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Primary MFL - How to ensure and measure progression across year groups?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by asimister, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. asimister

    asimister New commenter


    I am leading MFL across our primary school and we have altered how we are teaching French (our chosen language). We are not following a scheme of work but trying to match the French topics to each year group's learning topics. We used to have a specific Teacher to cover French as part of ppa cover, so it was easier to give her a stand alone scheme to follow. We have had lots of staff cuts and so not able to offer this anymore. In addition, I have been in communication with our feeder senior school and they are really keen for us to focus on skills rather than content. So, I am planning to implement a French style phonics lesson too.

    I am in a position where I am not giving the Teachers content to teach but they do have the Nat Curriculum objectives that they have to show through evidence that they will be putting in a record folder (photos if it's not writing etc). But I am unsure as to how I show progression through out the school without the use of a pre existing scheme of work. i have come across BCC Languages which look great and they offer something called the 'Languages Ladder'. It's from 2007 but looks quite simple and easy to use or measure progress against. I was wondering if anyone has used it before? Or is there anything great that anyone else uses?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I did this years ago and it's really essential to have your grammar content mapped out to ensure progression and then you can adapt that to any topic. I'll see if I can find mine-that basically wouldn't date. and then I'll message you- sorry 'start a conversation' with you.

    However the Languages Ladder is good- and again won't date.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    asimister likes this.
  3. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    The Language Magician is a free game, designed to assess primary languages, which has recently been published online. It's co-funded by Erasmus+ and the European Union. It takes about half an hour and requires internet access for all the pupils being assessed. It provides detailed feedback on each pupil. I've not used it yet but aim to do so shortly.
    asimister and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Stupid question, but before you worry about evidencing progression through photos, is every one of your teachers confident teaching French? I ask because I did German at school and so did many of my ex colleagues, and teaching French was therefore a challenge. Thankfully our school bought in to cave languages, which is brilliant, though it may be local to the Berkshire area, I’m not sure. I think it’s based on catherine cheaters scheme of work which is phonics based. We had lots of training so even those of us who didn’t speak French could attempt to teach it. It had very clear progression and focused on skills, rather than content, I think. The national curriculum for MFL is very vague and if someone handed it to me and said ‘teach french’ I would bury my head in the sand and avoid it. Non specialists in languages really do need a decent scheme of work, in my opinion.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    And if I could find it my Scheme did just that and could be adapted to any topic studied.

    I've found my skills progression and if people are interested when I've found the others I'll post in Resources, so anyone can have a copy. It was going to be my 'ace' fo a job interview, but as I'm no longer teaching others could benefit?
    lardylady likes this.
  6. asimister

    asimister New commenter

    Amazing, thank you!
  7. asimister

    asimister New commenter

    I totally agree as I am not even a language specialist myself! I am going to offer some training as I totally get the head in the sand thing. The problem is, I have used an existing scheme of work "Le Niveau Bleu" scheme which is free, fully resources and written by Catherine Cheater too, for non specialists. Nothing for the Teachers to say as it was all on powerpoint sound buttons etc. The problem was it just wasn't done. So in order to make damn sure it is being done I am going to try and allow them to link it more to their curriculum topics etc. See how they do with that.
  8. asimister

    asimister New commenter

    I would definitely like to have a look at it, thank you!
  9. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Yes, please, Lara. I love a copy of it.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Grr. I found my planning, but it was in Powerpoint- always my preferred option and I've tried to put it into a Word doc. However it just doesn't like it :( and it was taking ages to adapt. :( I hate Word for anything else other than simple text and it seems to have a mind of it's own when trying to put things into a table. :rolleyes:

    I will try to put it into resources later, however for the present, suffice it to say you can ensure progression over the 4 years and remember much language teaching involves constant revision and re-using known vocab with different structures. you start by arranging the basic grammar in a hierarchy e g
    Yr 3 Aut teaching nouns in connection with current topic with appropriate le/la. General rule is no more than 10 words initially, then adding apprx 5-6 words at time in subsequent lessons.
    Yr 3 after half-term you then teach C'est un / une . . . .. with all that known vocab. Extend to Ce n'est pas un /une . . .

    Yr 4 revision of C'est …. in response to new structure question Est-ce que c'est . . . . ? with answer, Non, ce n'est pas un/une le /la . …… Vocab chosen from new topic.

    Yr 5 revision of C'est …… extending to 'Est-ce qu'il y a un /une . . ici / là? le/la …. est ici / là

    Yr 6 students should be asking questions using 'Cest/ ce ne'st pas …..,Est-ce qu'il y a …… of their own composition.

    Similar with other structures.

    I'll post again when I have managed to transpose the planning.
  11. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    If you are building your own scheme depending on class topics, my first comment would be that that is a huge amount of work for any teacher, let alone a non-specialist. If you are looking at how to build up to the statements in the national curriculum document, which are the end-of-Y6 picture, take a look at the KS2 Framework for Languages. The Framework is technically obsolete (became so after the 2010 General Election) but is still widely used and is very useful. It shows how you build up from words in Y3 through phrases and sentences in Y4 and Y5 to longer texts in Y6. As mentioned above, the grammar can't be overlooked either. Based on the tiny section at the end of the national curriculum document, I mapped the grammar that should be covered in KS2 - http://changing-phase.blogspot.com/2018/04/grammar-in-key-stage-2.html - there's a lot!

    My recommendation to you would be to use one of the published schemes. This will considerably reduce planning and worry for teachers and will ensure that progression is made across the 4 years and that there is progress rather than repetition.
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    That's a fantastic document @Geekie and really useful.

    I appreciate your comment about using a published scheme, but I was presuming that the School is insisting on integrating MFL into the topics and not doing it as a stand alone system.
  13. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Yes, I think so too. I would find it very difficult to design a scheme and ensure coverage in that way, and I'm a specialist!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I had to do it at one School and I designed everything to fit the topics and yes it is incredibly difficult.
    I was fortunate in that I didn't have to design the Scheme 'up-front' but could plan a term at a time and it was in a First school from year 1 to Yr 4. That formed the basis for my Scheme and looking at it I do wonder if non-specialists would be able to make as much use of it as I did, because if I needed to swap anything around I knew where one could slot in in and where it wouldn't fit.

    Also I'm a linguist who was Primary /Secondary trained 9those were the days) and familiar with how the Curriculum works in Primary, by many years in Primary and Middle School. :D
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  15. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Thank you for sharing resources like this.

    I just need advice on how to ensure MFL is even being taught! The worst offenders are members of the SLT - they just ignore it altogether.

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