Languages Conference at Bath Spa University


Gianfranco Conti: Teaching listening for speaking

Our focus will be on modelling and enhancing listening and speaking instruction, explicitly integrating the two skills. Gianfranco will share and demonstrate a range of classroom strategies which are readily applicable to a variety of languages and topics.


Gianfranco Conti: Basic language acquisition and processing principles every teacher should know

This session will provide an account of the key processes involved in language learning and processing, discuss the challenges the finite resources of the human brain pose to language acquisition and propose viable solutions to address deficits in current instructional approaches.

Catherine Déchirot: A Level Independent Research Project

The new A level requires students to be able to develop strong research skills for their Independent Research Project and to share their findings in a presentation and spontaneous conversation. This is a very challenging step from GCSE to A Level. This session offers some practical ideas to make students more confident with conducting research in the target language and enable them to become more independent learners. These research skills help to develop their reading skills and increase their vocabulary range, which will lead to improved spontaneous speaking.

Fi Cotton: Building independence in writing

Do your students struggle to write independently? Mine do! In this session I will share some of the techniques that I am using to help my reluctant and overwhelmed Key Stage 4 pupils to write longer, more complex sentences using less common language. I will also explore how we best prepare pupils in Key Stage 3 for the demands of the 90 and 150 word tasks at Languages GCSE.

Philip Campagna: What a picture, what a photograph! Speaking strategies for the new GCSE

This session offers some practical ideas in order to develop spontaneity throughout KS3/4 by using pictures and photographs. These include a range of activities which are easily applicable to a number of topics, how to engage reluctant speakers and how to reconcile the spontaneity agenda with the grammar/accuracy issue. Free resources packs provided.

Fi Cotton: Building independence in reading

Pupils can get lulled into a false sense of security in the reading paper. My year 11 pupils didn't know how they should prepare for the reading tasks. In my session I will talk through some activities and approaches that I have used to help them prepare better and explore engaging ways to make reading discursive and fun!

Further workshops to be confirmed

Presenter Profiles

Gianfranco Conti

An applied linguistics MA and PhD graduate Gianfranco Conti has been teaching MFL for over 25 years both at primary, secondary and university levels. He has researched the impact of metacognitive strategies training and error correction on essay writing under the supervision of Oxford University Ernesto Macaro both during his PhD and a large-scale project in English comprehensive schools documented in Professor Macaro (2001)’s book. He currently has lexicogrammar acquisition, listening instruction, metacognition, error correction and learner autonomy as main research interests.

Catherine Déchirot

Currently Head of French at Bryanston School, an Independent School in the South West. She has worked in State Schools for seventeen years as a language teacher and eleven years as a Head of Languages. She is a Presenter for Network for Languages on Skills-based Teaching and Learning and has presented both regionally and nationally including ALL Language World 2016. She is an experienced MFL PGCE mentor and an associate tutor at Bath Spa University.

Fi Cotton

Fi is a classroom teacher of French and Spanish and has been involved in languages teaching for over twenty years working as a subject leader, a teacher trainer, an adviser and most recently leading teaching and learning at King Edward VI Five Ways School in Birmingham. She enjoys teaching MFL to all ages and has conducted research across the primary and secondary age ranges focusing on the question: what secures the best progress in MFL? She has been a trainer for Network for Languages since 2012.

Philip Campagna

SW Regional Director for Network for Languages and Network for Learning. Philip is a Senior Lecturer and PGCE Course Leader for Secondary MFL and PGCE Primary MFL Coordinator at Bath Spa University. Philip was, for six years, Head of the MFL Faculty at a large Wiltshire Community College. He worked for ten years as a Primary Languages Coordinator in Wiltshire. He regularly presents for Network for Languages, both in the South West and other regions. He has also presented at National and International Language Conferences.

Feedback from previous conferences

Brilliant day, so much to think about, so many great ideas! Thank you!
Amazing course – thank you! Inspiring, passionate, well-informed real presenters. So much to take away.
Inspiring, as always! Very useful tips and excellent ideas – I can’t wait to start using some of them!
Excellent event with key ideas/strategies for improvement in my school. Excellent resources.
I thoroughly enjoyed today and feel invigorated in my teaching. Thank you to the amazing presenters - so much enthusiasm for language teaching in one place.
So much was packed into one day and all of it was excellent. I have been teaching for 19 years but have still come away with many new ideas.

Cost: £165 per delegate; £199 for two delegates from the same school

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