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Native speaker in A Level MFL

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by miranda-s, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. miranda-s

    miranda-s New commenter

    Has anyone else found themselves in a position where they're teaching A Level French to a native speaker?

    I've taught very strong students before, but this year I have a student who is a native speaker, uses both French and English equally well and has considerably better knowledge than me about French culture and society! Fortunately the other two students in the group are very high ability and don't seem to be self-conscious about being with a native speaker, but I'm finding it very difficult as I really don't feel there's a lot I can teach him. His French is better than mine, he's a bright student and comes up with very good content in speaking exam style activities, and is doing other subjects that require essays so is fine with essay-writing. He will obviously need the lessons on the book and film, but the other teacher who shares the class is doing them. Does anyone have any advice?
     
  2. Bungie

    Bungie New commenter

    We have many similar native speakers. We just teach them the book and the film - it's surprising how many native speakers can fall down here. They don't attend the language classes, except for a few to explain the format of the exam and the mark schemes.
     
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    what a waste of education, choosing a subject you can walk through with your eyes closed.

    Has nobody spoken to him about making the most of his time at school, using the opportunity to LEARN something.

    I am surprised he was accepted onto the course. This is NOT what his sixth form funding is intended for. It is intended for resources to be spent educating him

    It is not even as if he will be walking away with a qualification that anyone, university, employer, family, is ever even going to respect, it will just be seen as a cheat.

    Personally I would question whoever agreed to this. Was it auto-rubber-stamped, or did they realise what the situation actually was.

    He should be told to change his A levels
     
    nadiounette likes this.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    and I hope they spend that time increasing their knowledge and understanding of the world, ie using the school to improve their actual education
     
  5. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Enjoy the experience. Make sure you stretch them intellectually and transmit the buzz of speaking French to the whole class. I am sure you will always look back on it as an exciting and challenging year.
     
    pascuam49 likes this.
  6. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Is he equally able in his other subjects? Is he a French national? Has he checked with unis about his a level? Some do not accept mfl qualifications from nationals which is unfair in my view but that's another story. Dictation? Use the assistant differently? How big is your group? Can you do speaking practice individually whilst some do writing?
     
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    its not unfair, it is completely fair in my view.

    And this was exactly wht I was saying earlier.

    it is pointless him doing this A level, because it is not a learning experience for him, and because he will not end up with a qualification that is of any value, no decent university or employer would count that as achieving an A level.

    He needs to be studying something else.
     
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Bi lingual learners do not always get top grades. They can not always discuss difficult topics at A level and may not have the ability to do so in any language. It depends on their experience and general knowledge. Also bi linguals sometimes have poor written skills. My own bugbear about nationals not having their qualifications recognised come from my experience teaching pupils who were born in France or Germany and who came from refugee families. They often came to the UK as babies and spoke a third language at home but retained links with their country of birth through family. These kids had less mfl input than kids born in the UK to French or German parents but were penalised because they had nationality. A lot of my a level pupils came from such backgrounds and I see no reason at all why they should not do a level.
     
  9. Caity52

    Caity52 New commenter

    I teach in an international school and there are a lot of children who are notionally French, German etc. native speakers but who do not have an age appropriate mastery of that language. The A level and even iGCSE aimed at non native speakers is vital in encouraging them to engage with the written word in that language and learn to read and write correctly. Few of them are able to access the iGCSE for native speakers as they have had no formal education in their home language.
     
    desertestrella7 and pascuam49 like this.
  10. miranda-s

    miranda-s New commenter

    When I refer to"native speakers" I mean people who speak French as their mother tongue and could be educated in france (or already have been). I'm not talking about people from a French background who speak it well but don't have skills in writing it, or who can chat informally but would have no idea of the vocab for writing an academic essay or speaking about complex topics.
    The pupil in my class, as I described, grew up in France until his teens, speaks French at home, and prefers to read, watch TV and listen to music in French. His French and his knowledge of French society are better than mine and he expresses himself exactly as the exam board want. If he took the exam tomorrow, I can't imagine how he could not get a top grade, apart from not having completed the film and book yet.
     
  11. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Then let him take the exam as an extra a level. He can just come to the lessons on books and film and can concentrate on the other three subjects.
     
  12. Jobalot

    Jobalot New commenter

    I have taught many native speakers at A Level over the years.
    Two observations:-
    1 - The vocab used (especially with the new spec A Level) is NOT the vocab generally used at home when chatting with family in the evening. For example, during our lesson on patrimoine today, the following items cropped up: l'enluminure; ateliers vitrail; calligraphie; légué(s).
    2 - As already mentioned earlier in the thread, native speakers, if they have not recently been to school in a French-speaking country, often spell phonetically. How many different verb endings sound like 'ay', for example? joué, jouée, joués, jouées, jouais, jouait, jouaient, jouer. Sa or ça? C'est, s'est, ces or ses?
    3 - (Three observations, then!) Last year, in an AS class of 9 students, the 2 highest performers (who achieved A grades) were not native speakers. There were 4 native speakers in their group.
     
  13. miranda-s

    miranda-s New commenter

    Jobalot - agreed that this is often the case for "native" speakers, I've taught students like that. It's absolutely not the case for this particular student though.
     
  14. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    What would he be learning/studying if he were to be doing French in France at his age? What books would he be studying or what would he have to be writing (essays about the books or something creative - like poetry, a film script, story, speech etc.) Can you model the work you set him on this? Or set him a project or presentation to do on a subject of interest to him - and do it in French?
    It would mean him following a completely individual pathway and also having to work very independently at times, but it might give him something to get his teeth into.
     
    BrightonEarly likes this.
  15. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    If I may say, joué and jouait don't sound the same.
     
  16. Jobalot

    Jobalot New commenter

    I didn't say they did. I said they sound like 'ay'. The point I was making is that there are so many similar sounding verb endings that native speakers make frequent mistakes.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. amandineruffet

    amandineruffet New commenter

    As a native french, teaching French, "joué" and "jouait" are pronunced exactly the same...

    I've never taught a native at A level but taught a native in S2 in Scotland and at times, he was making mistakes although the lowest he got was about 92/ 95%.
     
  18. amandineruffet

    amandineruffet New commenter

    I got him a book in french that he could read in class, but he prefered to do the same activities as the others...
    But you could use book extracts, or make him do projects on culture/ history that he could present to the class... Include him in the learning in a way, if you think that's possible.
     
  19. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Ca doit etre mon accent parigo!!! ;)
     
  20. amandineruffet

    amandineruffet New commenter

    Caathr, c'est ça !!!! ;-)
     
    cathr likes this.

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