We're making a couple of tweaks to the site this evening. MYLO will be offline for about an hour.
We've been very busy during half term and have published FIVE new 'Challenges' on MYLO.
One of our first Challenges for KS4 learners. Annabelle, a student, is looking for ideas for her new tour of Paris. She wants to create a tour that goes to alternative venues rather than the usual tourist attractions.
The creative task for this 'Challenge' is to research some unusual locations for a tour of alternative Paris and then write descriptions of them that can be used by Annabelle, the guide. (Level 6)
For additional kudos points, learners should use a range of tenses to talk about the history of a place or what events will be on there in the future. They can also record their descriptions and practise their intonation to sound like a real tour guide. (Level 7)
There are two new Challenges in the German section.
TV producer Hartfried Schuster has an idea for a new TV drama which is a twist on Grimm's fairy tales. It looks at the fairy tale characters ten years on from the events in the stories. He needs to sell the concept in order to get the series commissioned and so is looking for stories that will impress.
In this 'Challenge' learners need to develop a character and imagine what happened to them after their 'Grimm' experience. They should write their backstory and explain how they were affected by the experience and contrast this with their life now. (Level 4)
For additional kudos points, the learner should combine the past and present tenses into one sentence to describe their character then and now. They should also choose a range of adjectives to bring their character to life and take care with the presentation of their work as it will be used to sell the concept to the programme makers. (Level 5).
There will be a second helping of Fairly Grimm coming soon in Fairly Grimm pt 2 a KS4 focused Challenge that will be released in the next few weeks.
Also don't forget to watch the beautiful intro video for this 'Challenge'.
The coach is looking for ways to help new German players feel welcome when they come to play in England. He has hit upon the idea of a quiz night and is looking for some quiz questions about football in both England and Germany.
Learners need to research quiz questions about the Premier league and the Bundesliga using a variety of question styles to make the quiz entertaining. They'll also need to provide the answers! (Level 5)
For additional kudos points, the learner should use several tenses to construct questions about the history of each of the leagues and recent matches. They should also research the Bundesliga so they can create challenging questions for the players. (Level 6)
Dance jam, the first of two new Spanish Challenges, is a writing focused Challenge. Follow X-PressOne as they choose a member of their dance crew to represent the UK in a Bboy competition in Mexico. The crew also needs help in promoting their entrant on the official website as they want to win support from the Spanish-speaking audience.
In this 'Challenge' learners choose a dancer and write a profile for them. They should describe their dance moves as well as the dancer. (Level 4)
For additional kudos points, the learner should explain why their chosen dancer is better than the rest and also how they will do in the competition. (Level 5)
The KIDS charity works in Rosario in Argentina and helps street children to improve their lives. They want some help with a new Spanish section of their website, which will promote their work with children to people in Argentina. They are also looking for fund-raising ideas.
In this 'Challenge' learners create a web page for the KIDS charity to promote their work in Argentina. Learners should describe the life of the children the charity helps, before and after, they join the programme. (Level 5)
For additional kudos points, the learner should design a fundraising activity and say how they will go about it and why it is important. They could also research vocabulary of their own and include images. (Level 6)
“Because you have to run past people or squirt them with water balloons when you get something right or they squirt you back when you get something wrong.” - year 7 student
“At the end you get to play games and to recap all the activities you have just done.” - year 7 student
“Because you get to dress up your avatar. You want to get points so you want to do more French to get points.” - ‘doug’
“It’s better than other online sites as it looks more grown up.” - ‘fish224’
“Good drop down menus on activities to choose what you do.” - 'emmie27'
“It is a fun interactive way of learning.” - 'freckles'
“There are dictionaries to help you.” - 'redsmurf'
“If you don’t get the answer right you can try again.” - 'lizzy_x'
“It’s easy to learn through playing games.” - 'shann_x'
“You are learning by playing games so you do not actually realise that you are learning.” - 'babs'
“It makes learning languages fun and easy.” - 'annaRJ'
“It’s good to earn points and work up the league table.” - 'smiley8'
“It is fun going against friends and playing at the same time.” - 'liliP'
“You use listening, reading and writing skills.” - 'emilyK_X'
“It has your full attention.” - ‘fluff’
“There is a helpful bar with phrases at the bottom.” - 'zacquisha'
“Having your own avatar and your own points display drives you to get more.” - 'emmz'
Next, we asked some of the students what they would say to people who think language learning is boring...
“Languages are fun if you do it on the computer so it encourages you to learn.” - year 7 pupil
“To go on MYLO and do the games.” - year 7 pupil
“Use MYLO – because it makes learning fun.” - bigtitch123
“Mylo would change your mind as it tests your skills through fun activities.” - 'bubblemaster13'
“Use MYLO because you can play with friends." - 'french-fries'
"Learning languages is useful everywhere and MYLO helps with that.” - 'gleegirl'
"Most people think that learning languages is boring. MYLO makes it really fun." - 'smiley8'
MYLO is having a small spring clean tomorrow afternoon and will be unavailable after 3pm.
We also have five new challenges going live this week. We'll write with more news on these later, but here is a sneak preview of one of the challenges - "Fairly Grimm part 1".
We have added to the German content on MYLO with two new 'Challenges', Grafitti trail and Riding the giant.
Grafitti trail looks at the rich culture of street art in Berlin. The learner is asked to help Anna Thomas, an English art student specialising in graffiti art. She loves really imaginative street art, "not mindless tags" and is working on an online street art guide for graffiti. Berlin has been called the "Captial of Grafitti". Anna is working on a section of the website dedicated to the city, which she wants to be written in German. She has a collection of photos to begin the task, but wants help in writing reviews about the work. She knows that graffiti can be controversial so wants a range of opinions for her website.
In this Challenge learners choose a piece of graffiti from Anna's photo collection and write about it. They should describe what it looks like, where it is located and why they have chosen it. Anna is looking for strong opinions. (Level 5).
For additional kudos points, the learner could compare use of a range of tenses, including the past, to give some background about the artist of their chosen piece. They could also choose to research graffiti art and add pictures of other examples they like. (Level 6).
This challenge covers topics including: art description and criticism; locations in town; and graffiti positions. Grammar used includes: opinion expressions; connectives (justifying opinions: weil, deshalb); adjectives with prepositions + dative ('beeindruckt von', 'bestehen aus'); prepositions of motion; prepositions of location; perfect tense with 'haben'; and separable verbs.
Chuck Seeger, a theme park enthusiast, is compiling an online guide comparing various rides around the world and reviewing what different theme parks have to offer. His website will have sections in all languages. He needs the learners help to write information for the German section of the website. Learners can write about any theme park they have visited and review it to enthuse a German audience.
In this 'Challenge' learners develop the German section of Chuck's website about theme parks. They should write about a theme park they know and include details about the rides and any special offers the park has. (Level 3)
For additional kudos points, the learner could compare their theme park to ones in Germany and explain to the German audience why their park is better. They could also add pictures of their own and make sure the layout of their section is eye-catching. (Level 4)
The challenge incorporates the topics of leisure activities, theme parks and special offers. The grammar focus is upon: definite and indefinite articles; the accusative case; adjectival agreement in the accusative case; comparatives and superlatives; word order; and expressing opinions.
MYLO has got coverage on two influential teacher blogs in recent weeks.
First Esther Hardman of Weald of Kent Grammar School, (a Specialist Language College), posted a review on her blog Crack the code.
There is also a double page article about MYLO in the Spring 2011 edition of Languages Today.
Keen to get the latest MYLO news? You can now become a fan of MYLO on Facebook to hear about new challenges, join in discussions, get juicy tips and updates and find out how other teachers are using MYLO. We’ll also be featuring the highest-scoring schools each week, so join us to see if you’ve been featured!
The MYLO Team are very keen to help schools get the most out of MYLO and to help you get going, we have created a ‘MYLO Quick Start Guide’ that explains how to sign in, create other teacher accounts and create groups, and what pupils will need to do to join these groups.
The MYLO Quick Start Guide is stored as a ‘pdf’ and is available to view and download here. Alternatively you can use this link, http://tinyurl.com/MYLO-QSG. If you have trouble reading this file, you may need to install Adobe reader or similar software on your computer. It is free and available to download from adobe at http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/.
There is a range of information available in the MYLO site Help section, but if you need any further assistance or advice, please contact us by sending an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, completing the feedback form on the MYLO site or by contacting us on Twitter via @helloMYLO.
We have released a host of new French content. Three new French 'Challenges' as well as the remainder of the French 'Basics' content have been added to the site.
Movie poster and Dress to impress are two glamorous challenges whilst Life in Haiti focuses on the far more serious subject of the reconstruction effort following last year's earthquake.
Christine Leroy, a French film producer, is looking for new film ideas. She wants to create something different and exciting which will appeal to an international audience. She wants to take the idea to the 'Marché du Film' at Cannes to generate interest and potential investors. She asks the learner for ideas.
In this challenge learners produce a synopsis and poster for a new film to help promote it at Cannes. The challenge is targeted at learners working at levels 5-6 of the National Curriculum and gives them the opportunity to explain plots and character traits. To achieve the higher level learners can use the future tense to add intrigue to the plot and explain why audiences will like it. Grammatically the Challenge focuses upon connectives, reflexive verbs in present and perfect tenses and the future tense.
Dress to impress features Madame X a French fashionista with high standards and strong opinions. She is an expert in French couture fashion and runs her own influential website. She is looking for a young designer to put together a new look - something a little different. But she is hard to impress. Are your learners up to the job?
This challenge is for learners working at Levels 4-5 of the National Curriculum and explores putting together a new outfit for a young person. The imperative is used to explain step-by-step how the look is achieved. The challenge focuses on clothes, fabrics, adjectives of style and colour whilst grammatically adjectival agreement, possessive adjectives, sequencing and direct object pronouns with imperatives are all covered.
One year after the devastating Haiti earthquake this challenge follows Beth Williams, a young documentary maker, who is travelling to Haiti to make a film about the reconstruction. Beth wants a high profile French celebrity to narrate the film and the learner is asked to create a presentation explaining the situation in Haiti to encourage a celebrity to get involved.
Learners must explain what has happened in Haiti and what will be done to improve the situation. The grammar covered includes regular and irregular noun plurals, adjective plurals, modals in present and conditional tenses, the perfect tense and the use of adverbs to emphasise.
We've added a lot more German 'Basics' content to MYLO. Daily routine, family, home, leisure, starting a conversation, going to an internet cafe, sending messages, ordering drinks and snacks, buying clothes, getting around town and police and emergencies are all now live on the site.
Our 'Basics' content helps learners working at levels 1-3 of the National Curriculum with the key language they need to get started. All of our 'Basics' material in German can be accessed from the summary page.