Open day

Recently we had an open day, of course meant to coax the young kids from our catchment area into believing that our school is the place to be.

We are in a fierce competition with some other schools, aggravated by a sure decline in student numbers within a couple of years due to depopulation of the rural area we work in.

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Students at Blackawton Primary School investigated the vision of the buff-tailed bumble-bee Bombus terrestris. Photograph: Alamy

Weekly I roam the websites of English news papers in a Word Hunt: expanding my vocabulary by searching for words that I am not familiar with.

Of course education and art are my main interests. But I also have a penchant for silly articles about lifestyle, crime, human relations, cooking etc. I learnt from reading such articles what it meant “to be on the pull,” discovered the “hemline,” every so often words pop up that are not even to be found in my Cambridge Advanced Dictionary nor, amazingly, in the Urban Dictionary, like “gazzy.”

I am not versed in science though I am fascinated by evolution and the workings of the brain. This week I came across an article which covers science and education in a most interesting way. If you are a science teacher you may be interested.

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The Inet/SSAT Study Tour

Art Room

A young man fetches his eleven years old boy from school. He is dressed in a nylon anorak from under which a long frock falls low on his calves. He is bearded and wears an Arabic cap. His right hand clutches his son’s left hand. The young one is wearing the attire of the western male, a suit, white shirt and tie. It is the boy’s school uniform.
To me those two clutched hands bridge Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of civilizations”. I made a one week visit to schools at Small Heath, one of the most depraved urban districts of the UK in terms of employment, crime rate, health conditions and housing. Not so in terms of schooling, I learnt.

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Going abroad

This week a moot point was raised in the tto-meeting at my school. Most of us have managed to pass the Cambridge exams, recently or a couple of years ago, and it was felt that something is needed to guarantee ongoing language development.

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Janet van Hell

In our immersion programme we don’t use Dutch as an intermediate language. Any new word is directly connected to the object or concept it stands for, or it is explained in English. This practice is corroborated by recent research. Jeanet van Hell investigates learning and teaching English at Dutch primary schools.
A remarkable finding: a second language can be mastered at any age. However, the pronunciation will be perfect only when learnt at early childhood from a native speaker.
Read about Van Hell’s research at

Source image:

Digitaal leermateriaal ter discussie op

Message forwarded on behalf of Digischool / Kennisnet

Wat is de toekomst van digitaal leermateriaal? Geef uw mening over digitaal leermateriaal op of reageer op filmpjes waarin docenten, bestuurders en beleidsmakers binnen het onderwijs hun visie geven.

Op de tweede dag van Dé Onderwijsdagen om 12:30u kunt u ook live debatteren over de toekomst van digitaal leermateriaal onder leiding van van Frénk van der Linden. Neem nu alvast een kijkje op


Dunglish in an advertisement for a well known Dutch Company

Get online simple and easy. Internet on our PC from €3,-. Purchase time online with your credit card, just click the top button to begin.

There are three mistakes to be found in the text on the billboard shown in the picture above.

The first one I did see, the use of adjectives instead of adverbs, “simple and easy” instead of “simply and easily”, I failed to see the others. That’s scary!

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His Master’s Voice


Hear, hear!!!

Kennisnet, Wikiwijs and Digischool offer a nice incentive to teachers who share their homespun materials with others. A digital voice recorder might be extremely useful in your tto-class room.

A student whose Dunglish backfires out of the speakers in your class room may become more susceptible to your excellent pronunciation, or you could record your own classroom English, which is even better.

To obtain the wonderful gadget you only have to upload one of those stunningly nifty worksheets or amazing Powerpoint presentations you have been producing now for years and years for your tto classes in geography, history, maths, pe, religous studies or whatever subject you happen to teach in English. Store your work in Digischool ‘s Database.

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The brain and the second language

MRI-scan of the brain

If someone makes a snide comment on tto you could answer with this quote:

Plas­tic­ity can also be observed in the brains of bilin­guals (Mechelli et al., 2004). It looks like learn­ing a sec­ond lan­guage is pos­si­ble through func­tional changes in the brain: the left infe­rior pari­etal cor­tex is larger in bilin­gual brains than in mono­lin­gual brains.

Find the complete article here.

Cambridge Checkpoint Tests

The boy is new to my class room. But in the years before my colleagues surely have taught him how to get round the problem when an English word just doesn’t pop up. You are to describe it using words you do know.

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