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>eLanguages newsletter December 2008

eLanguages newsletter December 2008

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of the eLanguages newsletter.
2008 has been an exciting year on eLanguages and we’d like to thank you all for your excellent ideas and enthusiasm. You’ve created some wonderful project spaces and the community is becoming more vibrant every day.

We're looking forward to supporting your projects and helping your international partnerships develop further in the new year, but for this newsletter we hope you'll enjoy taking a moment to think back and read just a few of the success stories of 2008.

Best wishes and a happy festive season from the eLanguages team.
January - “Hello Friends”
The year began with a new project My Day at School. Over 100 teachers from around the world joined this. It was an opportunity for teachers to meet online, and start a link on the simple theme of “A Day in My Life”. Natalie Hadleigh, a teacher in England, joined and found partners from Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. Together they did a short project called “Our Day” where the children were able to say hello to each other, and swap their written work. My Day at School is still open. If you want to join in, go to the page and leave a message.
February - “The course has really inspired me, I can't wait to get started”
In February, the eLanguages team continued their series of workshops across England. In Cornwall, we met Tristan Rowles, a teacher at Carclaze Community Junior School. Tristan later started a project called “We’re from Cornwall: Where do you live?”. Over the weeks, this generated a lot of contributions from teachers all around the world. Tristan has since gone on to develop some more fantastic projects. They are themed on Rivers and Animals, and you can get involved too.
Students from Turkey with their teacher
March - Namaste, Приве, Witajie, Salam
In March, workshops were held for teachers in Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Later in the year, there were similar workshops in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Switzerland followed in September. We also have country specific projects for Turkey, India, Poland, Nepal, and Brazil. There is great enthusiasm and interest from teachers in these countries, so if you want a new partner from any of these countries, they are there waiting for you. Email us for information.
April - Kingston-Korea connections
Twelve partnerships were formed between schools from the UK and Korea at this British Council run workshop in Seoul. With support from the eLanguages team in both countries, the schools have been using the site to keep in contact and engage their students with the projects. It’s an ideal way for schools in local authority and area links to stay connected and share project work with the wider group.
May - Schools exchange: The Mersey and the Yangtze River
Wade Deacon school in Liverpool, England have links with Ghana, Japan, China and now South Africa, and have used eLanguages to store their student’s project work. Videos, photographs and presentations all illustrate the cross curricular exchange work that has been going on in school. You can see examples of the work they've been doing on the Water - Mersey and the Yangtze River project. What a great way to showcase and communicate a partnership! It is free to do this, and you can upload and safely store everything you have done on your project online. We can offer you help starting this, so why not follow Wade Deacon’s lead and use eLanguages as your project home?
June – China-UK video competition
100 Words was a video and languages project between schools in the UK and China. Students had to write a story in no more than 100 words, write a script in the language they were learning, act out and film the story, and send it to their friends overseas. This was a great example of how you can use video on eLanguages to generate ideas and discussion. Log in to find out more and see all the entries on the project page.
July – Working with the International School Award
In July, we helped a number of schools upload their International School portfolio to eLanguages. The International School Award is a great way for you to get accreditation for your international work. UK schools can find out more and download the ISA Statement of Intent, to get started on this today. Schools involved in international work in India and Sri lanka can also apply for an International school award. - ISA India - ISA Sri Lanka
August - “What could be more interesting than giving your pupils a glimpse into the lives of their peers abroad and working jointly to explore a theme, and share ideas and resources?”
The answer is on our project toolkit. In August at the start of the new term, we rolled out changes to improve the eLanguages website. We worked with the UK Centre for Languages (CILT) to produce a project toolkit offering advice on how to begin and develop your eLanguages online project. We also updated our help page where you can find model examples, and help guides to assist you.
September - Culture 08
To celebrate Liverpool’s year as the European Capital City of Culture, the 'Culture 08' project was set up between a UK and Spanish school to share cultural information about each city using a variety of freely available educational ICT tools. Is there a similar event in your country that you'd like to celebrate? Or maybe your students would just want to find out about the music, lifestyle, language, or culture of another country? You can use eLanguages to showcase this, or find a partner to join you in the celebrations.
Suryani with her students
October – My Lovely Ramadan
Suryani Yacoeb, a teacher in Indonesia, wanted to focus on and share information about Ramadhan with this project. British Council Indonesia ran a number of workshops at this time, which resulted in some excellent project work. Have a look at these for some inspiration: I Save My World during Holiday, See my pictures in this, My favourite animal and Unique Places in My Town. The effort and enthusiasm of everybody was recognised in November, when Prince Charles visited the British Council office to see an ICT workshop.
November – Comenius
An example of how you can use the eLanguages website to work on your existing schools partnership. Yilidz Yilmiz and her Comenius partners have used eLanguages effortlessly to manage their Comenius project. They have also used discussion forums and message boards to communicate and create a lively community for their joint work.
December - How do you celebrate Christmas?
Claire Hobbs from the North West of England set up this great project to share information about Christmas recipes, traditions and songs. Take a look at the wonderful classwork that students from Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia and the UK have been sharing via the page. Your students might like to try making polvorones, fritters or mince pies over the holidays.
We hope you've enjoyed reading about these projects. If you've got a story about your international work in 2008 that you'd like to share, we'd be delighted if you could take a moment and send it to us. We'll be able to offer advice on funding that could be available to support your link and help you get started on your International School Award. If you’ve made a partnership on the site, but haven’t yet developed your project space, then why not make it your New Year’s resolution to take your partnership online with eLanguages. Don't hesitate to contact us and and we’ll help you every step of the way.

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