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Differentiation at A-Level Languages?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Homeeducator2011, May 16, 2019.

  1. Homeeducator2011

    Homeeducator2011 New commenter

    I have been asked to prepare a presentation on the strategies I would use to meet the needs of all students at the start of their A-Level course... (for a job interview...) I am an NQT and have little experience of A-Level teaching, although I would really enjoy teaching in the 6th Form. I know there can be native speakers on the course as well as students who are struggling and I would have to provide for both. However I have the feeling that differentiation at KS5 is different from KS3/KS4. Any suggestions from what KS5 teachers would do would be immensely helpful
    Many thanks in advance
  2. desertestrella7

    desertestrella7 New commenter

    Do you know which exam board the school does? This would help in that you can be more specific in your presentation.
    I've not had to do any differentiation in KS5 as I've been lucky enough to have students of a high level (A* at IGCSE each year). I can give you some help when having native speakers in the class, as I've had at least 1 in my Spanish AS/A Level classes for the last 5 years and I love having them in lessons. They are an added resource and a great help. Whilst most of them have achieved As at both AS and A Level, none of them has had an A* (so far...) which is down to their writing: missing tildes, incorrect spelling (ll - y, b - v confusion). And not being up to date with the key facts/figures/examples required for the 2016 oral exam spec. Non-natives in my classes are better prepared for the oral exam because they are not relying on their knowledge of the language alone.

    There are 2 translations in Edexcel, which we do, and I think AQA too. TL to English and English to TL. This is where students from both sides have problems when it comes to translating meaning, vocab they don't know, finding subjunctives etc. I like getting my native speakers to do the translations into English and the non-natives into TL and they they work together to correct each other's.

    The literature element (whether it's a book/film/both) is another area where native speakers are only advantaged by their language. Mine have had no knowledge of how to analyse the text or the film at this level, discuss character development, camera angles etc. So you could do something on this part of the exam - maybe find a sample essay and get them to mark it based on the mark scheme. I've found both sets of students start from the same place in this.

    Reading over this, I think I've only really given you areas to think about where differentiation isn't needed! That said, I think you should mention the fact that with this exam spec, native speakers are not necessarily guaranteed top marks. I've had non-natives getting higher grades than the native speakers when we see the breakdown of marks, and 2 years ago one of my natives got a B in the AS exam...
    agathamorse likes this.

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