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lethargic, bored out of their tree year 11

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by NowaMrs, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. hello all
    bit new to the posting but not to teaching.....have a set 2 french class who, while not totally badly behaved are so passive in lessons it's making it awfully long and drawn out for me and them......i plan short, sharp bursts of work, try to create lots of independence (since they refuse to do choral repetition or do anything with me standing in front of them and laugh at anyone who tries) they don't put their hands up to offer answers (in fact they won't offer answers at all!) i try to do games and they won't get out of their seats.....i offer stickers and sweets and they don't come up to get them.......arrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh!!
    all they say is that they like me, they hate the subject and NOTHING i do will make them change their minds.....they're the most apathetic bunch i've taught in my 4 years......
    so what am i doing wrong?????

    thanks for reading x
     
  2. hello all
    bit new to the posting but not to teaching.....have a set 2 french class who, while not totally badly behaved are so passive in lessons it's making it awfully long and drawn out for me and them......i plan short, sharp bursts of work, try to create lots of independence (since they refuse to do choral repetition or do anything with me standing in front of them and laugh at anyone who tries) they don't put their hands up to offer answers (in fact they won't offer answers at all!) i try to do games and they won't get out of their seats.....i offer stickers and sweets and they don't come up to get them.......arrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh!!
    all they say is that they like me, they hate the subject and NOTHING i do will make them change their minds.....they're the most apathetic bunch i've taught in my 4 years......
    so what am i doing wrong?????

    thanks for reading x
     
  3. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    I do lots of pair work with people that won't volunteer, but if they're apathetic they probably won't do it.
    What about using songs? I mean real French pop music, and they have to pick out grammar points, fill in the gaps, write down new vocab, that sort of thing.
     
  4. that could work......i honestly keep them going with so many short tasks and varying resources so that they're always "on the go" and learn lots (i hope)....maybe i'm trying too much? i'm heartened by the fact there is some hope when they say they don't mind ME as a teacher, that possibly gives me something to work with but i worry they're too far gone with their opinion on the subject to bring them back from the brink...........
     
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure you can necessarily get them back... Why did they choose French in the first place? Did they have to do it?
    I'd be tempted to just keep to boring repetitive stuff rather than trying to enthuse them, just for your own sanity. At the end of the day you are there to teach them your subject, not convert them! I'm willing to bet they have the same attitude to most of their subjects bar the ones that are not too brain-taxing.
    One thing that worked well with a lazy Y11 group one year was to let them know of previous students who had failed to secure a place at the 6th-form either because of their grade or because of a poor reference from their GCSE teachers. I gave them some case studies (anonymised, obviously), and then let them draw their own conclusions. I said that they may not like my subject, but that if they didn't pull their socks up then a D grade would reflect very badly on their school performance.
    Have you involved parents? That might be another avenue, particularly if they are at risk of not reaching their target grade. But if they are not at risk then don't burst a gut for it.
    Finally, I'd be very clear about what it is you expect them to do. If it is choral repetition you want, then demand it. If it is proper pair work, then again, set them detentions until they get it right. I know it's easy to say but you have the right to be in charge of the activities that will help them progress, and the right to expect that they do them properly. Make them do it again and again at nauseam in lesson and lunchtime until you're satisfied they've done it properly. It could be that you have a tick sheet with the names of pupils and you expect them to put their hands up three times through the week in order to be off the hook with you. Is that too mean?
     
  6. Surely if they are doing GCSE they must be doing coursework at this stage?
    I would plug along with the coursework giving lots of practise questions and marking them along GCSE lines and stressing the need for improvement. Then when their own personal typical score goes up 5 points or whatever, massive praise. I have given mine a grid to record scores and give stickers, letters home etc for personal improvement whatever the grade.
    Lots of kids find it hard to see where all the work leads and sadly expect instant results.
    Good luck-I've been there and can sympathise.
     
  7. Herringthecat

    Herringthecat New commenter

    Mega potential with the song 'Elle Me Dit' by Mika... pourquoi tu gaches ta vie?! etc Look at it on you tube!
    HTC
     
  8. I had a class like this a few years ago. One activity they actually "enjoyed" (or at least agreed to do without protest) was wordsearches. I ended up starting almost every lesson with a wordsearch - they started to get really competitive about it (one girl was brilliant at wordsearches and they all desperately wanted to beat her). It at least gave me a qiuet start to every lesson - they would all come in, get their wordsearch, wait until I said ALLEZ and then they would turn the sheet over and all feverishly work on finding the words.
    I have no idea if any of the vocab actually stuck in their heads - but they were happy to do the wordsearches, and it built up some sort of group identity.
    I do sympathise - it is not fun, is it?
     
  9. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    I can fully sympathise with you, as I have a very similar class of Y10 students who hadn't picked it for options but were then told at the last minute that because of MFL being part of the EBac, the top sets groups all had to continue doing French. It was clear from the outset that the main hurdle was that they all think they're rubbish at French so there's no point bothering, but that creates a vicious circle because they regularly don't bother bringing books, so have nothing to look back at to help them, they don't do any homework whether it's learning or a set task, and then they tell me they find French difficult - it's hardly surprising, under those circumstances!
    I've tried really hard this term to increase their confidence by doing loads of work on pronunciation so they feel more able to use French in lessons, which has helped with some of them but not others - I've got loads of phonics resources in the resources section if you think this would be useful to your group. Unfortunately I'm still struggling with mine as well so I don't have many other suggestions to offer. My HoD has spoken to them, some of them have found out independently that colleges & universities require a language at GCSE, their HoY regularly visits us to check how they're doing, and they still think it's totally unreasonable of me to expect them to do any work at all! They're not badly behaved, they're basically just content to let everything wash over them without any effort on their part. Good luck with your lot - maybe we should form a support group for teachers with classes like this!
     
  10. I got the same.

    Our school do GCSEs in year 10.

    To cut a long story short, Languages were compulsory until year 9. In year 9, they were to take an FCSE in French and finish with that.

    After 1 term in year 9, the HT decided to make French GCSE compulsory to year 10. I'm now dragging my set 2 through it kicking and screaming. FFTs are As Bs and Cs......... actual achievement D, E, F, G.

    One girl managed "bonjour" in her speaking CA before saying "dunno....dunno.....dunno..." and one lad managed 29 words for his writing. Both of these have a B target.

    If you find something that works - share the secret!
     
  11. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Our top sets have to do E-bacc as well. I began the year by getting them to prioritise why learning a language is important and choosing which is the most important reason for them. I gave them a few choice quotes etc. I also began with some more interesting 'creative' approaches to get them on board - such as pictures of people and they had to invent characters and things about them - I didn't care what it was so long as it was French. I coupled that with ruthless following up of homework, lost books and poor effort in class. It is hard to say if it worked but I only have one pupil who regularly moans about doing French and the rest are happy to comply at least and some have said how much they enjoy French now. Most of them are targetted C, a couple below and a few above.
     
  12. If there are lots of boys in the class then making a lesson competitve can really help. I recently set a difficult Year 8 group a presentation to do. I have set it up with a prize of chocolate and Head teachers commendation at the end (and as I pointed out a letter home just before Christmas can only be a good thing!) I have also encouraged them to be creative and use things such as blogs, Facebook, etc.. to present their ideas. Boys will also love tlaking about things they love so use sports for them, often pop stars and actors they know are a good way to enthuse them too. Making it real. It is a bit late for a trip but putting together pictures showing them where their language learning can take them later in life might help. Finally they have studied it for so long do theyr eally want it to be awaste of their time or do they want something they can really use in this competitve world....?
     
  13. Thanks for all the really useful messages everyone, really appreciate it. Have done wordsearches as a starter, they enjoyed these :) will try not to "do them to death" though! I did have a really good lesson last week with them, about topical issues like drugs and alcohol which they LOVED! I think it was the topic material rather than the resources incidentally.....lol but I am making very small steps........did a past paper today and only 1 person got a C and they all did seem genuinely disappointed...maybe it'll shock 'em into a response. They need to realise you don't get something for nothing......I think I need to just not let them get to me, I think part of them just wants me to give up on them because it'll make their lives easier but I ain't giving in.....!! *Must maintain the high expectations!* [​IMG]
     
  14. I love this song! It's perked me up on a morning when I really couldn't face the little devils. We're going to danse, danse, danse! Got any more anyone?
     

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