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MFL in primary schools

Discussion in 'Primary' started by isithometime, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. As a supply teacher, I go into many different schools. My French is good, so if there's the opportunity to teach it, I will. I confess to being a little shocked at how poor MFL tuition is in many of the schools I go to - routinely French is timetabled for a Friday afternoon, but is often 'forgotten' - and I can tell by the way the children speak it that it doesn't get the curriculum time that it should.
    What is your experience of MFL? Are you expected to teach a language you're not too familiar with? Or does your school not deliver MFL at all? Or maybe you have specialist language teachers coming in to deliver lessons?
  2. gnomie_p

    gnomie_p New commenter

    In my experience of supply work MFL gets dropped off the timetable as more time is spent on lit, num, science, PSHE etc. I have seen schools hiring French people to teach throughout the school for ppa, but this has often been a disaster as they don't have any teacher training so the kids tend to misbehave.

    I'm starting my nqt year next month and I'll be trying to make a 15 min slot 3 times a week to teach a MFL.
  3. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Before I left the UK (to teach in an immersion school in Spain, 2006) I was involved in the 'pathfinder' project to teach Primary MFL. It was really exciting, but sadly put on the back-burner by the latest government.
    One of the easiest things I learned was what we called the 'registration conversation'. I'd say 'good morning' to each child in Spanish (and teach appropriate replies). Once they'd got the hang of that, I'd introduce something else (Eg., 'What's your name?' or 'How old are you?') Over the weeks, I'd build up a little conversation with each child in turn. Sometimes I'd miss out one of the 'taught' questions with child A, but put it in for child B etc, to make sure they kept on the ball. The children 'waiting' would listen to check if everyone was getting the answers correct and I could lengthen/shorten the regcon by including more/fewer questions as I wanted.
    In time, I passed the baton and the children had to ask me the questions. You have to accept that this is a 'lesson' and devote the time to it as such, not simply think it's 'only registration' so you think you have to rush it.
    Now that I'm in Spain, I use the same technique except it's roles reversed. The (7-year-old) children in my class are all Spaniards so I do the regcon in English. I've found it a very easy little technique to incorporate into my class.

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