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>21st March 2007

21st March 2007

Wanted! Eight UK teachers interested in partnering with a school in Malawi!
eLanguages are looking for eight UK teachers who are interested in building a relationship with an African school with support from the British Council. Have you had a school partnership before? Maybe you are nervous about going ahead with one yourself. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to build a simple project called "A Day in my Life" with a school in Malawi with full support from the British Council. Teachers will work with their class to create resources to illustrate the kinds of ways students in their countries spend a typical day and share these with partner teachers and the rest of the world on eLanguages. The best project will win a digital camera! For more information, visit the A day in my Life teachers resource page and contact Neil Shaw. Deadline: Thursday 29th March
eLanguages ( has been developed by the UK's Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to support international collaboration for teachers globally. Its absolutely free to use and as a registered eLanguages user you can start building your online project straight away - you have up to 100MB of web space for each project. You don’t need to wait until you have a partner. You can also join projects already up-and-running and looking for new partners. If you're looking for a partner school in another country to start an eLanguages project with we can help with that too. There are plenty of registered eLanguages teachers all over the world who are looking for partners and hoping to hear from you. See our automatic eLanguages Partner Match below for a full list of eLanguages teachers, with contact details, who match your preferences. Why not contact them right now and take the first step to building a rewarding international school partnership?
For UK teachers: Does your school have an innovative languages ICT project?
If so, you could enter the Made IT Happen competition and be in with a chance of winning a cash prize for your school. The competition is for pupils aged 9 to 11 in all primary schools across the UK and is organised by the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee (PITCOM) in partnership with e-skills UK. They are looking for pupil-led innovative ICT projects that have made a positive impact on your school. Your entry should show the best use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources to the benefit of the school, local community, in the UK or across the world. Prizes £1,000 available for the winning school from each of the English Regions and Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. In addition, £3,000, £2,000 and £1,000 will be awarded to the schools placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall. Go to Make IT Happen to find out more.
Did you know...?
Last month we asked if you knew what proportion of Londoners were not born in the UK? The answer is: one in three.
Vote in our poll
Each month, our newsletter contains a poll, allowing us to find out more about eLanguages teachers and the kind of things they want. Click on the following link to view this month's question and vote. Which continent are you most interested in partnering with?
Tips of the Month
This month we would like to highlight a couple of the new features which became available in last month's system release. The first concerns adding translations for your projects, the second should help you get a dialogue going with people who visit your project pages.
Adding translations
When you are editing your project the new translation icon (a speech bubble with the letters 'e' and 'n' in it) will appear under every resource you add to the page. Clicking through on this link will display a list of translations available for the resource. If you want to add a new language version, simply:
  • select the New button
  • select the language you want to add from the drop-down list
  • Overwrite the text in the input boxes with the translation
  • repeat for all the resources you want to translate
Visitors to the page will see a + (plus symbol) in the language selector at the top of the page indicating that a translation is available for the project content.
Starting a conversation
It can be quite difficult getting a conversation going in any website forum, harder still when users are confronted with a blank page because no one has posted before. Some people just don't like being the first to make a comment! The new discussion page graphic should help to draw attention to the discussion forum, but when a user sees there are no comments in the forum they may be put off from following the link because there is nothing to read when they get there. If you make a posting into the forum (or get a colleage to do so) you might encourage some of the shyer members of our audience to follow through and see what someone has said, and that might just get them to post into the forum as well. Don't forget to set a watch (the 'eye' icon) to the forum page and you'll be alerted whenever someone posts into your forum.

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