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KS3 remodelling

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by rosa11, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. rosa11

    rosa11 New commenter

    Any feedback gratefully accepted!
    Y7 Learn French/German and Spanish as three blocks during the year. Roughly following the terms. The emphasis is placed on pupil progress/pupil enjoyment/ lots of student voice/ authentic materials. Term 1, 3 hours of French per wk, Term 2, 3 hours German per wk, Term 3, 3 hours Spanish per wk. Lots of careful assessment, monitoring, rotation of staff, communication with parents. Have you done this?
    Y8 The most able learners take 2 langauges into Y9. The weaker learners take 1 language into Y9 and stick with it until the end of Y11. Lots of literacy reinforcement and cross curricular work with Eng Fac. with the weakest learners.
    Y9 All learners start GCSE work. Most able learners have the option of taking 1 or 2 languages into Y10-11. Fast Track in Y10 for most able. Bridging year in Y11 for most able to encourage take up of MFL into Y12. Other learners take GCSE in Y11
    The Y7 rotation idea is my worry - staff absence could ruin the programme.
  2. dc521

    dc521 New commenter

    While I am a Primary practitioner, there are some notes of caution I would suggest you need to consider before the Y7 model kicks in.
    It is possible that you will have some children that have been taught French and some that have not. That could easily unpset the program of study you are suggesting.
    I get the feeling that you are treating Y7 as a foundation year for learning languages (the rotation idea sounds interesting to me) but are you setting up a lot of additional administration and paperwork for yourself and staff? Do you have competent trilingual staff who could manage this idea? Do you have the funds for enough MFL teachers to cover the three languages?
    Also, would this model continue in Y8 or do the children study two MFL?
  3. clarify 'lots of student voice'.

    Do you mean speaking skills? And so would they do MFL1 in Term 1, and then not touch it again until Term 1 Year 8? If so, I wouldnt' do it, I don't think they would retain anything from the first term, and it would seem to be leaving them as Jack of all trades, masters of none.

    I agree with PP - what about the skills of the teachers - and replacing them if they leave?

    Why do you need to offer three languages to your Year 7 students? I don't see that at all, tbh. I would keep the third back as a carrot for your level 7 / EP kids at the end of Year 8 or something.

    that's just me - don't take my opinion on this as the end all, just IMHO.... But do ask yourself why offer all three so early on? I think it would to the ultimate detriment of at least one of the MFLs...

    Good luck with the model you choose.
  4. westnab

    westnab New commenter

    Sorry if this seems negative, but we tried something similar. We had a carousel of languages in Y7 a few years ago with the reason to give them more of an informed choice about which one to study in Y8. Total disaster.
    Behaviour was awful because as soon as a class got settled, they had to move class and on to the next language and teacher and they often saw no value in learning anything because they had often already decided they were not going to choose the language they were currently studying. They got them all muddled up and had achieved very little in any language by the end of the year, meaning a year of language learning and building foundations for GCSE had been totally wasted. In reality, many didn't even get to study the language of their choice in Y8 anyway due to timetabling issues and so were resentful of that.
    It totally turned them off and we had by far our worst ever year for GCSE recruitment when they hit the options process. We now have hardly any A-level left. Don't do it!
  5. I totally agree with westnab. We did this and it was a disaster for all the reasons already given. In fact I have changed my thinking about this completely. I think that a solid foundation in one language is more important than anything. Obviously this is very dependent on the kind of school, but how many of your students actually study 2 languages to GCSE?
    If the answer is a small number, would it not be better to limit MFL study to one language for most? Thus giving the extra time over to getting the best possible grade in 1 MFL for the majority.
    If it is a matter of offering a range of languages to keep staff on board, then vary the language you major in for each year group.
  6. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    I definitely wouldn't do the rotation. It wastes a year. Do one language per child in Year 7.
  7. 3 languages in Year 7 seems to work for us. Approx 1 in 4 choose to continue with all 3 languages into Year 8 and year 9, and we are hoping this will translate into a few triple linguists at GCSE.
  8. rosa11

    rosa11 New commenter

    we have a fab AST who has developed an excellent programme with our partner primaries - all have done French. We also have an established fast track route - but only in French. We have the staff and admin to do this but more able learners would choose two langs only to take into Y8 and boyond.
  9. rosa11

    rosa11 New commenter

    thanks folks - this is very useful. My gut instinct to to stick to 2 languages for the most able and one languages for the least. Thank-you for your comments
  10. Your gut instinct is right. If you have a good thing going with French I would go with that.

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