British Council MFL event, Birmingham, 26th April 2017


Today I am delighted to be speaking in Birmingham to Head teachers and MF subject leaders about the current climate in MFL. Admittedly, things are not all rosy in the garden if you listen to the press but there are lots of creative and innovative things going on in the UK to try to counterbalance some of the doom gloom.

Find below 2 presentations: the first is on the current climate: where we are and where we want to be (problems and solutions) and the second is on digital tools for language learning (linked to when you have worked with the Brilliant British Council to set up international partnerships and links). There are also a few other articles that I refer to in my first presentation which make for interesting reading.  See also for links to some amazing language themed eTwinning projects and do get in touch, as I would love to support you and help you to get started with your first eTwinning project (in my capacity as eTwinning ambassador for the British Council.)

Have a great day – I certainly plan to!

🙂 Suzi x

Presentation 1:

BC Birmingham event KEYNOTE Bewell Gough FINAL

Teach languages for three hours per week

A shout out for our subject associations

Presentation 2:

S Bewell Digital Tools Amb Conf Workshop

See also: 

Language Show Live, Olympia – Polly Glot Languages 50% off

In honour of the fabulous weekend that is the Language Show Live, Polly Glot Languages is offering 50% off the first series of 3 books featuring Polly’s travels to the francophone destinations of la belle France (bien sûr!), la Belgique and la Suisse.

Use code LSL16 to get 50% off the full retail price : £6 for the 3 books instead of the RRP of £12.

Visit to find out more!

Have a great show and hope to see many of you there!

Suzi x

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Pokemon Gove: Culture and Foreign Language Learning:

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Extract from National Curriculum 2007:
Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world
in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual
understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment.
Pupils learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and
people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and
society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is
a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and
throughout the world.

Intercultural understanding:

Learning a new language provides unique opportunities for pupils to explore national identities and become aware of both similarities and contrasts between the cultures of different countries, including their own.

Within the key concepts: Intercultural understanding

a Appreciating the richness and diversity of other cultures.

b Recognising that there are different ways of seeing the world,

and developing an international outlook.

Diversity: Many languages are spoken in more than one country and there

may be significant cultural differences between these countries.

Other cultures: This could include different aspects of other cultures,

such as everyday life, social customs, school life, festivals and events of

national importance.

Different ways of seeing the world: These include religious beliefs,

social customs, traditions, values, attitudes towards other countries and

reactions to world events.

[…] comparing pupils’ own experiences and perspectives with those of people

in countries and communities where the target language is spoken.


Move the clocks forward 4 years…not a pretty picture!


In January 2011, Ofsted had this to say about KS3 MFL:

Reading was not taught beyond exercises in course books or previous examination papers and teachers made insufficient use of the wealth of authentic material that is available to develop students’ speaking, listening, writing, knowledge about language, language learning strategies and intercultural awareness. 

Their intercultural understanding, however, was weak in the majority of the schools visited because they did not have good opportunities to develop it. 

Extract from National Curriculum 2014:

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world.


So here we are 2016, some progress has been made but we seem, as teachers to still be focussing heavily on language and grammar at the expense of culture. And I firmly believe that culture is the way to excite prospective language learners.

It is the main reason I shut up, took action and decided to write the series “Les aventures de Polly Glot dans le monde francophone.”

The books on France and Belgium can be found here:

£5 each and 2 for the bargain price of £9.

Here you can find some extracts to whet your appetite…

Les aventures de Polly Glot dans le monde francophone – books 1 & 2

Thank you for listening and keep fighting the good MFL fight!

Suzi x






Les aventures de Polly Glot dans le monde francophone – books 1 & 2

So as promised here are some sample pages from books 1 and 2 from the series ‘Les aventures de Polly Glot dans le monde francophone’: Polly Glot va en France / Polly Glot va en Belgique.

Each book has integrated hyperlinks so that the learner / teacher can access additional cultural information. You will also see a QR code on each page – if you have a tablet / smartphone download a QR code reader app e.g. QRafter and this will allow you to scan the codes and access native French speaker sound files, thus offering an authentic model of pronunciation.

We hope you and your learners will enjoy these books and we welcome any feedback in preparation for writing the next few books in the series of 12.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or comments.


Suzi x


AIM High!

This past week has been life changing. In a great way. My good Canadian Facebook friend Pauline has been telling me for some time about an immersive teaching methodology that she uses in Canada with her students. It goes by the name of AIM.

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Pauline’s enthusiasm is somewhat contagious so I decided to follow her advice and go along to the first ever training event in the UK.

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The AIM training was run by the equally enthusiastic and quite simply adorable Edite Sammons.  Edite has a long standing career as a teacher of languages and has practised what she preaches for many years.  Over the course of 2 days, Edite showed a keen audience of about 20 delegates what AIM is and the amazing results it can help language teachers to achieve.  We were blown away!

It has been some time since I have been challenged pedagogically in such a way. Again, this is no bad thing.  The past few days have helped me to take time out to reassess what I do and more importantly WHY I do it.

What kind of language learners do I want to produce?

What do I want them to be able to do, feel, achieve in my classes?

Am I achieving that with my current teaching style?

So…the future is bright, the future is AIM.  

I have been given permission to pilot the AIM methodology back in my school as part of a new EAL venture working with students from Hong Kong and China.  Providing I can prove over the summer that the AIM methodology will help them to achieve the learning outcomes set out by the project, we will be trialling this over the Easter break, 2017.


Lots of hard work, resource writing and Schemes of Learning need to be in place but I have found a creative energy that has perhaps been lacking a little of late.  Don’t get me wrong, I think my learners progress and enjoy their MFL lessons, but I think it is my duty to teach them in such a way that they make the maximum progress possible…and I am REALLY excited to say that I think using AIM will help me to do just that!

If you already teach AIM in a UK school, please get in touch.

If you are interested and want to know more and perhaps take part in the UK pilot, then again comment below / get in touch via our Facebook Group AIM UK.


Wishing you a fabulous end to the week.

Suzi x

ALL Manchester Saturday 7 May 2016

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Hello to the super keen Saturday crowd who turned out in Manchester this morning!

A big thank you for your support and encouragement and here is hoping that you all go back into schools next week full of new ideas and fresh ways of thinking for the benefit of your language learners.

Below find both presentations and remember you  can also download the Poetry in MFL links handout from for just £0.90

ALL Manchester Phonics: Accelerating language learning using phonics


Please do get in touch if I can help in any way or via the Polly Glot Languages Facebook page where you will find some bonus poems and rhymes in French.  Please LIKE and SHARE the page with your MFL colleagues.

All best wishes


For anyone interested in purchasing the Petit Prince Teaching Resource pack for KS2/3, you can gain a further 10% off using this link: