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KS4 students with very very patchy knowledge from KS3 - help!

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by OTTER, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. What do you know about the history of these students?
    How long have they been learning Spanish and how many lessons did they have per week/fortnight?
    How have the predicted grades been arrived at? If they are FFT I would take them with a pinch of salt.
    Have they all come from one class? Are they feeling resentful/ uncertain at having a new teacher?
    If they are D/C borderline they won't need to be able to conjugate verbs in 3 tenses. So you would be needlessly creating a rod for them to beat your back.
    Why have this small group chosen to study Spanish? How well were they taught in the past? Their lack of knowledge could be the result of poor past experiences. However if they have chosen to study Spanish it must be for a reason. I would try to find out their motivation and orientate what I taught them towards that.
    I am sure that you would get much further with them if you make the lessons enjoyable, rather than antagonising them with grannar exercises.
    I have had 'impossible' classes and colleagues have advised me to meet them at the door and try to make yourself look pleased to see them, try to share a joke with them, lighten up and think of what they are enabling you to earn.
  2. After further investigation, my Year 10s (who would normally have studied Spanish for a year and a half in KS3) have actually studied Spanish for one year only, and that was Mira 2 Express, completely skipping Mira 1 Express and the very basics.
    They're all interested in taking Spanish, one of them has even mentioned university, and they all recognise that it will help them in the long run - so that issue is out of the way.
    Under the advice of my HoD, they completed a Reading Assessment from Mira 1. Using the KS3 levels, they range from Level 5b to working towards Level 5. In terms of KS3, this means they're able to recognise and use two tenses but I've no idea how this equates to GCSE levels.
    Until the proper resources arrive, I'll complete the other assessments from the end of year Mira books, and pray that the course I go on in a few weeks time will help me in a huge way.
    Thankfully, the school has a system where we can arrange for Enhancement sessions for them after school and I'm using the carrot of a trip to Barcelona as an incentive.
    I'd compare it to asking a children to read Shakespeare before they've learnt the alphabet! At the minute, it looks like I will have to squeeze in KS3 and KS4 teaching into the next year and a half.
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    With bottom sets I generally start off with revision of numbers, the alphabet, basic opinions, basic phrases like "I am", "I have", "I do" and the regular present tense, for at least 3 weeks, more if needed. A solid knowledge of basic grammar is needed for the grade C, and then you can start adding on to that in Y11.
    As for levels, a level 5 is roughly equivalent to a grade C.
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I can accept that it's equivalent to a grade C at GCSE if they can genuinely operate in two tenses but so many pupils 'achieve' a Level 5 from parrotting a few rote learnt phrases in the present and past or future tense and don't have the first idea of how to express anything else in any tense.
    I'd do some work on the rules of Spanish pronunciation. It can boost confidence and verbal expertise enormously if they can pronounce something without having to hear it from the teacher's lips first. Spanish, being phonetic , is ideal for being able to learn the rules quite quickly. You can even tell them that they will be able to take accurate dictation in Spanish even when they don't know the meaning of the text, simply by matching the sounds they hear to the letters that they know represent those sounds.
  5. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    If you want some quick activities to cover some of the basics from Mira 1, I have produced some online activities so far for units 1 and 2:
  6. Update on my Year 10s:
    I have completed 3 end of year assessments from Mira 1 Express (KS3) with them, Listening is their strongest skill, Reading in the middle, with Writing being their weakest.
    I'm talking Levels 3c, with 2c at the lowest for Writing. This doesn't bode well for their Controlled Assessments - at all.
    My resources <u>still</u> haven't arrived. I have one textbook and one teacher's guide, and so far haven't touched anything to do with them at all.
    Next week, I'm going on a course in London next week, for some ideas and inspiration run by AQA. I may be brutally honest and say what a complete mess CAs are for PGCE students, and that they don't actually teach anything that the children find interesting at all, nor do they give them the skills they require to use language (of merit) long term.
    Literally I will have to start from the very beginning, so I'm hoping my HoD isn't expecting me to perform miracles!
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    There's no point in saying that to the exam board - they have no choice over this! If you met Gove, then there would be a difference.

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