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Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by danniellaleigh, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. danniellaleigh

    danniellaleigh New commenter


    I am relatively new to being MFL lead in my school. I know that French is often the subject that gets pushed out of the timetable week by week to make up for any lost time in core subjects etc so I was wondering if anyone has any creative ideas on how it is taught in their school. I am thinking of introducing a French week per year or a French day per half term rather than it being fit in weekly. Do you think this would work? Has anybody got any suggestions or examples of good practice? Thank you in advance
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As a mfl person I would say that irregular exposure to any language will always inhibit progress. 10 minutes every day would actually be better than 1 50 minute session once a week. if one wants children to make any progress.
    When I was advising a school how to cope with the mfl requirement I did a half hour session with games and left ideas for how any new vocab could be practised during the week. eg during registration, during PE etc and the games as a 'reward' for when work was finished.
    bonxie and danniellaleigh like this.
  3. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    If you want good progress, lessons need to be timetabled in for every week, every year. Twenty minutes three times a week works better for retention than a one hour slot each week. It also means that if one short lesson gets lost due to time pressures, the class won't have lost all of their French for the whole week - which often happens if it's scheduled as a whole hour lesson. Add in embedding where you can, e.g. doing the date, weather, greetings each morning (but not as part of the French lesson which introduces/practices new vocabulary).

    If staff aren't confident on planning their own French lessons, use a scheme to make the task much easier for them and to ensure progression as pupils move up the school. Light Bulb Languages is good: http://lightbulblanguages.co.uk/resources-pr-fr-schemeofwork.htm#y4 It has lesson plans and the resources to go with them ready to download. It's also free and regularly added to.

    http://www.french-games.net is not a scheme but is useful for introducing new vocabulary and for the pupils to practise with. Their 'beginners level' is suitable for primary pupils and it has over 50 topics.
    danniellaleigh and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Little and often.
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. danniellaleigh

    danniellaleigh New commenter

    Thank you everyone for your replies and information.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. cellerdore

    cellerdore Occasional commenter

    Can you convince the teachers to do the register in french?

    Or respond to the register in colours/items in the pencil case etc.

    A simple way of getting in some daily practise. Not sure though- I am not a MFL specialist.
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. vuvuzela

    vuvuzela Occasional commenter

    I agree withe the other comments. It needs regular exposure to be of any use at all. Doing a French week or day can be good to raise awareness, and certainly there is some value in this on a superficial level, but as a way to teach anything that will stick, it's next to useless.
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Certainly what I did. Each week we would have a maximum of 6 responses to choose from. Each child had to say something different to the previous response and hold up a picture of the 'word', whilst saying the word correctly. These were spread out on the tables. could be used for 'Kim's game' / Snap etc as well as to practice vocab.
    cellerdore and bonxie like this.
  9. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't give up on your idea. How about using the French day once a term to be what makes the lessons each week have a point? So if you are worried about the MFL being squeezed out, you've built it in so that what they have to do on the big day each term needs developing throughout the year? A play? A song? A cafe? An art exhibition?
    danniellaleigh likes this.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    A 'display' of learning day is fine, but if you think that once a term will enable any real learning to take place, you need to do a little and often approach.
    danniellaleigh likes this.
  11. danniellaleigh

    danniellaleigh New commenter

    Thank you again for your response. I’ve got a lot of ideas now and I’ve even put together a list of classroom routines that could be introduced though ks1 too!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

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