Monthly Archives: January 2011

Frances Wood: China – ancient and modern

Dr Frances Wood (Curator of the Chinese Collections at the British Library) spoke to all three branches of the Williams Project about China today, the speed of change, and how the legacy of the first emperor still lingers. Using photographs from her own time as a student in China during the Cultural Revolution, as well as pictures of ancient manuscripts, she spoke volubly and impeccably (and fast) across a huge range of topics, fielding a large number of perceptive questions from the curious. Many of Chigwell’s Chinese students, and friends from Kingsford Community College (for whom Frances was a bit of a celebrity), were there. The discussions continued long afterwards at Sandon Lodge.

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David Carter: Comprehensible Input – how to teach languages

David Carter, whose Latin textbooks we use at Chigwell, spoke clearly and engagingly to the WP about his ideas on language acquisition and language teaching, in particular the theories of Stephen Krashen (video). This philosophy revolves around the idea of ‘comprehensible input’ – that the (only) way the brain learns languages properly is by receiving messages which it understands. Mr Porter, in an exciting 5-minute lesson segment, demonstrated this very clearly with Russian, and David himself explained how he used this in his Latin textbooks – providing interlinear translations for the students to read aloud.

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