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Bridging the gap between GCSE and A Level French

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by MadameMarshall, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Due to a trick in the curriculum model at my school, many of our MFL students complete their GCSE in MFL by the end of year 10. However they cannot start their A level courses until they reach year 12, because A level french is provided by another school in our consortium. As a result, many students tend to lose some of their language skills by the time they reach post 16.
    I have been asked to create a bridging course of one hour a week. The aim is to enable students to maintain their French and maybe develop useful skills for A level.
    I am looking for suggestions from experienced A level french teachers. What skills/topic areas should I focus on?
    Many thanks

  2. You may want to focus on developing genuine oral confidence (or at least stopping them from forgetting how to speak the language altogether) and cultivating an interest in the cultural side of things (French songs, art, short news items or even very short stories). After all, they already have GCSE and aren't yet tied to covering particular topics for AS. Grammar shouldn't be neglected, but if you focus too much on correcting every detail of their writing, for example, you risk losing good linguists. With GCSE structured as it is (endless modules, Controlled Assessment etc.) you may not get much from them beyond the classroom, so every second will be precious. Much will depend on the ability of the pupils and their motivation. Good luck.

  3. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    If it were me I think I would spend half the time on some oral work e.g. based on a short text, pictures, or a game, and the other half on an area of grammar, most likely a tense a week. I'd set a homework on the grammar.
  4. Thank you for the advice. I am not used to such freedom, and it's lovely to be able to design something from scratch.
    I decided to follow the Alevel topics losely, but to explore them using resources I can't normally explore with my GCSE class. I'll use "Le petit Spirou" to talk about the school system in France. You are right about including lots of conversation. I am getting quite excited about this course now,

  5. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    also.....translation! They don't have to do it at GCSE but do at A level, so get them started sooner rather than later.
  6. chris_martin

    chris_martin New commenter

    Translation is a great idea. My students were really grateful for the work I did on translation with them.
    Have you considered an Asset Language course in a particular skill? You are not obliged to test all four skills. You could enter them for particular skill(s) to either refine or keep up to speed.
  7. ASSET Advanced is very accessible - my Year 10's who are still doing GCSE have just 'passed' ASSET advanced writing at grades 11 and 12 and it has been very motivating. next year they are going to try speaking and reading!

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