A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

September 27, 2013
by Jean

Peter Blatchford

You may be interested to know more about Peter Blatchford as he is an academic whose work many of you have begun to read. Like many academics he works at a university and you can find his page on the Institute of Education website. This gives you more information about what he has researched about and written – some of which may relate to what you writing about.


You can look at the list of his published work and see if any of it relates to your assignment, then look it up in the library catalogue (books) or NELSON (academic journal articles).

He also writes a blog which you can read to get a sense of his thinking about educational issues. You can access it here

September 27, 2013
by Jean

The effect of free school meals on learning

Last week you probably heard talk about research relating to the effect of free school meals on learning alongside Nick Clegg’s announcement of free school meals for infants in English schools in the future.

On the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less, broadcast last week, Tim Harford explored this research more fully and discussed it with one of the researchers. As a university student working in education this is interesting for you to listen to as it will help you consider the media coverage last week more analytically. The discussion starts at the beginning of the programme and continues for about 8 minutes. I have also saved it to Box of Broadcasts and you can look it up using ‘More or Less’ and September 20th.

You should also read the original research and compare this to what you heard and read last week.

The report is available here

What is your experience of school lunches and eating at school? How do think it relates to learning?

September 13, 2013
by Jean

Harvard referencing

Next week the second year of the FDLT course begins. As you prepare to return to university now is good time to ensure that you are ready to study at Level 5.

Over the summer the academic librarians have been revising the Harvard Referencing Guide and it was published this week.

You can download the new version at this link Harvard Referencing Guide. There are some changes in this so I encourage to read it through and make sure that you have understood the expectations.

There is also a new part of the website that focuses on support for studying – called skillshub

You can use this to explore a range of resources that will support your university study. The ‘Getting started’ page will take you ten useful tutorials that will help you refresh your memory of the basics after the summer.


September 13, 2013
by Jean

Beginning to study – skills hub

We have all enjoyed welcoming our FDLT Year 1 students to the University of Northampton this week. New groups have begun to study  at Park Campus, Oadby and Milton Keynes.

Over the next few weeks we will introduce a range of resources to support you as you begin your university course.

I’ d like to recommend that you begin by exploring the university skillshub. You can access it here – University of Northampton skillshub

If you click on ‘getting started’ you will be taken to ten video tutorials about the basics that will be very useful to you in the next few weeks. You might like to begin with number 4 (Using the library catalogue) and number 9 (Harvard referencing).

At this link you can find and download the latest version of our Harvard Referencing Guide, published this week. It is available when you click ‘essential skills’ and then click on plagiarism and referencing on the drop down list.

You should download this and keep it ready to use to underpin your study, especially as you research for and write assignments.


September 8, 2013
by Jean
1 Comment

Your first week!

This week we begin to teach FDLT Year 1 groups at Oadby (on Monday), at Park Campus  (on Wednesday) and at Milton Keynes (on Thursday).  The course tutors are looking forward to meeting all of you.

Coming to university is a big step to take – there are many people and services at the university to help and support you. Make sure that you keep in touch with us ( Julie Jones, Jean Edwarts and Alison Flint) and with your fellow students. Since FDLT students come to university on  just one day a week using NILE will be vital so get into good habits of checking it regularly.

September 5, 2013
by Jean

The future for language teaching?

This week there is an interesting article on the Education Guardian website by Louise Tickle entitled ‘What does the future hold for primary languages?’

You can read it here: What does the future hold for primary languages?

As you read it try and analyse it critically identifying key questions that spring to mind about the points the author makes and evidence on which it is based.

As a university student you can read this media article critically and identify interesting issues to pursue through academic literature. An example in relation this article is to go and find this academic journal article:

Cable, C., Driscoll, P., Mitchell, R., Sing, S., Cremin, T., Earl, J., Eyres, I., Holmes, B., Martin, C., Heins, B. (2012) Language learning at Key Stage 2: findings from a longitudinal study Education 3-13. Vol.40(4), p.363-378.

There are some interesting links with Tickle’s article, in relation to teaching languages. Some of you may be supporting and teaching modern foreign languages in your role and may find some useful resources and ideas here.