Newsletter October 2014

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Roller Disco Night Fever!
What better than an evening of Roller disco to entertain our students?
Our DeNadai group enjoyed an evening with families and teenagers skating at Northgate Arena in Chester. Roller Discos are organised by Flowskate, evenings include the latest music and a variety of games for all.
Flowskate was founded by Leo Oppenheim and since the company was first established in 2007 Leo has been involved with schools (Knutsford High School) and colleges (Macclesfield College Of Further and Higher Education) teaching group lessons and has also been teaching private lessons on a one on one basis with clients, assisting them in their technique and confidence.
Our students had a fun filled evening and we are looking forward to organising more soon!

Conwy Food festival 25th – 26th October 2014
The medieval town of Conwy is transformed with a weekend festival that boasts the largest celebration of music, art and food of Wales. The quayside, castle and medieval streets burst with flavours, sound and sights. There is a bounty of food and drink in the quayside food halls – most of which is lovingly crafted using traditional methods and recipes right here in Wales. You can pick up a gift or two, sample new foods, or create a stunning hamper for a special Christmas present – or keep it all for yourself! The festival takes place in the world heritage site of Conwy which boasts a 13th century castle, town walls, towers and quayside as its backdrop.
Conwy is also the last rake-only mussel fishing community in the UK and the Feast is timed to coincide with the start of their season.
But it is more than simply a food festival and the exciting programme includes BLINC, Wales’ digital art festival. BLINC`S theme for 2014 is Action and Reaction and will feature lasers, poetry, dance and music. Two laser ‘bridges’ across the river will be unforgettable highlight this year.
This year visitors will also be encouraged to grow their own food. The trees, bees and farming marquee – with its farmyard of live animals – will include lots of advice and info on growing their own fruit and vegetables.
Look out for talks and advice from some of Wales’ greenest-fingered garden experts!
Other highlights this year include an extended beer and music marquee with a fabulous programme of bands including three musicians from some of Britpop’s biggest bands and the champagne and cocktail bar, with a menu of Welsh cocktails, will also be back.

Staff Development Workshops
Staff at our Abergele centre recently took part in a day of workshops on various topics.
Naomi Vivian, one of Conlan’s teachers who has worked in schools in London, ran a workshop on classroom management, so we all gained some very useful tips on how to maximise student participation and learning through effective control within the classroom. It was great to see how some basic structures and boundaries can actually create a more positive and productive classroom with happier students than otherwise, so thank you to Naomi for this very useful discussion-based workshop.
“EFL Methodologies” was the subject of another workshop with the DoS. In Part 1 of this sequence, we looked at some of the pros and cons of three key methodologies that have influenced EFL and looked carefully at what we can still use from them today. We considered Audiolingualism, Suggestopedia and Community Language Learning. The tenet of Audiolingualism was that repetition was desirable and practice made perfect through drills and role plays. Suggestopedia aimed to create a relaxed environment in which students could easily absorb and understand English using music, actions and speaking. Community Language Learning put the student at the centre of the process of learning and drove the lesson through their needs and the language they wished to learn or produced. We looked at examples of each, demonstrations and then discussed how some of the activities typical in these classrooms fit today in our Communicative, Task-based lessons. It is surprising how much these styles have influenced our own teaching and also how many ideas we got. We will continue this series in the future with a look at other methodologies like The Direct Method, The Natural Approach and The Lexical Approach, amongst others.

Phrase of the month: Crocodile Tears
When a person is said to be crying ‘crocodile tears’ it means that they are expressing insincere sadness. For example, a child who has done something he shouldn’t have may cry ‘crocodile tears’ in front of their parents to avoid them getting into trouble.
It is suggested that the origins of ‘crocodile tears’ come from the ancient idea that crocodiles cry whilst they devour their prey. Crocodiles do produce tears to wet the eyes in a similar way to humans however this is not an act of emotion. I’m sure we can be certain that crocodiles would not be crying whilst eating their prey!
It has been reported that the reference can be dated as far back as 1230, although these have never been confirmed. In the 16th Century the phrase was used by Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York and of Canterbury to imply insincerity in 1563 (re-published in Strype’s Life of Grindal, 1711) "I begin to fear, lest his humility ... be a counterfeit humility, and his tears crocodile tears."
So have you ever cried crocodile tears?
All of the very early citations refer directly to the myth of crocodiles weeping. It isn't until the 16th century that we find 'crocodile tears' used with our current meaning. Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York and of Canterbury was the first to use the phrase with the implication of insincerity, in 1563, (re-published in Strype's Life of Grindal, 1711):
"I begin to fear, lest his humility ... be a counterfeit humility, and his tears crocodile tears."