NATE Classroom

Articles from No. 8, Summer

Any English Questions?
A series in which Classroom invites questions for a different guest respondent each term. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Our guest for this 'Language' themed issue is Professor David Crystal, eminent writer, academic, lecturer and broadcaster on a wide...
Back to the Future-Or Putting the Creative Back in Writing
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A Faerie Tale By Charlie Alcock Once upon a time there was a pawnbrokers shop. It lay on the very corner between Capricorn Street and Leeland Street in a sparsely populated corner of London. It wasn't a very big pawnbrokers,...
Blended Learning-GCSE English Inside and outside the Classroom
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The background In 1999 an English teacher at The Sheffield College was struggling with perennial problems of FE teaching. She had a bright young woman in her class who, though eager to pass the exam, was missing classes...
Choice Words
All the resources mentioned in bold in this article are freely available on the special NATE Classroom page at http://www.teachit.co.uk/nateclassroom. I once asked a student, 'What do you think of the author's language here?' He stared at me like...
Clear-Sited: The JISC Collections for Schools, Reviewed
Online subscription resources www.jcs.nen.gov.uk/ Subscriptions for schools are charged per archive site (e.g. 120 [pounds sterling] for the Education Image Gallery for an individual school) but buying groups can achieve up to 75% discount. See...
Cultural Imperialism and Children's Books
* How many books in translation sit on the shelves in your classroom or library? * If you rummaged through the nearest bookbox you could get your hands on, how many stories celebrating cultural diversity would you find? * Are we doing enough...
Developing Language through Speaking and Listening Activities
'Children's ability to speak and listen is fundamental to their language development ...' Teaching Speaking and Listening at Key Stages 1 and 2, QCA 1999 Talking enables children to explore their thinking, rehearse ideas and plan how words and sentences...
Exploring Language for AQA B OxBox CD-ROM
Exploring Language for AQA B OxBox CD-ROM Sarah Johnson and Suzanne Starr Oxford University Press 2008 ISBN 9780198325871 135 [pounds sterling] plus VAT [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Oxbox is a CD-ROM and there is a DVD version for loading...
Hard to Teach ... the Rest of the Story
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the previous issue of Classroom, we looked at some of the innovative ways teachers had used ICT to tackle 'Hard to Teach' topics. That was less than half of the story ... [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Podding along: making...
Hoards and Hoards of Words
Once upon a time when smoking dragons ruled the world and only the wisest of wizards or cunning bards could lure dragons from their piles of gold, there were few heroic children willing to risk all to steal wizards' tricks and bards' treasuries. ...
In Search of English
I often give talks at 'lit fests', and usually I find myself in the company of novelists, poets, dramatists, and the generalist authors that flood the literary tents these days. But at the Dartington 'Ways on Words' festival a couple of years ago I...
Join the OED Free for All
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] You can now access the full version of the Oxford English Dictionary online free from any computer. All you need is a public library membership with the new style of plastic library card and PIN number. If you don't have these...
Language over Time: Chaucer's Smale Foweles
Changing language over time is a re-minted currency in the National Curriculum economy. We'd been doing it already, in the indirect manner of reading Shakespeare plays and other older literary texts and anyway, some schools never stopped doing their...
Learning Curve
I have always believed with passion that students learn best in an atmosphere of praise and encouragement. If you tell them repeatedly that you believe they can do it they come to believe it too. If you constantly criticise and denigrate them they...
Putting the 'Fun' into Functional Skills
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In the spirit of active literacy, here's a quick cloze activity. Just fill in the gaps with words you think appropriate: Functional skills are --. They are designed to --. The impact they will have on English teachers is...
Synthetic Phonics: Vital Supplement or Sugar Pill?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I first met synthetic phonics over ten years ago on a disappointingly drab summer afternoon. It was the holidays, myself, my friend and her little sister were all crammed into my porch making business cards, advertising the...
Teachit Staffroom Roundup-Hot Topic: No Place for Creativity
In April, an article in the Guardian by barrister/writer turned teacher, Leonora Klein, provoked plenty of comment from Teachit's staffroom posters. In the newspaper article, 'Why I abandoned teaching', Klein writes that she resigned from her teaching...
Theme for This Issue: Language
Depending on who you ask, the idea of language provokes sharp, reflex responses on areas as divergent as the use of the comma and the gulf between generations, but most will agree that the whole subject is fascinating, potentially stressful, often...
The Real Thing
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Over the past five years or so, the British Library has been engaged in much work supporting English language study. As we embark on a new phase of ambitious activity in this area, now seems a good time to reflect on where...
'The Road Less Travelled'
THE CANTERBURY TALES by Geoffrey Chaucer Written late 1380s and circulated in manuscript form, first printed by Caxton 1478 Key Stage 3/4 'Texts from the English literary heritage' [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION...
Timetours: In the Next Academic Year We Will See the Launch of a New Twist on an Established Activity: The 'TimeTours' Project. Designed to Enrich Reading for All Pupils, It Is Based on a SciFi Scenario Featuring Spies, Weird Gizmos, Avatars, and Computers. Here, Chris Warren Describes What's in Store
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] If you've ever tried to encourage a toddler to try unfamiliar food, you might have found yourself using a 'game' strategy. Perhaps the fork becomes a train and the peas on it are people going down to Tummy Land for an adventure....
Using Storyboxes to Develop Language and Thought
In collaboration with Buckinghamshire teachers Rosemary Gadd (Buckingham Primary), Debbie Morrison (St Edwards), Suzanne Best (Marlow C of E Infants), Jenny Nunn (St Mary's C of E, Fairford Leys, Aylesbury), Elisa March (Stone), Hannah Robinson (Stoke...
Writing to 'Instruct'
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Year II Examination Tips 1. Do all your revision the night before. 2. In the exam write down all you can remember, never mind what the question is. 3. Hurry through the questions, then put your head on the desk for...
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