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Language model for 2 year KS3

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by tibidabo, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Hello
    Does anyone have a successful model for languages in a 2 year KS3 that is working?
    Currently we teach French to all Year 7 and the top sets start a second language in Year 8. We teach Spanish and German in alternate years. However, we will be moving to a 2 year KS3 in September and we would like students to get a taste of a second language earlier, so that they have covered more ground by the end of Year 8.
    To make things more complicated our Head has said she would like us to avoid offering languages in alternative years and now we are having a real headache trying to find a suitable model for September. All staff can teach French, but not all can teach German or Spanish!
    Many thanks for any suggestions! [​IMG]
  2. What are the MFL skills like when your year 7s arrive?
  3. Why is the head against offering different languages to different years? What are the plans for KS4?
  4. Thank you for your reply Otter.
    We have a lot of feeder schools and the students come to us with a variety of knowledge. The majority study French at primary with one school refusing to do French, instead opting for Spanish. We have tried on a couple of occasions to work with the primaries on MFL languages on getting some cohesion in Year 6, but they choose to do their own thing. We are also not allowed to set in Year 7, we have been told we will be teaching mixed ability classes.
    Our Head was concerned that students were not getting a choice of language if we continued to do it on a roll, but I can't see another alternative that would work, apart from letting students opt in Year 8 for either Spanish/German as their second language. We can set in Year 8.
    The idea at KS4 is that students do 2 GCSEs in Y9, 2 in Y10 and 2 in Y11. Fortunately, SLT have listened to us and allowed MFL to have 2 years instead of one, but that limits the amount of GCSEs they will come out with. We are currently offering French/German/Spanish at KS4 - that is Year 8 will only be able to choose French/German and Year 9 will choose from French/Spanish.

    Hope this answers your question.

  5. Is MFL compulsory in KS4? Does everyone do 2 languages at KS4? What kind of school do you work in?
    So to some up
    Yr 7 all do French
    Yr 8 all do French/German
    Yr 9 all do French and Spanish GCSE
    Yr 10 and 11 all do French and German or Spanish GCSE
    Have I got that right?

  6. Currently, MFL is optional at KS4 and if students decide to, they can study 2 languages (something which this new arrangement will make very difficult, unless they are keen linguists). I work in a rural secondary which had 54% A*-C inc Eng and Maths last year.
    You have understood current KS3 correctly, however in current Y10 we have x2 French and x1 German groups and in Y11 we have x2 Spanish and x1 French groups.
    We anticipate larger numbers in September, due to the ebac. SLT have accounted for x2 French, x1 German and x2 Spanish groups.
    One thing I forgot to mention was that from September, Y9 and Y10 will have lessons together and they will have x6 lessons per week of their chosen options. So the French groups will be made up of Year 9 and Y10, Spanish will be just Y10 and German just Y9. Hence the reason for giving the pupils a taste of all three languages before their option choices.
    The more I think about this, the crazier it seems!

  7. Sorry to have asked you so many questions. However as you say it is a bit complicated. All linguists know that a language is best learnt over as long as possible (well the first one anyway). You have lost a year of teaching and the only obvious way to me, to try to compensate is to maximise on building on what is done at KS2. I think, I would try to get some cooperation with your feeder schools. Its a shame that one is out of line with Spanish. Could they be tempted by some input from you to do French? I know that lots of KS2 teachers are frustrated by the failure of a satisfactory transition in MFL between KS2 AND 3.
    Given your staffing I think that you will have to stay with your rolling plan. You could plan to change that as staffing changes obviously.
    As for the second language introduction. How many dual linguists do you get? Is it worth all the time devoted to it? If its a small number of able linguists could it be offered as a 3 year ab initio course from year 9? This would give you more time to work on getting higher grades in French.
    All the while you have mixed ability in year 7 I can't see how you can introduce a second language. You would be wasting French time for the lower ability students.
    Nothing earth shattering after all my questions, just a few thoughts. Bonne chance!
  8. I really appreciate your thoughts - your questions have given me something to think about and take back to the department. I totally agree with you that the longer you can have on one language the better, it just seems that SLT have no idea about language acquisition.
    Also, love the idea about an ab initio course - will need to meet with SLT line manager next week for further discussion.
    Once again Otter, thank you so much for taking the time to reply [​IMG]

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