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Teaching MFL in large blocks of time

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by littlemissmo, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. littlemissmo

    littlemissmo New commenter

    Our school is moving to a new curriculum model next year where we will be teaching MFL GCSE groups for 4 consectuve lessons ie a whole morning for a year (ie we start teaching our GCSE group in September and they take the exam in May/June of the same academic year). Our pupils are not that motivated and don't have great independent learning skills and we are obvisouly worried about how we will manage this. We would like to be as creative as possible, while still covering the content. If anyone has any experience of teaching in large blocks of time or any good ideas to share, it would be good to know.
     
  2. littlemissmo

    littlemissmo New commenter

    Our school is moving to a new curriculum model next year where we will be teaching MFL GCSE groups for 4 consectuve lessons ie a whole morning for a year (ie we start teaching our GCSE group in September and they take the exam in May/June of the same academic year). Our pupils are not that motivated and don't have great independent learning skills and we are obvisouly worried about how we will manage this. We would like to be as creative as possible, while still covering the content. If anyone has any experience of teaching in large blocks of time or any good ideas to share, it would be good to know.
     
  3. We have taught KS4 in blocks for a few years now - 2 hrs 1 week, 3 the other on the same day. We start in Y10 and do the exams in Year 11.
    In practical terms it is not the best way to learn and Language but when planning the timetable we are really the only subject area that it doesn't benefit.
    However, in teaching terms it hasn't actually been that bad as you can through a lot of work and really reinforce new vocab / grammar with a lot of practice.
    What you will need to emphasise to the pupils is that they are responsible for looking over work between lessons and learning new vocabulary. (use the lure of CA and you not being able to help in planning stage) Always spend time at the start of each session recapping the last one.
    When staffing is allocated why don't you split these sessions between different teachers - it gives both pupils and teachers a break from each other
     
  4. yasf

    yasf New commenter

    I disagree. I don't see Maths or English teachers, or in fact teachers of any other academic subject, being over the moon at teaching 4 hours consecutively.
    Vocational subjects on the other hand . . .
     
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Get a job in a different school. Sorry to be so negative, but that's what I did, as it was an absolute killer to do it just for one year and I wasn't prepared to do it any longer. Per se, having a block of lessons isn't bad, but only having one a week isn't conducive to languages. Yes there are ways of making the lessons not so dreadful (computer suites, changing teachers, changing rooms) but at the end of the day the teaching is extremely frustrating and the exam results will suffer, that is a certainty. Can't really be more specific but pm me if you want details.
     
  6. I have experience of this. I taught 3 consecutive hours of French GCSE for 2 years. Hard for the kids and hard for me. It was on a Friday and attendance wasn't great either. The exam results did suffer. We were blocked against all vocational subjects who, I admit, did benefit from the system. Although they too complained about absences.
     
  7. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    A whole morning? Nightmare.
     
  8. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Whole morning - you're lucky. Try teaching a double lesson once a week. (all said in that now famous yorkshire accent /monty python sketch about being born in a cardboard box)[​IMG]
     
  9. Maths and English are core subjects, not electives, so they are not under the same constraints
     
  10. yasf

    yasf New commenter

    Talking about the style of teaching, not the importance of subject, but ok.
    I don't see History, Geography, Music or even Business studies teachers being happy with 4 consecutive hours once per week.
    Smacks of lazy timetabling to me.[​IMG]
     
  11. tThat's all I have at my new school. 70 mins per week.
     
  12. littlemissmo

    littlemissmo New commenter

    Curiously, Maths, English and Science are all really excited about the new curriculum! Funny, as you say, they are not affected by it, still have 5 years to get through a GCSE, and no whole mornings for them, and still get 'gained time' when year 11 leave. No prizes for guessing what subjects our SLT teach!
    As option subjects, we are being totally shafted on this one. Personally, I think it's because they want to be seen to have an 'innovative' 'new' curriculum locally to attract more entrants.
     

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