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Ideas for teaching Yr 9 disruptive group of non-doers of MFL for GCSE

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by haleymarielc, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. haleymarielc

    haleymarielc New commenter

    Hi there! Brand new here as a Trainee Teacher so looking for any ideas you may have for teaching a newly-created, but very disruptive group of Year 9's who have opted out of doing language for GCSE. I will be teaching them Spanish, a language they've never studied. They had been studying French up until now but have been moved out and all put into a new group with me until the end of the school year. The advantage is that I have pure creative control over what to teach, and intend on getting to know them to appeal to their interests and also to let them have a choice in what they learn. I will also be getting them to use Wakelet in the ICT room every two weeks to collate a collection of materials for a Cultural Project about Spain in whatever topic they want..food, music, customs, festivals, etc.

    But with regard to teaching language and keeping it interesting for a group clearly not interested and very difficult to manage, what are your ideas for delivering content? Recycling Year 7 material doesn't seem fitting, as it doesn't seem to suit their age, and learning greetings, colours and numbers feels a bit too elementary.

    Any ideas would be extremely helpful!
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    The usual guidelines for trainee teachers include not giving them particularly difficult classes. I hope you are going to be well supported.
    MissGeorgi and agathamorse like this.
  3. shamandalie

    shamandalie New commenter

    Sounds like they're using you to deal with kids they can't be bothered with anymore, that's not cool.

    What about food and drinks? Ordering at a cafe/restaurant? You can sell it as useful for their next holiday in Benidorm.
    MissGeorgi and agathamorse like this.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I prefer ‘non participants ‘ . I recall our PE staff using this term too - very ugly !
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It's probably not a case of what you do with these kids, as much as how you do it.
    Could you try team lessons, where they work in, say, four large groups, and are awarded points for their achievements?
    You could also try team games using the board, where they have to come up and represent their team in choosing the right answer.
    You could try "who can do the most x,y,z in, ten minutes" where the x,y and z is perhaps vocabulary matching.
    Also, observation quizzes-you show them a video extract in the target language and compile quiz. They can mark each other's (always good for a quick teacher sit-down...) and ta da! again, you get a winning team.
    You could also do Kahoot if your school technology permits.

    You wont motivate these kids with the intrinsic worth of language-you need to make it all very short term for them, so that each lesson leaves them with a sense of rank or success, by using points. You can extend it to longer tasks too, such as designing posters, or menus, which they derive from a vocab list you give them. And these, for their amusement, could be judged (rapidly) by a completely different teacher in the school, perhaps someone who they know they will be working with next year.
    Make sure that at the beginning and end of every lesson you give mention to the "winners" from last lesson-they are going to need constant egging on. Not to learn Spanish, but to get points.

    Hopefully some of that is useful...you are actually luckier in Languages than this situation might make you think, as they can achieve something with even a tiny block of content.

    Edit-non-uptake MFL classes have notoriously short attention spans , so if you are feeling pesky, there is nothing to stop you doing fake sweet wrapper rustles mid-lesson with a hand in the top drawer. Full attention instantly, works every time.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    La_Rojigualda, cathr and agathamorse like this.
  6. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Sounds like starting Spanish is meant to be a break from slogging away at French. And with an exciting new teacher. Can you find ways to let them let you know what they want, so it feels like a project they are on board with.
  7. barca fc

    barca fc New commenter

    This sounds like an absolutely impossible task. Make life easy for yourself, ‘Mi Vida Loca’ on the BBC website, is fantastic for total beginners. Book a computer room and get them working on language gym or quizlet. Show them ‘coco’ at the end of term and do a project on the day of the dead. Good Luck!
    La_Rojigualda and agathamorse like this.
  8. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Agree with many above points. I’m teaching year 8 non opters Spanish, i’m not a specialist however! However, behaviour is good, generally.
    I put an emphasis on variety, games, carousel activities, but also challenge- they enjoy this. Videos, music, IT projects. Don’t let them get bored of one topic.
    But, i will keep the lessons very structured to give them motivation. And the occassional assessment.

    I was once in your position, in a different job, i took a timetable of all bottom set German and French, and it was very hard. Definitely discuss support with HOD.
  9. foroff2233

    foroff2233 New commenter

    I endorse barca fc's suggestion of 'Mi vida loca'. Very interactive and plenty of it.
    agathamorse likes this.

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