!).

Today, Tomlinscote students joined their guests on a trip to visit the Houses of Parliament and a flight with the London Eye, enjoying the fabulous view over the capital.
Here are some pictures from the trip. Without the school uniforms, I bet you can't tell the difference between English and German youngsters....

The German students learn all about London sights in school... they were already familiar with Trafalgar Square and the London Eye
in a London Eye pod

Inside the Houses of Parliament
International enjoyment of the London sun ...although some seem to have forgotten their trousers at home...

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Fantastic French work!!

Check out this amazing French book from Phoebe Johnson in 9Y!

Madame Tsang has once again got her kids to produce excellent language and stunning presentation by using cutting edge technology. Looking forward to publishing more in this space!

MFL songs: French: Maître Gims - Bella

Here is a song from the French charts: meets Spanish bull fight.
Maître Gims is singing about the beautiful and mesmerising 'Bella'.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

MFL songs: German: Wise Guys: Jetzt ist Sommer

Here is a song for you by a German a capella band about how 'summer' is just a matter of the right attitude. While most people are still nursing their sunburns from last weekend, it's grey and rainy yet again. Maybe we can learn from the 'Wise Guys': "Sommer ist was in deinem Kopf passiert" - summer is something that happens in your head...

Apologies for one incident of bad language - is your knowledge of German good enough to spot it?