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PGCE MFL Preparation

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Nillita, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Nillita

    Nillita New commenter

    Hi there guys,

    I'll be starting my PGCE in MFL at a University in September. Besides getting finance, accommodation and all of the other practical stuff organised, can anyone (especially MFL teachers who have gone through the same) give me some advice on how to prepare for September and the rest of the year?

    At the moment, I am trying to read as many of the books on our reading list.

    Any advice/input would be appreciated!

    Thanks :)
  2. ChocolateChunk

    ChocolateChunk New commenter

    Good morning,

    Your year will be quite challenging as you will have many tasks to accomplish: essays, research project, evidence gathering, lesson preparation etc.
    The key is to be organised and to know what to prioritise and when. For instance, your lesson / activity for the next day is more important than your marking if it comes to that point.
    Accept that you will mistakes and that is not such a big deal, you need to reflect a lot and see how you could have done and how it will set the tone for the next lessons / activities.
    Make sure to observe as many teachers as you can, not just from the MFL Department, especially the teachers who are good with behaviour management.

    Now for MFL, you must ensure that you know your GCSE specifications quite well so that you know how to maneuver and where. Ask your first school's MFL Department for the Exam Board when you arrive. It will help a lot when observing your colleagues as you will understand why they are doing Activity A, B and C. Look at past papers to have an idea of what each requires. It should not take too long.
    After your period of observing others, start by doing a starter, a plenary or anything really to ease into your teaching. I would suggest to try a wide range of activities to see what is working well within your comfort zone and how students respond to this. Don't overdo it though as you will have to teach several classes at some point and you may be inclined to use these resources for these lessons.
    There are plenty of resources / ideas on TES that you could look at. Make a list for each skill and see what you would find interesting to try.

    Promote the use of Target Language in your class. For instance, tell your students to use opinion phrases before giving an answer such as "creo que" / "ich glaube" which will help with their Speaking and Writing. It may be challenging at first but once they get into the habit of it, it will really pay off.
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I can also tell you that you’ll be using TEAMs, Zoom and the like so upgrade your kit and get some experience of sharing resources and managing a group of people online.
  4. Fresa82

    Fresa82 New commenter

    I’ve just finished a SCITT PGCE in MFL. Things that helped me prepare before starting/things I wish I had done are:

    - Read through the specs for examining boards and make notes to make them clear in my mind. There are some good resources on TES that are designed for explaining how the exams work to students, that I found useful as a way to start as they are more concise. The examining board I looked at was AQA as that seems to be the most commonly used by the schools where I live.

    - Reflect honestly on your subject knowledge and take steps to plug any gaps/work on any weaknesses before you start. You could look at some local high schools’ websites. They often have an outline of topics studied in a section called curriculum. This will give you an idea of what you could focus on to brush up.

    - Search for examples of teaching standards evidence of TES. That way it is in your mind and you can organise your evidence in a folder/online from day 1. Even if you end up not using lots of what you have saved it will be worth it come final review time! My SCITT kept on stressing how the evidence was individual so they didn’t want to give any prescriptive guidance (in the beginning), then at the end of our course gave us very specific guidance about what was an acceptable type of evidence for each standard. Bearing in mind that this was during lockdown when we had limited ways of producing new evidence it was too late. Luckily I had saved lots of evidence, but I know this caused major stress for those who didn’t (they still passed though).

    - if you don’t have one invest in a portable hard drive or similar. This will make it easier to organise your resources from the beginning - make sure you save everything!

    - during training itself be honest about what you find difficult and aim to work on this. You are a trainee and it is ok to not be good at everything! do not be afraid to ask questions and make lots of notes (they are handy for looking back on)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020

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