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Is there a demand for professional/qualified primary MFL?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Geekie, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    I was a secondary MFL teacher for 14 years, and am currently in my 2nd year teaching Spanish from nursery to Y6 in a local primary school. It suits my school very well. If you read the latest Ofsted report "MFL: Achievement and Challenge 2007-2010", you'll see that they recommend the "class teacher teaching the language" model. However, all schools are very individual, and what suits one won't necessarily suit another.
    I would recommend that, if possible, you attend some CILT courses, and contact your LA PML consultant, before the end of March as he/she may well be redundant after then. The best way to learn about PML is to see it in action - the training zone on www.primarylanguages.org.uk has some excellent videos.
    Also familiarise yourself with the KS2 framework for MFL. That's really the only specific training I've done.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Do I think there is a need?
    Yes, I've met so many class teaching colleagues who think teaching a language is all about acquiring vocabulary. There is a real need for someone in a school who has knowledge of Language pedagogy & acquisition, who can at least provide a structured Scheme of Work to ensure progression in a school & help support colleagues with resources & encouragement.
    Having said that, I've been trying to return to teaching since having my family & when the PFML initiative came in, I began to update my language portfolio & signed on for a GCSE Spanish to enable me to offer 3 languages. I also let my local language advisor know I was available to offer languages at Primary level.However I've just had 1 afternoon for 2 terms work & 2 interviews (for part-time specialist) when a few candidates were interviewed,much to the astonishment of the Heads who'd assumed there wouldn't be any candidates out there!
    Now I'm Primary trained, with languages as my specialist subject, but I still can't seem to find a way to use my languages in school!
    I think one of the big problems is funding, there's much less will & money for specialisms in Primary. I presume after 7 years you're quite high up the payscale So unless you're willing to become a Primary teacher who can also offer languages as a responsibility, I don't honestly see much hope

  3. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Be aware that much as MFL specialists are a needed, they are a luxary now. I know very few primaries with specialist MFL teachers. Larger schools in particular who have the money usually have at least 1 member of staff who has done an Alevel who can cover it instead of employing a specialist. With future funding cuts this is going to be more so. We had a PPA teacher 2 years ago and a french teacher who taught each class for 30 mins (6 classes) once a week. We now have HLTAs and ATAs covering PPA. The french teacher now comes in for half a day and teaches combined classes 30 mins a week. As budgets get cut in the future the french teacher will be a luxary. I think it will depend how much work you want out of it and how much you are prepared to travel. If you just want part time you may get some work. Good luck.

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