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Please help me, I can't speak German!

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by wj3an, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. I am an NQT and I am really struggling to teach German to my year 4 class. We have one scheme of work in school which has a DVD then the children complete worksheets but the children have completed it twice! Once in year 3 and once with me! They have covered greetings, numbers, alphebet etc.They answer the register in German.
    The problem that I have is that I can't speak German at all, I think it is so important that kids learn a new language and I feel like I am letting them down a little by not teaching it to them. Next year they will start learning French so this is their last chance to learn German before high school.
    So I need to learn how to speak German and then teach the children, where can I do this? Please help!
    Thank you so much!
     
  2. I am an NQT and I am really struggling to teach German to my year 4 class. We have one scheme of work in school which has a DVD then the children complete worksheets but the children have completed it twice! Once in year 3 and once with me! They have covered greetings, numbers, alphebet etc.They answer the register in German.
    The problem that I have is that I can't speak German at all, I think it is so important that kids learn a new language and I feel like I am letting them down a little by not teaching it to them. Next year they will start learning French so this is their last chance to learn German before high school.
    So I need to learn how to speak German and then teach the children, where can I do this? Please help!
    Thank you so much!
     
  3. Why are you teaching a language to your class that you "can't speak at all"? Where's the point in that? Yes, it's important that kids learn languages, but it's also important that they don't get put off straight away because their teacher doesn't have a clue.
    This isn't an attack on you, since I think it's great that you want to teach languages to your class. However, if your school wants your class to learn German, then they need to put someone into your lesson, who can actually speak the language. Additionally, they need to support you and put the training in place, so that you can confidently deliver they subject.
    How is putting a DVD on and then completing some worksheets helpful, when children are supposed to become linguistically competent? It's a bit like asking someone who can't count to teach maths, by putting on Maths Mansion and then giving them some bookwork to complete...
     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    How confident are you with what you've already taught via the DVD? Is this a just a crisis of confidence? Do you look ahead at what you're going to teach next so you're at least one lesson ahead of the children?
    A desire to teach languages is good so you're obviously enthusiastic & I agree you need to be asking for help from someone else in your school.
    Is it having 'done' the DVD you don't know where to go next? Have a look at this site http://www.ukgermanconnection.org/?location_id=868.

     
  5. Exactly!!! What you have said here is the point I have made, next year it will be fine because it is going to be covered in my PPA time with a TA who is good at German! I totally agree about the DVD stuff as well, the children really like it, but I am certain this is not helping them because I can't back it up!
    Thank you for your response, I think I am going to talk to my mentor who is the MFL leader and chase up some training (or maybe night school!)
    Thanks again!
     
  6. Thank you for your reply and I will have a look at the site! Yes, it is a bit of a crisis of confidence. I did some German at school but not since year 9, I did French to GCSE which I feel far more confident with but my school says that we have to teach German in years 3 and 4. French is taught in years 5 and 6.
    The stuff that is on the DVD is good and after watching it, I have remembered how to say it from learning it at school, but now the problem I have is that the children have completed all the lessons twice, I don't know what to teach them, and I worry that if I do teach something I will say it incorrectly!
    I am enthusiastic and would love to be able to teach it well, but I just think I need to learn some German!! Maybe that site will help me!
    Thanks again!
     
  7. It's good that you are aware of your shortcomings and want to learn more German. There are many sites aimed at adult learners. I would start with the BBC Languages site:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/
    First, click on Test yourself - left of screen, scroll down a bit. Then try an appropriate level. I worked for the BBC on the beginner-level German Steps materials.
    I list lots of sites for learners of German on my Favourite Websites page, here:
    http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/websites.htm#german
    But you also need to work on your pronunciation. Here I would recommend the EuroTalk CD-ROMs as they enable you to record and play back your own voice. They can also be used with young learners:
    http://eurotalk.com/en/
    Regards
    Graham Davies
     
  8. Thank you very much for your help, I will have a look!
     
  9. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    Also there is some free software which you can download from Before You Know it.
    They have loads of languages on that website and the free download is decent for beginners, I used it for Italian. It just teacher you basic phrases, but has different topics which you can work through. I really liked it.
    http://www.byki.com/
    Also, put out an add at your uni or on gumtree - there might be someone wanting to better their English or need some help with their written English in exchange for German speaking practise.
    I'll be teaching some primary German next term so I'll up load any resources which you can use.
    I should also say, I am a German teacher so happy to help you if you need it.
    Good luck!
     

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