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MFL French Assessment

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by pmastrelli, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I know MFL assessment at KS2 has been mentioned before but I am starting French across a primary school from September and just wanted to know if my plans would work.

    We are working on the Catherine Cheater scheme for KS2 and I thought that every session I would make notes on what they understood / not (perhaps on a class sheet) using post it notes / traffic lights etc for formative assessment. I then thought that an 'informal' half term assessment could be done each half term to assess their ability of the content. We also have ' I can statements' at the back of the book which I will hopefully be able to tick off as the year progresses.

    Is this possible / too much? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks, Paul.
  2. GordonNome

    GordonNome New commenter

    How many are you teaching at any one time and how long is each session?

    Personally, when I taught Y3/Y4 French for 30 minutes at a time (full class, differentiated for ability/SEN) I found no time AT ALL to make notes. There is a lot of interaction, extra jolly input from the teacher (you!) and encouragement. Even when they are supposedly completing a team task (eg vocab match) or a piece of written work there is still a lot of fire-fighting (he pinched me, she stole my pencil, "I don't get it") and little time for the teacher to make notes on the class as a whole, much less each individual student.

    Yes, I had some idea how they were doing, the written work showed that skill well and gave extra input. Oral examination proved almost impossible in any meaningful way as there was no time available for it and it takes too long to do 30 of them when you have no more than 30 minutes each week!
  3. I'm teaching each class for 1 hour a week (reception to year 6; 2 classes per year group). I appreciate your points about tedious 'fire-fighting' and I think I may just stick to traffic light assessment either in books or end of the session (thumbs up/down etc). I may still do a short assessment at the end of term perhaps?

    Thanks for your comment!
  4. funambule

    funambule New commenter

    Are you actually teaching in full one hour sessions? If so, not the best- little and often is still preferable for both you and the children. A lot of the time would be lost; see GordonNome's comment- he tells it like it is!

    Catherine Cheater's scheme is divided into `parcels' which allow the teacher to split up the teaching and learning into manageable (20? mins.) chunks.

    For her advice on assessment see: www.goldendaffodils.co.uk/assessment.php

    The attention span for MFL in Y3/4 is roughly about 20 mins in my experience. Would suggest 30 min lessons split between classes if possible for timetabling.

    Bonne Chance!
  5. Thanks for that too funambule. The way I am looking at is that we will not be rushed in these sessions :)

  6. GordonNome

    GordonNome New commenter

    How much do you expect (are you expected) to teach them in each one-hour session? At the younger levels you are probably looking at a saturation point of about 6 terms or phrases per session. e.g. 6 types of weather, 6 colours etc. Bear in mind of course that KS1 may not be sound readers/writers yet either (YR will have very few who can read AT ALL!) so your activities will be limited. One hour to spend on 6 terms/phrases is a toughie. Even allowing for some revision of what they learned last week. Oh - and they will mostly have forgotten what they learned last week, unless their class teachers commit to some practice during the week.

    The Y1/Y2 club I teach learn 4-6 new things each week, carefully scaffolded over a couple of weeks to make a full topic. e.g. Week 1 learn 4 types of weather, do vocab matching, lots of actions, a worksheet. Week 2 - revise the first 4 types of weather, with actions. Learn 4 more types of weather. Play weather bingo, last one out and other action games. Complete another writing/craft task. Each session lasts 40 minutes including 5 minutes or so of daily routine (register, "comment ça va", count students in class today). There is a maximum of 15 students in the session.

    If you can get the school to agree to 2x30 minutes per class each week then you will be able to repeat some activities as revision and consolidate the learning more effectively. If the school is determined to do 1x60 minutes then I suggest revision activities for the first 15 minutes or so and then new material. You probably need to reckon on changing activity every 5-10 minutes or so, or the more able will get frustrated and bored and the less able will just get bored and difficult.
  7. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    KS1 is not statutory and I don't assess them formally. For KS2 I keep a record of reading and writing activities that they complete, plus the more formal speaking activities in class. I have a little clipboard that I scribble names down on and periodically I fill the names in on my spreadsheet. I also get the children to assess each other on things like "I can say the days of the week" - I give them all a post-it and they record their partner's name and how many they got right. Takes 5 minutes, instead of the hour or so that it would take me to go around the whole class.
  8. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    I think most MFL teachers agree that 30 minutes a week isn't enough, so I wouldn't complain about being given an hour. Do we need to stick to those six items and only practise them in lots of different ways? What about building in games of Jacques a dit for classroom instructions, or practice of numbers for a few minutes each lesson. What about showing cultural clips about France from the internet, finding France on a map, dictionary work, songs, watching Muzzy. I'm sure we could fill that hour somehow if only they would give it us!

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