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Induction year & teaching Highers !!

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by florentinekd, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. florentinekd

    florentinekd New commenter

    Hello there,

    I just finished my PGDE and I will be now starting my induction year ! I have learnt that I will be in charge of a national 5 Spanish & French class and a Higher French class as well. I must say I am feeling really stressed about those classes because I have no idea how to teach them and get my students ready for the exams... I would be happy for any piece of advice you can give me like the way you organise yourself with the 4 contexts and the 4 skills for example ! :)

    Also what do you usually do for the very first class with them ??

    Thanks a million X
  2. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    Coucou florentinekd,

    I have been meaning to reply for a couple of days now - please accept apologies!

    From your terminology, I presume you teach in Scotland? I assume that National 5s are roughly equivalent of GCSEs in England (I remember when they were called Standards as I'm sure you do too!) and that Highers = A Levels?

    I was in same boat as you in my induction year last year with the same exam classes combination you've got now! I found it daunting and confusing at times too and I did feel the pressure too, although you will have a breather by June. You will come out of it fine though, and as you're a probationer, you must demand the support you are entitled to, particularly from your HoD for these exam classes.

    I'm sure you've done/heard some of these things already, but a few bits of advice:

    - It will be difficult to cover all four skills to a detailed enough degree within one lesson - maybe over a double. Consider splitting skills over their lessons and sharing your timetable with the pupils as well so that they come in knowing that they'll be doing speaking/writing that lesson and can be prepared.

    - The 16 year olds on the Highers will need to go over some grammar revision (mainly tenses) over the first few lessons as they will have forgotten loads. The old textbooks had a Transition section for this purpose, maybe have a nosey round your school or look on eBay or TES for ideas?

    - The first lesson for any level can be devoted to setting your expectations with the class, revision of classroom language and some 'getting to know you' activities eg. Find Someone Who or surveys.

    - Look on TES for the MFL Lesson Ideas ppt - it's brilliant

    - Look on Gianfranco Conti's website or threads on here for specific teaching advice

    - Be au fait with the data recording policy at your school - it is particularly important that you update regularly for your sanity as well (I had pupils who were very keen to know how they were doing last year!)

    Hope that helps!
    All the best, Idiomas11
  3. Idiomas11

    Idiomas11 Occasional commenter

    In addition:

    - Know the specifications inside out - if you call the exam boards, they can usually send you hard copies for free.

    - Get your hands on as many past papers/exemplars as you can - ask HoD if they pay for a subscription of this type.

    - By all means use the textbooks fully (they are there for a reason!) but change it up a bit by booking ICT suite from time to time to use computer-based/online language learning programs, which they can then use at lunch/after school/at home.
  4. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    The SQA website will give you an idea of the kind of exams your Higher French pupils will face and the sort of standards expected: http://www.sqa.org.uk/pastpapers/findpastpaper.htm?subject=French&level=NH

    The same SQA website will give you past papers and marking instructions for National 5 French and Spanish.

    Idiomas11's suggestions will give you a good idea of other places to look for information and resources. The book Gianfranco Conti wrote with Steve Smith (The Language Teacher toolkit) is good as is: https://www.language-gym.com/#!

    There is a lot of useful stuff on Light Bulb Language too: http://www.lightbulblanguages.co.uk/resources-french.htm

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