Skip to main content

Goodbye MYLO

Minor rant alert.

What an awful shame! I see from the MYLO site that RM will no longer be hosting the site and that is is closing down at the end of July. I presume some government money has run out. Does anyone know?

I have heard that it cost £5 million to set up MYLO, which seems an awful lot of money, but at least that investment produced a quality product which has been widely used and is still fresh and very useful.

It is unusual to find a free to use languages site which combines listening, reading and writing so effectively. I have previously written about it with enthusiasm  here and here.

Is there nobody who can pick up the hosting and maintenance fees for the site? The site is all written, has a good shelf life, works effectively and benefits lots of learners. To throw it away now seems such a terrible waste.

It's not the only useful resource to have got the chop in the last five years. I would also mention the Teacher Resource Exchange, CILT and Teachers' TV. Keeping these resources demands relatively trifling sums of money in the great scheme of things.

I know how I will be voting tomorrow.


  1. I am responding on behalf of RM Education to your Blog post, to give some context around the closure of the Mylo site.

    The funding for the Mylo site ended 5 years ago when the Government strategy changed. RM Education agreed with the government to continue hosting the website for free and has done so for the last 5 years without funding. The equipment that is hosting the Mylo site is now very old and as you can imagine there is a cost to replacement of the equipment and the running of the site. The decision to close the site was not taken lightly as you have said in your Blog the resources have stood the test of time.

    What we can do is delay the closure until the end of the term to the 31st of July to allow teachers to use the resources until the end of the school year.

    I hope that explains the history behind the site and why we have decided to close it.

  2. Thank you for that explanation. I would imagine that the costs of running the site are relatively low per year (low thousands?) and all that is required is either an injection of money from the DfE or another organisation to take it over. I'm sure you agree it's such a shame that an already existing, high quality resource should be allowed to disappear. Have you approached the DfE again?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Tell stories


How can we make listening more enjoyable and effective for pupils? How can we turn it from a potential chore to something more memorable (and therefore more likely to stick in their long term memories)? I am of the opinion that since humans are "wired" to engage in personal listening and speaking (the expression "social brain" has been used in this context), they may be more interested and attentive when the message comes from a real person rather than a disembodied audio source. (This may or may not be relevant, but research has been carried out which demonstrates that babies pick up phonological patterns better when they listen to a caregiver rather than listen to a tape or watch a video - see here for summaries of research into this area by Patricia Kuhl.)

One easy way to make listening stimulating for pupils is to tell them easy stories in the target language. I was reminded of this while reading Penny Ur's book 100 Teaching Tips (reviewed here

New GCSE resources on frenchteacher

As well as writing resources for the new A-levels, I have in recent months been posting a good range of materials to support the new GCSEs. First exams are not until 2018, but here is what you can find on the site in addition to the many other resources (grammar exercises, texts, video listening etc).

I shall not produce vocabulary lists since the exam board specifications now offer these, with translations.

Foundation Tier 

AQA-style GCSE 2016 Role-plays
AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations
AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (2)
100 translation sentences into French (with answers)
Reading exam
Reading exam (2)
How to write a good Foundation Tier essay (ppt)
How to write a good Foundation Tier essay (Word)

Higher Tier 

AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (Higher tier)
AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (Higher tier) (2)
20 translations into French (with answers)
Reading exam (Higher tier)
How to write a good Higher Tier essay (ppt)
How to write a…

What teachers are saying about The Language Teacher Toolkit

"The Language Teacher Toolkit is a really useful book for language teachers to either read all the way through or dip into. What I like about it is that the authors Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti are totally upfront about what they believe to be good practice but back it up with research evidence." (Ernesto Macaro, Oxford University Department of Education)

"I absolutely love this book based on research and full of activities..  The best manual I've read so far. One of our PDs from the Australian Board of Studies recommended your book as an excellent resource.  I look forward to the conference here in Sydney." Michela Pezzi, Teacher, Australia, Facebook)

"Finally, a book for World Language teachers that provides practical ideas and strategies that can actually be used in the classroom, rather than dry rhetoric and theory that does little to inspire creativity in ways that are engaging for both students and teachers alike." (USA teacher, Amazon review)

The Language Teacher Toolkit review

We were delighted to receive a review of The Language Teacher Toolkit from eminent applied linguist Ernesto Macaro from Oxford University. Macaro is a leader in the field of second language acquisition and applied linguistics. His main research interests are teacher-student interaction and language learning strategies pupils can use to improve their progress.

Here is Professor Macaro's review:
The Language Teacher Toolkit is a really useful book for language teachers to either read all the way through or dip into. What I like about it is that the authors Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti are totally upfront about what they believe to be good practice but back it up with research evidence. So for example the ‘methodological principles’ on page 11 are supported by the research they then refer to later in the book and this approach is very similar to the one that we (Ernesto Macaro, Suzanne Graham, Robert Woore) have adopted in our ‘consortium project’( The point i…

5 great zero preparation lesson ideas

When the pressure is on and there are only so many hours on the week, you need a repertoire of zero preparation go-to activities which promote input and/or practice. Here are five you might well find useful.

1. My weekend

We know that listening is the most important yet often neglected skill for language learning. It's also something some pupils find hard to do. To develop listening skill and provide tailored comprehensible input try this:

You tell the class you are going to recount what you did last weekend and that they have to make notes in English. The amount of detail you go into and the speed you go will depend on your class. Talk for about three minutes. If you spent the whole weekend marking, you can always make stuff up!

You then make some true or false (maybe not mentioned too) statements in the target language about what you said in your account. Class gives hands up (or no hands up) answers. This can then lead into a simple pair work task where pupils make up their own tru…