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Teaching A-Level languages

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by paul_ward1592, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    This September sees me teaching AS French for the first time, having taught only KS3 and KS4 for the last two years. Does anybody have any tips / advice about: a) structuring an A-Level lesson; b) how to pitch the lessons at the beginning of the course (do I assume the students remember very little from GCSE?); c) how I can get the very best out of the students I'll be teaching to ensure they reach their targets?

    Any advice you can give would be gratefully received. :)
  2. I am in the same position as you, although I have just the one student. So any advice re teaching and exam boards would be useful.
  3. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    I wouldn't assume they remember little from GCSE but they do need a kind of "bridging" unit to get them up to speed. I'd do plenty of grammar with them ( going over the main tenses again is essential) and starting with a familiar topic ( self and family is usually topic 1) use their prior knowledge and build on what they know already adding complex language. A well designed textbook with a comprehensive teachers guide is an absolute must and should get you started. If you have double lessons (say 2 one hours together) I would split it into 40 minute "sessions" - grammar, topic work, speaking. If they have separate one hour lessons, devote one as a grammar lesson. Get them into the habit of preparing at home eg they have to read the text you will be working on in class BEFORE the lesson - you haven't got time in class to be reading long texts together from scratch. And get them to do the writing at home. Then you devote class time to teaching and practising the grammar and new language as well as doing the speaking and listening activities.
  4. Some good advice already here but from my experience over the last two years, I would say from October onwards, get them to practice the writing part of the exam... Once a fortnight, I got my group to do a exam question on the topics learnt under controlled conditions in our 6th form silent room (supervised). This made a huge difference to their results in the unit 1 paper

    :) (quite a bit of marking for you but 100% worth it for them!)

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