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Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Divina, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Dear fellow learners/student teachers
    I would be really grateful for some help in navigating the multiple government webpages on the national curriculum, national languages strategy, and languages framework. I am searching in particular for a definitive specification of the so called `key objectives' of the latest KS3 MFL `framework' as I gather there have been two, to date.
    I have seen the latter variously broken down into subcategories as
    1. `words'; 2.`sentences'; 3.`texts'; 4.`listening and speaking'; and 5. `cultural knowledge and contact' [W, L, S, T,C], and also, quite separately, as `the five strands of progression', viz.
    1. listening and speaking; 2. reading and writing; 3. intercultural understanding; 4. knowledge about language; 5. language learning strategies.
    Meanwhile, we also seem to have (if I am not mistaken) Programmes of Study, broken down into sub-categories which contain
    a) key concepts consisting of
    1. linguistic competence; 2. knowledge about language (haven't I heard that somewhere before, in an entirely separate classification of `key objectives' of the framework, as subcategory number 4?); 3. creativity, 4. intercultural understanding (ditto - listed as sub-category 3 of the `framework objectives') and
    b) key processes consisting of sub-categories
    1. developing language learning strategies (number 5 of the `framework objectives'); 2. developing language skills; 3. range and content.
    You will have noticed that I have been drowning in the hypernyms and hyponyms used by the previous government to classify KS3 MFL framework objectives, levels, programmes of study, schemes of work and so on.
    As someone who usually likes classification systems and taxonomies, I am becoming quite demoralised at my inability to source a grand overview of the whole system, which continues to defeat me because the specifications and `exemplifications' of all of these subcategories are buried within labyrinthine QCDA websites which seem designed to render an overview impossible. What is most annoying is the use of counter-intuitive jargon which happily lumps `concepts' alongside `processes' , `targets', `opportunities', strategies and - wait for it - `range and content' as if all of the above were a priori categories of the same overarching reality having a universal value.
    If you think I am just not trying hard enough, please take pity, because this is enough to put the most dedicated trainee off forever. Effort invested is totally disproportionate to enlightenment and that also feels very wrong. Please help. Thank you. Divina.
  2. runaway

    runaway New commenter

    Pas de panique!

    The words sentences stuff is the old framework and gone because there were more objectives than days in the year.
    The renewed is just divided into the 5 strands - reading/writing; listening/speaking; intercultural understanding; language learning strategies; knowledge about language (which is not target language grammar so much as terminlogoy and comparison to English.
    It's all stuff you will be doing anyway, just rearranged to make it easier to structure.
    Phoneme/grapheme correspondance is mentioned a lot as it's in the statutory POS was being ignored for a while as the textbooks weren't referencing it (despite claims to have been written for the renewed framework yet somehow published before the framework was which made it pretty obvious they weren't)
    If you look at the website you can download it as a pdf and in three parts - the first and shortest part is just the objectives and fits into about 6 sides of A4 for all the strands for years 7-9 inclusive.
    The second part is massive and best to run away from the office if you press print before someone catches you - it's all the examples lessons for the various combinations of strands and year groups and objectives that you can put in the search in the website - works well on the website but when it prints it has to come out in a linear order, but I still find it more useful than staring at the screen to have a paper copy.
    The thrid part is bigger than the first (the objectives) but a lot smaller than the 2nd (the exemplar lessons) - it is a glossary of terms used and extremely useful particularly for everyone to have a common reference in a department and for people like me who forget what a clausal ohrase or the impassive voice mean sometimes and need to double check.
    Your scheme of work is whatever you want it to be, this is supposed to help structure the progress and if you view it as a tool it does.
    Dont muck about trying to tick off all the objectives on your present scheme of work though - pointless waste of your time, not a requirement by anybody at all and misses the point. If you are sticking with your textbook then dont bother with it.
    It's aimed at supporting you and your dept. in writing and adapting a scheme yourself to teach the language you want to teach in the context you want to teach it and so you can double check you've covered it all. It's not statutory and you dont need to beat yourself up about it - but try reading little bits and maybe check out some of the lessons. It's a lot more liberating and interesting than say metro, and is useful if you are at the stage where you want to experiment with something different to say, cope with mixed year 7 classes or kids/teachers who perhaps don't think describing your school uniform is fascinating.
  3. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    I think that is wise advice from runaway. You could spend ages doing matching exercises, but even if you do like taxonomy, you would be better just planning interesting lessons, making use of the best material from whatever course book the school is using.
    I have taught for 30 years and what we do has not changed enormously, but we have found umpteen ways of describing it and classifying what are generally common sense notions. The Framework was always optional and many of us moreorless ignored it, because we were already doing what it recommended. Add to that the fact that schools vary greatly and different classes will need different methods.
    The new government has said it will reduce the amount of meddling with schools. This would be a good development. We can always learn from good practice elsewhere, but we do not need over-burdensome paperwork to slow us down.
    If you are training and would welcome any general advice, then you might be interested in the "essays" I wrote on the frenchteacher.net site - just look at the left-hand side bar for the links. You can make of them what you will!
  4. spsmith45

    spsmith45 New commenter

    Just to add, I have always found material from other sources (colleagues, forums, books on methodology, web sites) more useful than ideas from the government. You should read the official material for professional reasons, but I would spend more time beefing up your understanding of the processes of language learning, alternative methodologies and the like. This is much more interesting.
  5. mpillette

    mpillette New commenter

    This might help:

    - The KS3 Framework is not. It is guidance which can help dpts ensure that their KS3 planning addresses all the PoS requirements. Because no two schools are the same, the year-on-year objectives are best used to aid reflection on progression (no straitjacket).
    - The 2009 Framework does not really differ in essence from the original FW. It takes into account the 2008 programme of study and primary languages.
    - The Framework has three key components: the Objectives, the Guidance (notes re. the rationale, etc.) and the Exemplification (activity styles for each objective/year group). Two of those components are downloadable PDFs. The other one isn't but I have it as a downloadable Word file. And the National Strategies website is rather complex...

    All the best,

  6. Dear Runaway
    Apologies for very late reply, due to illness, not discourtesy. Thank you very much for your clarification of the framework, and especiallly the contextualisation you provide, which is very helpful (and reassuring). Divina
  7. Dear spsmith45
    Apologies for lack of acknowledgement to your post, due to illness and not discourtesy. Thank you very much for your reply and for the benefit of your practical experience, which is what I lack - hence my somewhat theoretical approach to the mind-boggling array of government prescriptions for good practice in delivering the NC. I have visited your site and it brings the detail alive with attractive practical examples so I look forward to exploring it further, and am grateful for your guidance. Divina

  8. Dear Mjpillette Apologies for my very late reply to your kind post on the TES forum. The delay was due to illness and not discourtesy. Many thanks for your offer to send me the three components of the MFL Framework Objectives, which I would be very glad to receive. I wondered if you would mind just clarifying your reference to the POS, as with your reference to the POS of 2008, you seem to suggest that the POS have also been reformed. With many thanks, in advance. Divina
  9. mpillette

    mpillette New commenter

    Hi Divina,

    I have just answered the personal email you sent me last night and sent you the attachments, but in case other colleagues are unclear about the most recent Programme of Study/National Curriculum reform (2007 for implementation from September 2008), the official NC site is: http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/index.aspx . Of course independent schools and some academies don't have to follow the NC.

    All the best,

  10. Just been inspected under the new framework, its a beast!!!
    It seems that ALL children in EVERY group in EVERY year in EVERY subject in EVERY lesson EVERY day must make GOOD progress ( expected progress is no longer allowed). Inspectors are so skilled they can judge this from watching a lesson for 20 minutes and having a quick flick through a few books!! Woe betide any headteacher who thinks that some children may have issues at home that make it hard for them to engage sometimes (even a suicide of a parent of a Y6 child was not seen as a possible explanation for the little love not making 2 levels progress)
    I wonder what is going on; this could be a Tory conspiracy to get all heads to resign so they can be replaced by those made redundant from the Armed Forces. Teachers and children can then be drilled to produce the correct results. That'll sort out those stubborn children and teachers who refuse to be "good"

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