Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ten commandments and one more of language teaching

I am grateful to John Canning of the University of Brighton (UK) who posted the following on his blog. The source is the Modern Language Journal from 75 years ago. Harry Kurtz of the University of Nebraska came up with these. He was clearly a wise man.

1. Thou shalt make every student recite every day.
2. Thou shalt make thy questions shorter and distribute them more frequently to the unworthy of thy flock.
3. Thou shalt demand written homework for every lesson as an evidence of individual effort.
4. Thou mayest spare thy strength in the marking of these by having them corrected in class, but thou shalt collect them and check them off on the rolls.
5. Thou shalt refrain from personal eloquence in the classroom.
6. Remember that the strained silence of pupils thinking is worth more than volubility, thine or theirs.
7. Thou shalt plan thy hour and mark thy pages beforehand, so that never, no never, shalt thou ask thy sheep on what page they stopped grazing the last time.
8. Thou shalt have thy watch before thee to guide thee in the passing of time and to guard thee from over-stressing one thing at the cost of another. So shalt thou finish the assignment and never have the ignominy of covering less than what was imposed upon the fold.
9. Thou shalt watch thy pupils’ thoughts as reflected in their faces and hurl the thunder of a question where it may be necessary to recall the straying.
10. And last, so shalt thou prosper and discover the best devices in language teaching in the measure that thou wilt insist upon work and get it.

Not sure what the extra one was.

http://www.johncanning.net

Néologophile ou néologophobe?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/27/academie-francaise-challenged-new-words?CMP=twt_gu

Vous avez l'esprit ouvert? Vous aimez jouer avec les mots? Ou craignez-vous la destruction de la langue française? Il y a un organisme qui cherche des mots nouveaux.

C'est quoi une "attachiante"? Ou "phonard"? Ou "bête seller"?

Si vous avez d'autres suggestions, il faut les envoyer à:


festival-motnouveau@gmail.com

Je propose "néologophile" et "néologophobe" (à moins qu'ils n'existent déjà).

Merci à Linguascope d'avoir tweeté ce lien.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Ofsted literacy drive

Our school, like most around the country, is having a bit of a literacy drive at the moment. Don't get me wrong; bad punctuation, poor grammar and dodgy spelling bring out the Victor Meldrew in me. There are times when I almost feel like a Telegraph reader when I encounter that misplaced apostrophe on the restaurant blackboard. (I have been known to point it out to waiters.)

We hear from the world of work that standards of literacy are falling and that even graduates cannot write in a coherent and accurate fashion. Ofsted have, no doubt, in their myriad inspections, observed inadequate literacy. Not surprising, therefore, that we are witnessing a focus on this area.

My colleague the other day reminded me, however, that there is a danger in getting too het up about this. Firstly, accuracy itself is less important than clear communication. Secondly, what do people actually write once they leave school and no longer have to write compositions, experiment write-ups, reports, punctuation exercises and sentences in a foreign language? Well, in many instances, once you have set aside that minority of people who, as part of their job, have to write reports, articles, minutes and the like, most people probably do the following: post messages on forums and social network sites, write lists, send emails and the very occasional letter and occasionally take notes. Many of these tasks are done on a computer with a grammar and spell-check system, so mastering spelling from memory, it could be argued, is less of a priority than it used to be. Further, handwriting is used relatively little these days once you leave the world of school with its exams and exercise books.

Now, as I said, I would not want to give the impression that literacy is not an issue, but let us not go down the road of lowering the marks of good scientists and technologists in their examinations because they mis-spell some words or forget full stops. Because this is where we might be leading. Let us be vigilant in every school subject about spelling, punctuation and grammar, but let us not leave in out wake dispirited, bright, creative youngsters who find it hard to write neatly and spell accurately. Some common sense is needed.

P.S. I spell-checked this post and found three typos. My wife has just found an error of repetition. (Now edited out.)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Top ten free French teaching web sites for able pupils

Oh no! Not another "top ten"....

These are the sites I value the most highly for teaching my pupils aged 11 to 18 in a grammar school. They may not be the best, but they are the ones we use most. In no particular order.....

1. LanguagesOnline.

This is our favourite web site by far for interactive grammar and vocabulary work. It is written and designed mainly by Andrew Balaam from Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. It is attractive, challenging and enjoyed by students. It can be used from the front, but is best used in a computer suite.

2. Curiosphere.tv.

This is the site I first go to when searching out listening material for A2 students. Clips are often interviews with experts ina field. The speech is clear and slow enough for comprehension, with repetition. The standard is challenging, above that required in A2 level examinations. It is a large archive covering many A-level topics. You can use Curosphere in a computer suite or from the whiteboard.

3. Ashcombe School "video quizzes"

Although the sound quality is not as good as one would like, the concept is simple and sound. Interviews with French assistants accompanied by hot potato gap fill exercises. You can reveal the transcript and see a translation. You can use this site in a computer suite or a classroom from the front.

4.  BBC Learning Zone Class Clips (Secondary French).

I enjoy using the short video extracts from the front of the class. The BBC has built up a large archive of French videos at various levels. They are a good source of situational French.

5.  Youtube.

A marvellous source of songs, slides and videos of all types.

6.  TES Connect.

The best repository of powerpoints and worksheets around. the quality and accuracy varies, but if I am looking for an instant resource, it is the place I start (after frenchteacher.net)

7.  MFL Sunderland.

This is hosted by Clare Seccombe and has a good range of accurate worksheets and other resources produced by various teachers. Some of the material is too easy for the ablest students, but there are very useful sheets, especially when it comes to controlled assessment time.

8. Languages Resources.

This is Samantha Lunn's site which has a very large range of resources, some of which are too easy for the able learner. It is not error-free, but it is easy to edit Word docs and powerpoints.

9.  Lafrancebis

This site is hosted in Japan by Christophe Bergue from Kobe University and contains,among other things, good listening material with interactive tasks good for able Y11 pupils, or AS Level students. Easy to use and interesting sources.

10.  Frenchteacher.net

Well, I couldn't omit this site as it is the one we use most. The very large range of worksheets, texts with exercises, powerpoints, lesson ideas and links, all suit able students very well indeed.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The four skills

Since the late 1980s, at GCSE in England and Wales, we have been assessing the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing separately. We have moved from discrete skill testing, to more mixed skill testing, back to discrete skill testing. By which I mean that, for example, in a reading tests students are not now tested on their writing at the same time. Interestingly, at A-Level we have not been too concerned about testing each skill in this strict discrete fashion.

At the same time, at GCSE, the weighting of the four skills was, for a long time, 25% for each one. Just recently, this changed to 20% listening, 20% reading, 30% oral and 30% writing. This change was entirely owing to the fact that MFL had to be in line with all subjects in allocating 60% of marks to controlled assessments. In languages this was seen to mean speaking and writing where production of tasks was required. (It would be hard to conceive of a listening or reading task which could be done with pupil preparation in the style of a controlled assessment.)

First of all, which is better: discrete skill or mixed skill testing? Both approaches have their supporters, which may be why exam boards/Ofqual have moved from one to the other and back. Proponents of mixed skill testing argue that separating the skills is artificial and leads to a "backwash" effect in classrooms and course books. This is already apparent, especially as exam boards dictate so strongly the content of course books. It is most likely that we are already seeing less use of the target language as teachers practise exam style tasks, for example, reading comprehensions using English questions. On the other hand, proponents of discrete skill testing argue that it is fairer, more accurate in assessing that particular skill and, it has to be said, easier for less able candidates.

I see the case for both sides, but lean towards mixed skill testing, mainly because British teachers have a strong tendency towards teaching to the test, especially in these days of targets, performance management and league tables. This can lead to poor methodology and a lack of authentic, mixed skill tasks. Just take a look at the latest text books to see what I mean. We accept the case for mixing skills at A-level, but not at GCSE. My assumption is that Ofqual wish to make the GCSE exams accessible to all candidates, not just the most able. At A-Level it is correctly assumed that the aptitude of candidates is higher.

As for the weighting of each skill, it is a pity that we allocate so many marks to the hardest of the skills, writing. The previous allocation of equal marks for each skill was better than what we have now, but I would allocate more marks to the two skills which many would consider to be the most useful in language learning, namely listening and speaking. So, if we have to work in round figures, I would argue for the following weighting: 30% listening, 30% speaking, 20% reading and 20% writing. This still rewards writing to a considerable degree and may reflect a continued bias towards the written medium in assessment, but allocating anything less than 20% may encourage teachers to neglect the skill too much.

When controlled assessments disappear, it will be interesting to see what Ofqual decide in terms of skill weightings. I hope they ask teachers for their opinion.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Byki language learning app

http://www.transparent.com/mobile/

Just a quick mention for what looks like an excellent app for iPhones, iPads, iPodTouches and Android phones. Thanks to Graham Davies for tweeting this.

This is what they say:
  • Learn over 1,000 critical words and phrases.
  • Hear language spoken by real, native speakers, complete with the ability to learn every nuance with Byki's SlowSound technology.
  • Read and see your chosen language in its native form.
  • Search for words and phrases on Twitter to see how others use the language.
  • Track your progress as you work your way through Byki lists.
  • Download hundreds of additional vocabulary lists, created by other Byki users from our List Central community.
I shall be mentioning this app to students. There are some convincing testimonials and case studies on the site. The future of interactivity with mobile devices looks very interesting. It's early days at the moment with SIRI for iPhone 4, but I can see the phone becoming a tremendous (and cheap) tool for people wanting to learn languages on the go.

Here are some other apps as reviewed in June 2010:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

L'évaluation des enseignants

Selon un scoop sur le site du Café Pédagogique, qui s'est procuré de documents gouvernementaux, l'évaluation des profs se profile un peu plus clairement sur l'horizon.

Cette évaluation se fera tous les trois ans et dans les collèges et lycées c'est le chef d'établissement qui en sera responsable.

A mon sens, il est bien temps que les enseignants en France puissent bénéficier d'un système d'évaluation bien conçue, mais cette évaluation tous les trois ans par le directeur n'est pas suffisante. Les syndicats se plaignent que le chef d'établissement n'est pas en mesure d'évaluer les compétences professionnelles dans toutes les matières, mais le problème n'est pas là. L'expérience anglo-saxonne montre qu'un directeur est bien capable de juger la qualité d'un cours car bon nombre des éléments d'un cours réussi sont génériques. Ce qui manque dans les écoles françaises c'est une structure hiérarchique qui permet une évaluation suffisamment fréquente par un spécialiste dans la discipline. C'est une question mathématique. Un directeur responsable de, disons, soixante professeurs, n'a pas suffisamment de temps pour les évaluer tous les ans, leur donnant en même temps des cibles professionnelles annuelles. Pour ce faire il faut des "chefs de section", des cadres axiaux à l'anglaise. Ces personnes seraient responsables à la fois de l'évaluation (à l'aide du chef d'établissement), et de l'organisation de la section en général.

Dans d'autres secteurs de la vie active ce genre d'hiérarchie et d'évaluation est monnaie courante. Elle permet aux salariés d'avancer dans leur carrière et de bénéficier d'une formation continue au fil des ans. Ce qui est proposé par le gouvernement est un pas en avant, mais un pas relativement timide qui risque de ne pas atteindre ses objectifs.

Les syndicats devraient voir les aspects positifs d'une évaluation qui peut mener à des hausses de salaire et de nouvelles possibilités professionnelles. Pourquoi les enseignants devraient-ils rester à l'abri de la responsabilité de leur travail et des résultats de leurs élèves?


Monday, 14 November 2011

Yes

Yes in Manchester 13.11.11
I was 18 when I first saw Yes at the Southampton Gaumont. Since that time Elspeth, Joel and I have seen them on various occasions and have never been disappointed. I approached the Manchester Apollo gig with lower than usual expectations, having read some slightly mixed reviews from their recent American tour with Styx.We were not to be disappointed, though, as the band gave a polished and exciting performance to a packed venue. I was pleased the band played plenty of material from the new album Fly From Here. Steve Howe announced the We Can Fly from Here suite by saying it was brave of them to play it. I guess he meant that the loyal Yes fans expect the band to play as much back catalogue as possible. Personally I was glad the band played this new stuff; they have been too conservative in the past with their sets. It may not match the classic Yes songs, but it is still, by most standards, excellent music.

Steve Howe was outstanding as usual. To me, he is now the man who carries the band with his unique style and astonishing virtuosity. Chris Squire still anchors the band with his grunting bass, while Alan White is steady on the drum kit, never missing a beat with some awkward time signatures. On keys was Geoff Downes, who performed Rick Wakeman's parts manfully whilst doing a good job with his own parts from the Drama album (in the track Tempus Fugit) and the new album. Thankfully the keyboard parts were easily audible, which has not always been the case in recent Yes concerts.

And what about Benoit David's vocal performance! His pitch control is not always perfect, but he put in a great performance last night, especially when harmonising with Chris Squire. He managed those high, sustained parts from Heart of the Sunrise ("sharp... distance...") and looked confident prowling around the stage. The Fly from Here songs match his range well, so it's no surprise he made these his own. Vocal harmonies in the higher register have always been a Yes trademark and these were beautifully executed all night. The very good sound mix, with clear vocals, thumping kick drum and rumbling bass pedals, contributed to the pleasure of the evening. Well done, sound men.

Towards the end of the night Alan White announced that his 88 year old mum was in the audience (just behind us), whilst Chris Squire thoughtfully thanked the fans for their loyalty.

I had the impression the band had rehearsed well for this tour and were pleased to get such a good reception from the enthusiastic Manchester fans, both for the classics and the new pieces. There's life in the old dogs yet.

Set list

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Outstanding or inspiring?

I gather that the latest standards for teachers in England include the word "inspiring". I wonder wherher the DOE missed a trick when they formulated their most recent definitions of what constitutes outstanding teaching, outstanding departments and outstanding schools. If you ever follow my posts you'll know that I, like many colleagues, have a problem with the misuse of the word outstanding and how it has slipped into schools' everyday vocabulary merely because Ofsted choose to use it. Maybe the word inspiring would be more apt to describe those extra special lessons we do sometimes.

If you'll permit me to be anecdotal, my son, who is now at university studying physics, went through secondary schooling encountering barely a couple of what he considered inspiring teachers. He was at a good school too. I consider this a pretty poor hit rate, and whilst I know that only a minority of teachers and lessons will be inspiring, we should be aiming for more. How could we do that?

Defining what is inspiring is not easy and what is inspiring for some may not be so for others. Teaching is not an exact science. I have observed lessons which I consider to be inspiring and the key factors may revolve around a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, good subject knowledge, a real commitment of the teacher to the class and the individual pupil, a good grasp of subject methodology and a certain personality type. Most lessons are not inspiring. They cannot be because we do not have enough time and energy to make them so. Nevertheless if we focused more closely on this word, rather than the word outstanding, maybe we would be more creative, take more risks, focus less on technicalities and the latest trends, let ourselves go a bit more and give our students a buzz. Sure, we have to know about AfL, questioning, "astute planning" (latest buzz word apparently), testing, starters, plenaries and the rest of it, but you can do all that stuff and still, alas, not be inspiring.

When I look back into the murky past of schooling, I think I recall a decent number of good teachers, but very few inspiring ones. At Ripon Grammar School, fortunately, I know a few.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Good old days?

http://www.lawnswoodhighschool.com/lhs/Documents.html#GCE

Oldies (and maybe younger colleagues) may be interested to take a peek at a 1959 O-Level French papers, posted at the Lawnswood School site. The papers I took in 1973 were not hugely dissimilar, though I seem to recall we had some listening comprehension in there somewhere.

It would be tempting to say that the grammatical difficulty level of those papers (not far away from modern A2 standard) means that standards have fallen over the years. This would be a huge simplification, however. French exams in those days were aimed at a small percentage of the school population and some of them would have found such papers hard. In addition, there was far more emphasis on translation and grammar at the expense of oral and aural work. Most modern students would barely tolerate the type of preparation which was required to perform well in exams of that type.

To do well on the prose translation and picture essay students would practise set phrases and techniques to gain marks (sound familiar?). The translation and comprehension questions would have required a solid knowledge of vocabulary and structure gained after many hours of practice in class and at home. To perform well, rote learning was not sufficient; you had to adapt your knowledge so in that sense the tasks were more intellectually demanding than those which contemporary students have to do. But the 1950s and 1960s student did relatively less oral and listening work, so those skills were less developed. I would hazard a guess that the average student in those days was more bored too - much would have depended on the teacher.

I was rather lucky. My teachers were enlightened enough to do lots of oral work in class and used French most of the time. They then primed us well for the needs of the O-level exam, which did not resemble what we did most of the time in class hitherto. My memory is that it was only in Year 11 (Fifth Form) that we focused on the exam.

Those old papers belong in a museum and we would not want exams like that these days, but they are revealing of a methodology which had certain merits. That methodology assumed that a strong foundation of grammar and vocabulary was at the root of competence and that the listening and speaking skill could emerge from this later. For some it worked, for many it was a nasty shock to have to cope orally in a foreign land.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Une bière par jour est bon pour la santé

Article et photo tirés de slate.fr:

Les Anglais ont un dicton: «An apple a day keeps the doctor away» (une pomme par jour vous tient éloigné du médecin). Il semblerait que la maxime puisse s'appliquer également à la bière.
La consommation de bière avec modération peut réduire les risques de diabète et d’hypertension, et même aider à perdre du poids, selon une récente étude réalisée par des médecins espagnols. En fait, la bière contient de l'acide folique, des vitamines, du fer et du calcium, qui ont des effets protecteurs pour le système cardiovasculaire, et a les mêmes effets positifs pour la santé que ceux attribués au vin en quantité modérée, expliquent les scientifiques.
L’étude a été menée conjointement par l’université de Barcelone, la Hospital Clinic de Barcelone et l’Institut de santé Carlos III de Madrid. Les Dr Estruch et Lamuela ont étudié 1.249 hommes et femmes de plus de 57 ans, et ont observé que ceux qui boivent des faibles quantités de bière de manière régulière avaient moins de risques de souffrir de diabète et d’hypertension et avaient moins de graisse corporelle, rapporte Richard Alleyne, journaliste scientifique du Telegraph britannique. Les chercheurs recommandent la consommation de bière (jusqu'à une pinte par jour) combinée à de l’exercice physique et à un régime méditerranéen riche en poissons, fruits, légumes et huile d’olive. Le docteur Ramon Estruch, co-auteur de l’étude, explique:
«La consommation modérée de bière est associée à des bénéfices nutritionnels et pour la santé. Elle n’est pas forcement associée à un gain de poids, car la bière ne contient pas de matière grasse et n’est pas très calorique.»

Les méfaits de la consommation «à l'anglaise»

«Nous détruisons un mythe, explique le Dr Lamuela. Nous savons que la bière n’est pas responsable de l’obésité
D’où vient alors l’idée largement répandue que la bière fait grossir? Selon les médecins, la consommation de bière «à l’anglaise», c'est-à-dire en grandes quantités et sans exercice physique, est responsable de cette idée reçue. Comme le souligne le Daily Mail, une pinte de bière (environ 500 ml) contient 200 calories, soit l'équivalent d'un café au lait fait avec du lait entier.
Le Dr Estruch souligne la différence entre la culture espagnole, où l’on boit la bière dans des petits verre en accompagnement des tapas, et la culture britannique:
«Ici, les buveurs de bière ne ressemblent pas aux Britanniques, qui boivent en grande quantité, en restant souvent au même endroit tout en mangeant des chips et des saucisses.»
Depuis plus de dix ans, de nombreuses études ont montré les bienfaits de la bière consommée avec modération. Dès 2000, un article dans la revue scientifique Lancet suggérait les effets positifs de la bière. Le site de Forbes proposait quant à lui un tour d'horizon des études sur le sujet dans cet article de 2008.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Google Translate (bis)

TES discussion here:  http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/531090.aspx
OK. So, how about an advanced piece of French to English? Here is an original extract from slate.fr about the abuse of anti-depressants in the USA:

La dernière épidémie qui touche les Etats-Unis n'est pas une maladie mais une addiction: héroïne, cocaïne? Non, telle une armée de Dr. House, les Américains se tuent à coup de vicodine, méthadone et autres puissants antidouleurs, médicaments sur ordonnance.

Le Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (Centre pour la prévention et le contrôle des maladies, l'agence fédérale de santé publique qui avait notamment publié un très bon guide pour survivre en cas d'invasion zombie) sort un rapport alarmant: plus de gens meurent d'overdoses d'antidouleur aux Etats-Unis désormais que ceux qui meurent d'overdoses d'héroïne et de cocaïne! Un niveau qui a atteint celui d'épidémie dans la dernière décennie, explique le CDC.


Here is the unadulterated translation from Google translate:

The last epidemic in the United States is not a disease but an addiction: heroin, cocaine? No, such an army of Dr. House, Americans kill themselves to blow Vicodin, methadone and other potent painkillers, prescription drugs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Center for Prevention and Disease Control, the agency Federal Public Health who had published such a great guide for survival in case of zombie invasion) comes an alarming report: more people die of overdose of painkillers in the U.S. now that those who die of overdoses of heroin and cocaine! A level that it reached an epidemic in the last decade, says the CDC.


Not so good, eh? Now I'll see if i can improve on the above version by looking at some other options:


The latest epidemic in the United States is not a disease but an addiction: heroin, cocaine? No, as a host of House MD, Americans are killed with shot Vicodin, methadone and other potent painkillers, prescription drugs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Center for Prevention and Disease Control, the agency Federal Public Health who had published such a very good guide for survival in the event of zombie invasion) comes an alarming report: more people die of overdose of painkillers in the U.S. now that those who die of overdoses of heroin and cocaine! A level which it has reached an epidemic in the last decade, says the CDC.


Better, but a significant issue is word order, as when you highlight words for other options, you do not get the option of changing word order, although you could certainly do this yourself.


There is no doubt that Google translate is an extremely useful tool for non-linguists who need a reasonable, rough and ready  translation, but you would not rely on it for a letter to a solicitor!



Google Translate

Prompted by a post on TES Connect by Graham Davies I thought I would take a look at Google Translate, which I almost never used. Graham was arguing that it is so good now, especially given that you can interact with it and refine translations, that it may not be worthwhile setting translation or composition for homework.

Here is a sample Eng-French translation from an intermediate level piece of text:

Original:

 I believe that I have a fairly healthy lifestyle. I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, at least four portions a day, I do exercise three times a week and I never smoke. I occasionally have an alcoholic drink, but rarely drink to excess. Last night I had a nice glass a of red wine with my meal.

Google's "unadulterated" version:

Je crois que j'ai un style de vie assez sain. Je mange beaucoup de fruits et légumes, au moins quatre portions par jour, je ne l'exercice trois fois par semaine et je ne fume jamais. J'ai parfois avoir une boisson alcoolisée, mais rarement boire à l'excès. Hier soir, j'ai eu un bon verre de vin rouge une de mes repas.

You can see that the translation is not consistently successful. If you then try some other options you are offered by Google translate, you can arrive at this best version:

Je crois que j'ai un style de vie assez sain. Je mange beaucoup de fruits et légumes, au moins quatre portions par jour, je ne l'exercice trois fois par semaine et je ne fume jamais. J'ai occasionnellement une boisson alcoolisée, mais rarement boire à l'excès. Hier soir, j'ai eu un bon verre de vin rouge une avec mon repas.

It's better, but is still recognisably a computer translation. A skilled student could certainly use Google translate as a first version, then adapt it. A weaker student would find it hard to hide cheating.

So where does this leave us?  In the long run, as I have blogged before, the teaching of writing may become redundant, except as a tool for reinforcing other skills and grammatical knowledge. For the moment I believe we should put up a strong front to students and warn them that using Google translate is cheating and will be sanctioned. At our school we thankfully get few cases of internet translator abuse and we set a great deal of composition work, along with some translation, at all levels.


In the meantime, some teachers are beginning to find ways of circumventing online translators by adjusting the style of homework task they set:


http://vickyloras.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/if-google-is-translating-then-ill-start-revamping-guest-post-by-naomi-ganin-epstein/

Thanks to Graham for that link.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Je tweete, tu tweetes, il tweete

http://www.slate.fr/lien/45807/twitter-mort-langue-anglais

Article intéressant sur Twitter et son effet sur la langue anglaise.

Je dois avouer que je suis devenu un peu accro à Twitter. J'y jette un coup d'oeil tous les jours et je tweete très souvent. Mais je me suis imposé une règle: je ne tweete pas sur n'importe quoi. Je ne vais pas perdre mon temps et celui d'autrui en racontant les menus détails de ma vie personnelle. Par contre je suis content de partager des liens utiles qui touchent à mon métier de prof. Mes collègues du "MFLtwitterati" font généralement de même. Par ce moyen j'ai eu accès à pas mal de blogs, de sites et de points de vue différents. Dommage que les profs qui tweetent restent relativement peu nombreux. Les 140 caractères autorisés vous obligent à être très concis, donc ce n'est pas un lieu de discussion sérieuse. Le blog et le forum sont un meilleur endroit pour ce genre de débat.

Je ne sais pas si je resterai fidèle à ce moyen de communication, mais pour l'instant je suis un addict.