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Getting older pupils caught up

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by tastytortilla, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter

    Hello forum goers,

    This post raises two questions.

    Context :

    I have a national 5 French class (GCSE equivalent) and there are 3 boys who joined the class despite not having done French for 3 years. They have no engagement with the subject and picked it as it was "all that was left in that column".

    Any advice as to how to get these pupils caught up with basics?

    Also any advice as to how to get them to engage with the subject? Today we did a sample reading paper and the results... Well for these pupils it's not good...
  2. ClearAutism

    ClearAutism New commenter

    Role plays? When I taught languages I found it a really good way of getting students of all levels, even the weaker ones, to participate. Make sure you pair up a weaker student with one or two stronger ones if you can. I'm not familiar with the content you are using but it works with pretty much any theme. If they are doing practical conversational work it helps them to see the point as well.

    • Introductions in a formal situation/Informal situation
    • On my last holiday/Last weekend/Last night I did...
    • Asking for directions (you can use a map)
    • At the train station
    • In the cafe/restaurant (ordering food, asking about ingredients, dietary restrictions, I love/hate food X)
    • "Speed dating" (gets a few laughs)
    • My favourite...film/book/song/hobby - why do I like it? Or do least favourite for negatives.

    You can put a catch here so that after the activity, the *partner* has to tell the class what they have learned about the person they were working with. They might want to take notes (in the target language, obviously) to help them remember...
  3. expresslts

    expresslts New commenter

    The issue seems to be a combination of complete lack of the language plus a resistance to accept help or do anything to overcome this lack. I've create a course on Memrise but they say they'll join it then don't. Very frustrating as, from an accountability aspect, they'll bring the averages down.
  4. ClearAutism

    ClearAutism New commenter

    So, really, it's about motivation, rather than French. Hmm, I'm sure others will post back with some great ideas but a couple of thoughts off the top of my head (on my phone here) :

    Get them involved in the class somehow. Helping you distribute handouts, or some other kind of helpful task not associated with learning, *anything* that gives you a chance to say thank you, smile at them and make a positive comment to them. You're building a relationship, and their self esteem (I know, I know, but they're teenagers. They don't have a lot, despite appearances to the contrary).

    Find out what they like and use it. There has to be something you can use creatively. e.g. Can you ask them to help you/tell you more about topic X as you are thinking about doing a class on it?

    Are they like this in other classes? Could be worth finding out if it's a general issue with their attitude to learning. The answer may give you some clues.

    I have to go now, but I dare say the many experienced motivators on here will have other excellent ideas. Good luck!
    pascuam49 likes this.

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