Decreasing dependency on Google translate

Or, to put it a different way « Diminution de la dépendance de Google traduit » (Note: actual Google translation of the blog title!)

Are you looking for a simple way of encouraging pupils to access the French vocabulary they need (without resorting to online translation packages)?

Mon Petit Vocabulaire - Brilliant Publications

Mon Petit Vocabulaire – mini French word book

Sample page from Mon Petit Vocabulaire - Brilliant Publications

Sample page from Mon Petit Vocabulaire

Primary children need to be able to access vocabulary to encourage them to speak, listen and write in French. But when they are just beginning to learn French, even the simplest bilingual French-English dictionaries can be overwhelming. It is understandable that some students feel the temptation to go online.

If you find this is the case, we have a solution for you. We publish Mon Petit Vocabulaire – mini (A6) books containing French vocabulary sheets for 33 popular primary school topics. Each page features 9-10 illustrations labelled with their French names. The booklets are colourful, fun to use  and support all French teaching schemes in use in primary schools.

Mon petit vocabulaire covers the following topics:

  • Salutations (Greetings)
  • Les nombres (Numbers 1 to 20)
  • Les nombres 20 à 100 (Numbers 20 to 100)
  • Les couleurs (Colours)
  • L’alphabet français (The French Alphabet)
  • Les jours de la semaine (Days of the Week)
  • Les mois (Months of the Year)
  • Les saisons (Seasons)
  • Noël (Christmas)
  • Les fruits (Fruits)
  • Les légumes (Vegetables)
  • Le restaurant (Restaurant)
  • Un pique-nique (Picnic)
  • Les boissons (Drinks)
  • Le temps (Weather)
  • Les vêtements (Clothes)
  • Les accessoires (Accessories)
  • Les parties du corps (Parts of the Body)
  • Ma famille (My Family)
  • Les animaux domestiques (Pets)
  • Les petites bêtes (Insects and Mini-beasts)
  • Les animaux sauvages (Wild Animals)
  • Les animaux de la ferme (Farm Animals)
  • Les animaux des bois (Woodland Animals)
  • Le système solaire (The Solar System)
  • Les objets de la classe (Classroom Objects)
  • Les matières (School Subjects)
  • Les sports – Je joue….. (Sports – I play…)
  • Les sports – Je fais ….. (Sports – I do ….)
  • Qu’est-ce que tu joues? Je joue … (Musical instruments – What do you play?)
  • Les formes (Shapes)
  • La France (Map of France)
  • Les Français célèbres (Famous French People)

Mon Petit Vocabulaire is available from Brilliant Publications in handy packs of 10 min-books.

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Filed under French, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

A tried and test way of teaching French phonics

What more can be done to enhance your pupils’ learning of the French language?

Physical French Phonics - Brilliant Publications

Physical French Phonics

Some pupils find learning another language a particularly difficult task – partly because there is a whole new set of vocabulary to learn and remember, but also because English phonics cannot be applied to aid them with the pronunciation of this new vocabulary.

Thus a whole new phonics system must be learnt, which is why we have published Physical French Phonics – a tried and tested system for teaching French phonics which in 2012 was a European Language Label winning project.

Through using Physical French Phonics your pupils will not only learn how to correctly pronounce the French vocabulary that is introduced, but they will also gain the skills to tackle any new vocabulary they encounter with confidence.

How it works

For each phoneme, students learn an action, as well as the graphemes associated with that sound. Cheerful colourful cartoon pictures link the actions to the sounds and help to facilitate learning.

The DVD contains everything you need, from video clips of French speakers saying each sound and performing the associated action and audio clips of all the phonemes and words introduced, to attractive full-colour flashcards and resource sheets and interactive whiteboard files for all the phonemes.

Furthermore, the comprehensive teacher’s guide provides a clear step-by-step approach to introducing pupils to French phonemes. It contains practical advice, activities and guidance, along with photocopiable games and reference sheets.

You can find the complete list of Physical French Phonics’ resources by visiting this link. And to see a sample video from the DVD and a video showing children using the system, please do have a look at our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/physicalfrenchphonics.

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Filed under French, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Answering children’s questions about terrorism

What do terrorists want? When will terrorism end?

Children’s questions about terrorism can be penetrating and hard to answer. Many teachers (and parents) will be caught unawares by such questions, uncertain themselves about terrorist motivation and goals and torn between the instinct to reassure and the awareness that Britain is on continuous terrorist alert.

Brilliant Publications has just produced a book  to answer these difficult questions. Talking about Terrorism: Responding to Children’s Questions by Alison Jamieson and Jane Flint is structured around 40 questions that children may ask:

  • What do terrorists want?
  • How can we stop someone becoming a terrorist?
  • Who is keeping us safe in Britain?
  • Why are terrorists so angry and full of hate?
  • When will terrorism end?
Talking about Terrorism - Brilliant Publications

Talking about Terrorism

The authors answer the questions in clear, easy-to-understand language – providing simple, objective explanations and reassurance where possible – while being careful not to raise unrealistic expectations.

As Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, points out in the Foreword to Talking about Terrorism:

“If we are to reassure our young people, encourage their tolerance of others, and prevent them from being groomed into acts that could hurt themselves or others, we must talk with them and educate them. This book sets out to help teachers do just that.  The Internet and 24-hour news cycle means that it is impossible to shield children from the reality of terrorist attacks. But, with open conversation and clear explanations, we can help them feel safe and know that the world is still a good place.”

The text is interspersed with activities that primary school teachers can use to stimulate critical thinking and encourage creative investigation of key themes. These range from discussions and debates, the use of circle time and hot-seating through to role-play, poetry and music composition, singing and artwork.

Despite the focus on terrorism the authors never lose sight of a core belief in human goodness. They make it a priority to focus on positive actions that children can perform, singly or collectively, to make the world more peaceful. Each section has inspiring stories of peacemaking and reconciliation, about the power of love over hate, of non-violence over violence and the importance of tolerance and respect.

As Iona Lawrence, Director of the Jo Cox Foundation, says in an introductory message to the book:

“Jo [Cox] really did live by the conviction that we have ‘more in common than that which divides us.’ As this book also shows, it is this phrase that can and should guide conversations with children about extremism in all its forms.”

Authors

Written by Alison Jamieson, a former consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Jane Flint, a teacher, whose work in a multicultural school in Beeston, Leeds, at the time of the 2005 London bombings provided the inspiration for the book. Their book, Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Handbook for Addressing Extremism, was published by Brilliant Publications in 2015.

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Filed under Key Stage 2, PSHE, Radicalisation and Terrorism, Teaching Ideas

Brain teasers to stretch your gifted and talented children

Brilliant Activities for Gifted and Talented Children - Brilliant Publications

These brain teasers will appeal to all children and stretch the more able pupils in your class

(Are you stuck? The answers are at the bottom of the blog!)

  1. Two mothers and two daughters were quilting in the living room. They all quilted busily all day, and discussed memories they had shared with each other. Each one completed a quilt. However, at the end of the day there were only three completed quilts. How is this possible?
  2. A man was sitting at home watching the news. All of a sudden, he stood up, switched on the light, and began to sob uncontrollably. Why did the man switch on the light and begin to cry? Ask as many questions as you would like, but the teacher can only answer yes or no.
  3. Two Australians got on a bus. One of the Australians was the father of the other Australian’s son. How was this possible?
  4. Robert and William Parry were both born just before noon on 7th May 2001. They had the same parents, Andrew and Diana Parry. You see Robert and William in the nursery and say to Diana, “Your twins are lovely!’ Diana looks at you and replies, “They are not twins!” You are very confused. They were born on exactly the same day with the same parents! How is this possible?
  5. Two men walk into a restaurant. They both order exactly the same drink. One man drinks it fast and one man drinks it slowly. The one who drinks it fast lives. The one who drinks it slowly dies. WHY?

These brainteasers have been taken from Brilliant Activities for Gifted and Talented Children by Ashley McCabe Mowat, which contains tasks that will develop all children’s cognitive abilities, whilst stretching the most able pupils in you class.

 

Answers

  1. They were a grandmother, mother and a daughter.
  2. The man is a lighthouse keeper, and he saw on the news that a ship is headed for his point but can see no light. It is inevitable that the ship will crash, which is the man’s fault.
  3. One was the mother.
  4. They are not twins, but triplets!
  5. There was poison in the ice.

 

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Filed under Gifted and Talented, Key Stage 2, Primary school

10 great French memory tricks

Is this French verb masculine or feminine?

Try these tips for remembering whether a noun is feminine or masculine in French. Developing memory tricks, especially those that that paint a picture in your mind, is an ideal way of learning and remembering key  language points.

 

  1. Most feminine nouns end in an “e” and most masculine nouns don’t. Feminine nouns use “une” and masculine nouns use “un”.
  2. “Frère”, “père” and “grandpère” all end in an “e” but you can obviously only use “un”because they are masculine words.
  3. Even though “soeur” ends with a consonant you could obviously only use “une” with it because a sister is female.
  4. Traditionally flowers are given to women. That’s why “fleur” can only be feminine.
  5. Traditionally women didn’t go out to work and used to stay at home. That’s why “maison” can only be feminine.
  6. Think of women watching more television because they haven’t gone out to work. That’s why “télévision” is feminine. Also, the television is in the house and “maison” is feminine.
  7. “Une télévision” will also help you remember that other nouns that end in “ion”, such as “une question” and “une correction”, are also feminine.
  8. Remember that for many centuries education was reserved exclusively for men. They were the only ones allowed to open books. That’s why “livre” can only be masculine.
  9. Think of the important role of the telephone in business, traditionally a male domain. That’s why “téléphone” can only be masculine.
  10. Remember that it can only be acceptable for men to drink alcohol and it’s been proven that men can absorb more alcohol than women. That is why a glass, “un verre”, is masculine.
Unforgettable French - Brilliant Publications

Unforgettable French

These ideas have been taken from Unforgettable French written by Marie Rice-Jones. Unforgettable French can be used by anyone learning French grammar, from the basics up to GCSE level.

 

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Filed under French, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Sheila Blackburn talks about being a children’s author

Sheila Blackburn has just been interviewed by Ink Pantry. Read Sheila’s interview here.

Sheila Blackburn is the author of:

Stewie Scraps and the Giant Joggers - Brilliant Publications

Stewie Scraps and the Giant Joggers

Stewie Scraps

Stewie Scraps is an unlikely hero. He doesn’t do sport. He hasn’t got any time for sums or things like that, but he is great at making things. Children will love Stewie’s amazing technological creations – all made from bits and bobs from his dad’s junk shop.
Stewie Scraps is a very likeable character and this series of six adventure stories will appeal to all readers of both sexes. The gripping storylines and simple language make them particularly suitable for use with reluctant readers.

Sam’s Football Stories

Training Night, form Sam's Football Stories, Set A - Brilliant Publications

Training Night, form Sam’s Football Stories, Set A

Sam’s Football Stories are specially written to stimulate and motivate your slower learners and reluctant readers. The books will appeal particularly to reluctant boy readers. The 12 compelling stories tell the story of Sam, a football crazy boy.

 

 

 

 

 

Ink Pantry Publishing evolved from a social media group of creative writing students from The Open University who wanted to create an inspiring and supportive platform for new writers.

Sheila Blackburn – author of Stewie Scraps and Sam's Football Stories - Brilliant Publications

Sheila Blackburn

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Children's fiction, English, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, News

Using the Two-spoon Method in Cooking

Once you know how to use two spoons to get your cookie or biscuit mixture onto a baking tray, it is easy to do. But what is the best way to teach children this essential cooking skill?

Kate Morris and Sally Brown, authors of Get Cooking in the Classroom, have created a great video to help teach children the two-spoon method.

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Filed under Healthy eating, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, PSHE, Teaching Ideas