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Teaching French at Primary School

Discussion in 'Primary' started by MissSNM, May 13, 2012.

  1. A fantastic, interactive site which covers all the QCDA recommended topics for French Language learning at KS2. Free resources available. www.cloudcuckooworld.com
     
  2. A fantastic, interactive site which covers all the QCDA recommended topics for French Language learning at KS2. Free resources available. www.cloudcuckooworld.com
     
  3. Wow, a great resource, have you subcribed at all? Is it worth it?
     
  4. funambule

    funambule New commenter

    I think the poster is the author of the resource; do correct me if I'm wrong.
    I've looked at samples and find it rather odd for French: random words mixed in with the English. Am I doing something wrong? Dual language doesn't usually mean this sort of mix- potentially confusing for children.
     
  5. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Hmmm, yes, kind of "French for the sake of it". Certainly not the sort of story I use when I do stories in Spanish or French. Much prefer simple and repetitive target-language stories that children can tell alongside the teacher and get immersed in.
     
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've only had a quick look at this site, but have to say wouldn't be one I'd choose to use.
    No obvious structures eviedent to look at, more random and eclectic use of the odd French word. Little progression, though I do agree I haven't spent much time and of course can only view the two without subscribing, but unlikely to want to.
    Agree with Geekie and funambule, who I know are fellow MFLers. Perhaps useful for a non specialist?
    Sorry to the OP if you are the author.
     
  7. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    So the vast majority of primary teachers then.
     
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Perhaps useful for a non-specialist?
    Milgod's reply " So the vast majority of primary teachers then."
    That's our concern, as MFL specialists; if there's no structure or progression within the learning, just like in any subject, we can justend up teaching a mix-match of language, which makes life more difficult in later years for children wanting to actually study the language. Some pedagogical knowledge is important for learning a language.
     
  9. Hi Lara mfl05. I am indeed the author of the site. I'm sorry you don't like it but I would like to tell you a bit about it. The site covers all of the the QCDA recommended units for study and if you visit the 'Help for Teachers' section you will see that each story covers a set topic of langauge. The idea behind the site is to engage children in fun, character driven stories, either at home or at school. I designed the site as a teacher who struggled to teach French being a non specialist and felt teachers would benefit from a resource that was very student driven. Despite your negative first impression we have had lots of positive feedback and would encourage you to look again. I could even arrange a free subscription if you are interested to see more! Thanks for checking out the site.
     
  10. If you register on the site I can arrange a complimentary 30 trial for you to see all the resources. Just use the same username as above and stop at the payment page. Glad you like it!
     
  11. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    So is the site useful or not?
    Personally (and I also think obviously) I feel we need to either ditch language at Primary level or there needs to be funding for language trained teachers.
     
  12. I am also a co creator of the site and wanted to stress that repetition is something we have tried hard to integrate into the site. Perhaps this is slightly hard to see from the 2 free sample stories.

    The aim of the site was to encourage an early enthusiasm for languages in KS1 and 2 children and also to help non specialist teachers who were struggling to confidently deliver language lessons. Each story is strongly linked to the QCDA suggested topics of study, following their guidance on progression.

    Please note the site is not meant to be a substitute for high quality specialist teaching but in our experience, not every class is lucky enough to have this expert tuition. Rather the site is meant to spark children's interest and help them gain confidence in understanding new language and to begin to form comparisons between a foreign language and English. In this way we hope that the site will act to support formal class teaching.

    I would welcome any further feedback about ways you think we could improve the site. I can be contacted at info@cloudcuckooworld.com . We didn't want to be too prescriptive about aiming each story at either KS1 or 2 as we believe that children accessing foreign languages and enjoying them is more important that whether they can understand and recall each sentence structure. However the links to the QCDA units are clearly described in the help for teachers page should more information be needed.
     
  13. I'm hoping to do a PGCE in primary with french specialism..Does that mean my chance of employment will be increased due to the added french? Is it actually worth doing along with the normal PGCE primary course? I did French to degree level and lived there for a couple of years so feel I could enjoy teaching it. There are not currently burseries for PGCE primary MFL just secondary MFL and I only want to teach primary. Hopefully there will be some sort of bursery when I do mine!!
     
  14. funambule

    funambule New commenter

    Emphatically yes! With your experience and expertise a school should be very happy to employ you. It seems likely that languages will become statutory in upper KS2 (still undecided for lower KS2). Either way, there should be openings in Primary Languages. Watch out for Gov't . announcements over the coming months.
     
  15. funambule

    funambule New commenter

    In my experience not that many schools use QCDA for languages- it has always been an option only and those that do use it tend to dip in and out. This may well be a generalisation- happy to discuss!
    The KS2 Framework isn't obligatory either but it is the best guidance we have at the moment. It is aimed at the non-specialist and makes some very useful links with literacy. In a way, it seems as if your stories are too geared towards literacy and the language element is very subsidiary.
     
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Like funambule I also think non specialists tend not to refer too much to QCDA docs, apart from the topics.
    This is what I personally feel is the problem with non-specialists they tend to view language teaching in terms of <u>vocabulary</u> teaching/learning, usually following a topic.Whereas what one needs to look at first, is the 'language strutcures', which often need to be taught in a certain progressive order. You wouldn't teach multiplication before addition for instance.
    Once you know which structure you're teaching, these can then be taught using almost any topic vocabulary and re-visited using other vocabulary later.
     
  17. Hello Geekie,

    Perhaps you would like to try Valentino, which I have made available without subscription this evening. May be more useful if you enjoy using repetitive language with your class. This story is based on expressing likes and dislikes :)
     
  18. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the offer, but I am a language specialist and can't see myself using this sort of resource.
     
  19. I have been looking for something just like the website - I am currently a Year 5 teacher who has recently moved from Year 2. I found the thought of teaching French to Upper KS2 quiet daunting and tended to depend on our MFL coord, but I strive to overcome this barrier. She teaches French across all year groups in our school, which is taught exceptionally well because she speaks and writes fluent French. However, she is constantly encouraging us, as teachers of KS2, to delve into various schemes available, but that is easier said than done. However, after several weeks, I have observed many of her sessions and feel I have the confidence to teach some French (eventhough I got an A level in the language) paying reference to the QCDA (always handy for objective ideas).
    After searching for something like, I was pleasently pleased to find Cloud Cuckoo, the stories give the children a sense of purpose: as a class, we have looked at all the free trials and the children really appreciate the dual language aspect. Although, they are very competent in their French, they have now had an opportunity to be a child learning French. My class absolutely loved the story of Eric the Emu, they got involved immediately without any encouragement, reading it, pronouncing it correctly and just sharing their love for the language they have been learning since Year 2. My Year 5's said, 'It's ace!' and they suggested hearing a story each Friday to prepare them for when they go on their residentail to France, so they can share the stories with their pen friends when they meet. I think the designers have certainly found a niche in the market, they have helped me in my teaching and they have helped all 30 of my Year 5 children. I can't wait to get the stories up and running earlier on in the academic year for my next class, who are going to buddy up reading them to Reception. An excellent idea - can you let me know how I subscribe! And...can you get hard copies of the story books? Thanks.
     
  20. Hi, as far as I am aware there are bursaries for 2012-2013 for primary, if you have a 2:1 or a first for your undergraduate degree. Check out:
    http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/funding/training-in-england/postgraduate-funding.aspx

     

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