Back row L-R: Emilie (Bo), Jessica (K), Sonja (K), Esma (KR), Alexa (KR), Julia (Ba), Marie (Bo). Front row L-R: Beatrice (Bo), Pauline (KR), Bailey (Bo)
Study Week 6th-10th May 2019
What a great week we had here in Newcastle! Ten students – three from Karlsruhe, two from Kiel, four from Boras and one from Barcelona – spent the week talking, laughing and eating, and had a very enjoyable time despite the terrible weather!
The week began with a cultural visit to Durham and a look at its famous cathedral. We then met for a classic English meal of pie, mash and that North-East delicacy, pease pudding.
Tuesday started with a tour of the campus, and a talk from Rene Koglbauer, Executive Director of North Leadership Centre at the university, about UK educational policy.
We then worked together to solve a murder mystery – and it turned out that Emilie was the dastardly killer! We used Kahoot to show how an interactive digital quiz can increase engagement and participation, and looked at e-portfolios to discuss the importance of reflection and how this can be documented throughout both our teacher training and our teaching career.
A cold and rainy Wednesday saw us in iLab with Jon Haines, co-creator of the VEO (Video Enhanced Observation) app, and we had the opportunity to practise recording each other using “tagsets” to comment and reflect on the process. We followed this up with a visit to Ponteland High School, where we saw a variety of digital techniques in action in the classrooms, and learnt about Google Classroom and how it is used in teaching and assessment.
On Thursday we had two very enjoyable morning workshops before spending the afternoon working on individual presentations. First up was Linguacuisine, where we learnt Italian with Paul by cooking involtini in the digital kitchen in the iLab. The end result was delicious and everyone managed to learn at least a few Italian words!
We followed our fun in the kitchen with a session with David Leat, Professor of Curriculum Innovation, and Ulrike Thomas, Senior Research Associate, both of whom work within CfLaT (the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching) on innovative classroom methods such as enquiry-based and project-based learning. David gave us a thinking skills mystery to discuss – as there is no right or wrong answer, we had some interesting theories and reasons for their final decisions from each group. The groups then devised their own mysteries for the others to work on. All the students were really impressed by the activity, and intend learning more about thinking skills activities and how they can be used in a language learning classroom.
We sneaked in a delicious Afternoon Tea on Thursday afternoon at the Tyneside Cinema – the first taste of scones for many of the students!
Our final day was devoted to presenting what we had learnt during the week, and there were some excellent presentations of digital tools including the infographic tool Genially, online opinion app Answergarden, and interactive book creators like Instant Flipbook. The students showed us their e-portfolios and explained how they had developed throughout the week.
The collaboration and discussion that we all took part in over the course of the week was outstanding, and the students returned home having built a new network of transnational contacts, learned new teaching and learning techniques and tools for the language classroom, and developed reflection skills which will help them immeasurably as they progress through their teacher training and begin their practice. Well done on a really enjoyable and interesting week, and come back to visit any time (give me advance warning so I can stock up on tea and biscuits though…)!