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Looking for really good primary resources for the non specialist with very poor French ability

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by areyoumad, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Skooly, I think it's a bit unrealistic to suggest that you can teach French without actually speaking it.
  2. La Jolie Ronde do a nice French course aimed at younger children and there's loads of good websites. I find this sort of thing really frustrating - as a secondary teacher I would love to teach MFL in primary but I won't go in in my non-contact time - I would expect to be paid. Presumably this is why you feel your secondary teachers are unhelpful. I think it's ridiculous that people like you are being put in this position when there are plenty of qualified MFL teachers who would love to do this
  3. Of course it's ridiculous. But it's OK because apparently (haven't read the original) ' The Government has put in hand measures to train and support existing primary teachers and teaching assistants and to equip 6000 new primary teachers with a language specialism' (Dearing 2006 pg 37) Read interesting editorial in Language Learning Journal (June 2007)
  4. As Wilts is a neighbouring authority to us in Dorset, I know that there is definitely an active RSG there. There are also KS2 Consultants assigned to the different areas. Irene Wilkie who is the Comenius Manager for the South West works actively with the Wilts area and is on their Steering Group. http://www.cilt.org.uk/comenius/southwest/about.

    If you're near Dorset, we're running 6 week courses using the aforementioned 'Teachers Talking French' audio course as a basis. I'm sure you could come on one of those.

    I don't think Wilts have a recommended scheme of work but if you're an absolute non-specialist, then Rigolo is probably your best bet - it even has a teacher that you can click on to do the talking. It's not the cheapest option though.
  5. Dodros, you're such a troll!
  6. Hang on a minute.

    You failed French with a U; every teacher has declared you a lost cause; you yourself consider yourself a lost cause and don't wish to speak French to the students; you have no desire to do these lessons.

    In my view you should NOT have agreed to teach these lessons!

    I don't care what the person who has apparently asked you to take the classes thinks - s/he has made a msitake and you need to go back and negotiate. Otherwise you have the potential to pass your students on to future with learning that needs to be undone and possibly a dislike of French. Secondary school teachers have enough negativism to counteract higher up the school, without needing Year 7 pupils with no enthusiasm.

    So..... what you need to do, in my opinion, is go back to your head and explain that you feelyou would do the students in your charge a disservice if you attempted to teach them French. Explain about your complete inability to learn languages. Then make suggestions yoruself as to a solution to the problem. (Don't expect your head to provide it.) What are you good at? Are you good at sport? Lots of teachers hate doing PE. You could swap with another teacher and take her class for PE whilst she does the French. Or craft; or extra maths; or whatever you DO enjoy teaching.

    Actually, it would be better still to seek out the teacher for yourself and present things to the head as a fait accompli. Then you will already have done, on his behalf, the managerial work he should have done and all he'll have to do is rubber stamp it. Brook no opposition.

    Then go and take karate or 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' classes or soemthing, and leave the French to those who love it.


  7. I think Mattie certainly has a point. Although there are ways in which you can build up your knowledge of French - and many useful suggestions have been supplied here - I wonder how far you are going to get if you really find French difficult and don't enjoy speaking the language.

    If you teach French badly and you children move on to their next stage of education having learned a lot of incorrect vocab, grammar and pronunciation, then their new teachers will be tearing their hair out, trying to break their bad habits. I write from experience as a former university teacher of German. The quality of teaching of German in a few (I'm pleased to say only "a few") of the schools that sent us their students was appalling. We often had to take drastic remedial action re-teaching basic stuff such as plural formations, genders, tenses and word order.
  8. Mattie and GroovyGuzi - EXACTLY! I totally agree with you and I have been arguing this point for 3 years. I think it is totally wrong that non-specialists should be put in the position that I have been. And equally I have been swapping my music for the same reasons. I do not want to pass on my reluctance of languages and I do believe that I will do more harm than good which is why 1) I wanted some resources that give the children exposure the language without me having to speak it and 2) why I am so cross with those people who are inferring that I should get off my **** and learn the language that I HAVE to teach that is being IMPOSED on us from central government.
    The secondary school are doing a lesson every other week and I have to do the alternative. There is no option as I am the cover and the secondary school are being totally inflexible over the timetabling. If there was another way believe me it would be done. Oh and I am management (DHT) and the head knows in no uncertain terms how I feel about this.
    I do very much appreciate the people who have taken time to hear what I've been saying and I thank them for pointing me in a direction that will help me do the very best for the pupils.
  9. HSL


    This is my major concern about non-specialists teaching French. I teach French in Primary Schools (French and German specialist) and I know that the majority of the Primary teachers would not be confident in teaching French. The more enthusiastic ones do try, but often mispronounce words deliberately to cover their embarrasment, or forget to check spellings and the children are taught wrongly. One school sent a bunch of lovely bookmarks to france, all with 'Joyeux Paques' on, which no one thought to run past me first.
    I agree with the two previous posters. The children may as well not be having any French tuition at all, than having tuition from someone who doesn't know the language and doesn't want to teach it.
  10. Binks thanks for the link.
    Parisgirl, I would not expect anyone to come in non-contact time that is far too important for us all. I think the secondary teachers are unhelpful because of their belief that they have taught us how to teach French by us simply sitting in on their lessons. If it were that easy lots of people would be out of jobs!
    Jayp - totally ridiculous. The measures the government have put in are equally as ridiculous. I'm just waiting for the next thing we have to fit into the curriculum as well. I guess we'd just better not have a life outside of teaching at all and just have lessons 24/7!
  11. HSL I agree, so why is no one listening to either the primary or secondary colleagues?!
  12. Dodros, why would I be reading your contributions on other threads because after a forum search I posted a question for help on a board that I would not normally frequent. You might not have intended to offend but you did with your insistence that I should attempt learn French again. Chances are I would have taken you up on your offer of resources had it been made along side your suggestion, the first time, that I learn French as I am very concerned about giving these children the best opportunity I can which is after all why I posted on here in the first place.
  13. HSL


    I suspect no one (ie government) is listening, as yet again, they have implemented a scheme without thinking it through properly, nor have they assigned enough resources to it.
    The PPA model that I offer is not ideal, but it does work well. The children receive good French tuition from a specialist who is extremely enthusiastic about languages, and Primary teachers get their time to plan and prepare. However, I cost money. As far as I am aware the government are not funding PPA time, nor langauges so the schools I work for have to find that money from elsewhere in their budgets.
  14. The same mistakes that were made in the 1960s and early 1970s when an attempt was made to introduce primary French in the LEA in which I taught at that time are being made all over again - nationwide. Lessons from the past, lessons for the future...?
  15. At least they restricted the language to 1 back then! Now, children (and parents) have to have the choice. But what choice is there? Very wide actually: Urdu , French, Japanese, Cantonese, Danish, etc. ... all taught very badly!
    I am so tired of the whole situation that I am leaving the country!
    But I had such a wonderful experience in my middle school this year (middle school is decommissioned), doing everything I wanted without bothering a second about NC, schemes of work, level descriptors, exams.... that I will keep an eye on what's happening in England! When the governement decide that they have to find a way to facilitate the recruitment of specialists in primary schools, I will be first to come back!
  16. Areyoumad, it is hard to retain much sympathy for you and your dilemma, when you continue to lambast a regular poster who, it has been explained to you, is an extremely helpul one.

    "I might have accepted your offer of resources" indeed! He's the one doing the favour in offering them, you know, not you in accepting them!

    Perhaps you were offended. Perhaps your past linguistic failures have rendered you unnaturally sensitive, That's understandable. Bur frankly, *I* am offended at your continued agression, and apparent inability to to let it go and focus on all the other offers of help you have been receiving. It eeems to me that this would be the most appropriate thing to do.

    I will now try to do the same.

    If you the deputy head, then you are management. Therefore, you presumably have a certain amount of pmanagerial power and this would be a very appropriate place to bring it into play. it is not really enough merely to tell the head what you think, however vociferously. You need to help him/herfind a solution that will mean you do not teach the class. You say that you want the best for yoru students. That is good. And making sure you do not teach the class is what you need to do for them, as a responsible member of the SMT. The current situation is not acceptable and, in my opinion, it is not enough merely to complain and/or to try to find a Heath-Robinsonn fix for it.

    Perhaps the head could divert funding, in order to bring in a specialist. Yes, I know that funding is short, but it's amazing how funding can often be found when something really matters.

    Perhaps there is a parent or other local person, who would be willing to volunteer her services, if you stay in the class and do the discipline bit for her.

    Perhaps the time that you cover might be changed to allow another teacher to do the lesson, as I originally suggested.

    If more than one class is being taught in your school, perhaps the seocndary school teachers would be willing to deal with larger classes, so that the class you are supposed to teach can be split amoongst other classes.

    Perhaps the amount of time the students spend on a foreign language is not laid down and you can inform the secondary school that there will be no lesson in between their sessions.

    Just a few suggesitons. I'm not a manager - you and yoru head are the experts at that, so you will preuambly be able to think up other solutions. And, as you do so, you might consider wirting to the local newspaper and/or a daily, to expalin your schools' dilemma. It's amazing how often media coverage can bring the solutions pouring in./ If nothign else, at least you will have scored a goal for the "let the experts do it" cause.
  17. Okey dokey Mattie, thank you for your suggestions and the time it has taken for you to make them. It always amazes me how a person who stands up for themselves on these forums is the bad person but hey ho. I'll not stop here any longer and I'm not going to respond to your suggestions as to do so could identify myself more than I'd wish on an anonymous forum. Oh and I've never asked for sympathy, I don't require that.

    An interesting point though you advocating French being taught by unqualified persons, I don't know why we bother training...

    Once again to the kind posters who have helped me thank you, I have been looking at the resources suggested and I will be in touch via the old fashioned method with cilt during the coming week.
  18. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    Thank you, Mattie, and Geekie, for your support and kind words. I really appreciate it!

    I have just visited the primary forum where there is a thread entitled "MFL kitboxes". There are primary school posters there who rejoice in the opportunity to teach languages and who want folks to contribute materials to resource their schemes of work. I've brought their attention to the KS3 French and German SEN resources on my website and offered to create resources where there are gaps in provision. The only thing I've asked in return is a little feedback about their use in the primary MFL classroom.
  19. runaway

    runaway New commenter

    areyoumad? hmmmm?
    Is this a wind up?
  20. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    "It always amazes me how a person who stands up for themselves on these forums is the bad person but hey ho."

    No no no.

    You weren't standing up for yourself, but laying into a poster who had made a genuine offer of help, as he does to poster after poster after poster, day after day after day. That's all. We were ALL trying to help you as best we could. I even did a Google search for you and spent some time trying to get you the contact you needed. We are all good people here who know how difficult teaching a language is, and how it should best be done. I continue to post here because of the huge mutual support.


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