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How are you preparing for the new MFL GCSE?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by marmot.morveux, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    I've just been on a GCSEs and it's left me with perhaps more questions than I'd like.

    Previously I'd intended to invest in some new textbooks, but what with the suggestion that we'd need to prepare pupils for the unpredictable, it's left me thinking that new textbooks are not the way forward. At the same time, having to create resources from scratch has left me feeling cold, because it's always a huge hassle to sort out listening resources, which is what I rely on textbooks for. It might be that I still go ahead with new textbooks (there surely needs to be some basic content for the photocards and roleplay), but then encourage more creativity when it comes to 'spontaneous' speaking and 'writing.' I'd appreciate your thoughts everyone. MM
  2. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    We're not rushing out to buy new textbooks either. We got our current ones (Edexcel GCSE) 3 years ago so they're still in good condition and we can't really afford to replace them.

    We don't tend to use them that much, but definitely use them for Listening as that's the hardest thing to find otherwise. The topics and texts covered should still be suitable for the new GCSE, it's just a case of adapting the tasks/questions (which I generally do anyway as I don't find the questions from the books particularly helpful).

    The main thing we have done is to change the way we assess. Whereas before we would use pieces of work which had been prepared with access to books, dictionaries, word mats etc., as part of teacher assessment (on the basis that pupils would be able to produce this kind of work in controlled assessment) we're now doing more unprepared writing tasks in exam conditions. I've seen an improvement in pupils' work already - they now focus on reusing language they know (even if it's simple or just a bit boring) rather than overcomplicating things and trying to look everything up in the dictionary. More learning seems to be sticking.

    We've introduced more translation into lessons (frequently as a starter) and assessments. Pupils quite like this as it allows them to focus on getting the French right, rather than on generating their own ideas at the same time as getting the French right.

    We haven't yet really gone into the photocards and roleplays side of things. But even the old textbooks do have listenings with transactional language (shopping, booking a hotel room, complaining, etc.). And whilst the difference is that they no longer draft and memorise, they will need to be more spontaneous, the language they need isn't really that different to the Picture Based Discussion and Open Interaction controlled assessment tasks.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I'm not an MFL teacher, but I do train English teachers and it seems to me that they have moved your spec closer to ours. We eschew text books and instead have far more drama based, applied learning pedagogies mixed with lots of competition based and visual or tactile tasks as pre-writing activities - why? Retention of learning and unseen material in exams.

    Some of our practitioners are flipping more of the basic learning out to technology and using the lessons to evaluate and review more instead. What is to stop you using apps like memrise to do the basic rote learning and lesson time for application of language in applied learning scenarios?

    I ask these questions as I am interested in doing some research on comparing MFL and English and it would be helpful to see how MFL practitioners would react to the pedagogies that are used in English. Cheers.
  4. vacherin

    vacherin New commenter

    We are going to buy the OUP AQA books as they seem to mirror the spec beautifully and we will try to preserve them as they need to last. We have been given a bigger budget to reflect the changed specs so we can afford them.
  5. gregcolin

    gregcolin New commenter

    Went to an AQA French preparing to teach meeting in Birmingham on Monday. It was very good at helped my preparation, but it does seem that the new specs are far more demanding!
  6. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    Thanks for that Greg
  7. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    With the end of 'levels', you can slow things back down in KS3 and really get to grips with learning the language in depth, rather than concentrating on the areas that would accelerate pupils through the levels. Of course, time frames and opinions are still really important, but we can now centre our learning on understanding how to create language and how grammar helps with understanding.
  8. RapideFrench

    RapideFrench New commenter

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