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Revision and progression in teaching languages

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by teacherofgerman, May 3, 2019.

  1. teacherofgerman

    teacherofgerman New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for some advice on how extensive the end-of-the-year revision should be, because I don't have a lot of experience teaching children and teenagers.

    I currently teach German in an international school that follows the British curriculum, but we don't really have a mentoring system for the languages department in our school. We do have a languages coordinator, but I feel like, although she's a good at teaching languages generally, she isn't really able to answer my questions in a way that would make me feel more confident.

    Because students in our school start MFL in Year 3, I've been told by my coordinator that, until Year 7, we’re not under a lot of pressure to follow an exact scheme of work, since the British curriculum only requires teaching MFL starting with Year 7), but instead we can take our time to build a solid foundation and spark students' interest for the target language.

    I did follow a scheme I’ve found on lightbulblangguages and, until now, I've been getting very positive feedback from parents, other teachers and students themselves. Some have told me that they didn't really learn much German until I came to this school and they're excited about how much they're learning with me.

    However, I've noticed that most students have forgotten a lot of the things that we've done in the first or second term (although I really took my time until students seemed quite confident with each topic).

    From what I've seen, the taught content is usually reinforced a few times in textbooks when teaching languages (e.g. they learn a field of vocabulary as beginners and keep getting back to it and expanding it at the higher levels; they learn a basic grammar structure and in the next textbook they learn how to use it in more complex situations).

    So this makes me think that it's in fact normal for learners to forget and to need reinforcement (just as they first learn some language aspects receptively and only later how to use them actively).

    So my question is, how extensive could the end-of-the-year revision be, since we're not under time pressure?

    Our last term is starting now (and we have 6 or 7 weeks of school left), so I'm thinking about doing a more in-depth revision with all students, about 3-4 weeks (with 2 lessons per week), and to only introduce some easier topics in the time we have left.

    So should I reinforce the main content taught this year before the summer break, since it is still somewhat fresh and students will forget even more during the summer break, or if I should just do a quick revision and rely on reinforcement next year?

    Thank you all in advance!
  2. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    The learning of a modern or ancient foreign language is compulsory in England from Year 3 (age 7), and while there is no exact scheme of work, the national curriculum document says that during Key Stage 2 children have to make "substantial progress in one language" and says what that substantial progress should look like. KS2 learning should provide a solid foundation for KS3 (Year 7 onwards) learning.

    The national curriculum document for KS2 Languages is here https://www.lightbulblanguages.co.uk/resources/PrimaryFrench/KS2-new-PoS.pdf

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