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What happened?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Vladimir, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    There was a time this forum was a hive of activity. There was debate, emotion, fun, sometimes anger, but there was always animation and the bustle of a thriving community of (generally) like-minded individuals. These days, if there is one new thread per week, that seems like a wonder. Comrades! What happened to you all?
  2. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    It was your fault Vladimir. You were a wafer too long ;)

    I agree with you though. Where's it all happening now? Twitter and Facebook, to some extent. But they're nowhere near as good as TES for a proper discussion.
  3. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    BTW, I find it amusing that, as someone who's been contributing to the TES staffroom since 2002, I'm classed as a "New contributor"... :)
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    You're the boss around here. It's all down to you.
  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Not even Joe Dale posts here now!
  6. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Established commenter

    If you want some action......start a thread about National Curriculum Levels and sub-Levels in MFL...
  7. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    Great to see you back Vladimir. Translation is an awful way of assessing anything by the way.
  8. curlyk

    curlyk New commenter

    Well,I retired last year at 58 and I suspect most over 55s have escaped the drudgery that teaching has become because of the `targets are everything,data driven,tick box `culture now in power.Either the over 55s have jumped ship,as I did, or have been forced down the gang plank of early retirement .We just became too expensive ,or too bloody minded to jump to the tune of some Academy chain diktats.As for younger teachers ,I imagine that many are slowly drowning in a sea of paper and increasing disenchantment .Twitter is quicker for the young ,Facebook now for the middle aged .TES forums have lost their bite.All things must adapt or become extinct .
  9. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    You may be right curlyk. I am now part time and in theory this should make it easier for me to contribute but as Vladimir says, ther's not a lot to which to respond.
  10. gsglover

    gsglover Occasional commenter

    Having contemplated Vladimir's comments. I reckon he is to blame.
  11. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Now I remember you! How dare you, Sir! I challenge you to a duel! Whitmarhes at dawn, I think!

    Oh, and by the way, translation is an excellent method for teaching accurate language and just as excellent as a means of assessment (with negative marking) because it tests the ability of students to use language accurately without just cobbling together set phrases.
  12. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    I've looked at Twitter a couple of times and can't make out what's going on. It seems like a bunch of random stuff, like sound-bites, only written down, but mostly by people who seem incapable of forming a coherent sentence. Facebook isn't much different, but at least there are photos. But it isn't a place for discussion.
  13. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    I wouldn't mind being.
    I suppose new posters arrive, maybe post a question, see very little response, then don't bother coming back. It's a self a perpetuating cycle.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  14. minka1

    minka1 Occasional commenter

    Where does this antagonism towards translation come from in mfl teaching profession? Translation it would seem to me is a natural process that occurs when learning a new language whether the teacher likes it or not.
    Incommunicado likes this.
  15. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Established commenter

    I wish there were more minka1s around.
  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    The antagonism comes from younger teachers exposed to a 'communicative' (and by that I refer to all non-grammar-based approaches) teaching and learning method, and given communicative goals to work towards rather than grammatical and linguistic accuracy. Mr Glover knows this, being highly-educated, intelligent and old-school, even though he will stand by his younger 'friends' in the MFL teaching profession, who can't stand the idea, just like ESL teachers. Their only way is to try to shout it down, yet the fact remains: translation works! If you don't know your grammar, nothing shows up your lack of skill like translation. I'll stand by grammar-translation to the end, and my range of learned languages, and my ability to continue to learn into my forties, stands testament to that. I need no gimmicks!
  17. mlapworth

    mlapworth Occasional commenter

    Blogs are one of the things that happened...
    Contributor posts link to blog >>> People respond on blog >>> No discussion actually takes place here.
  18. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    I think too many people are just so exhausted and overworked that they don't get the chance to get involved in discussions. Planning lessons can become a rushed afterthought after you've done all the marking to the required standard and filled in the various spreadsheets to cover your back, so there's no time to discuss, reflect, or get into silly arguments.

    Additionally, a huge number of teachers are leaving/planning on leaving the profession - you're hardly going to engage in dialogue to get new ideas and develop your teaching if you're working on your exit plan.

    A lot of people are on Facebook - the "Secondary MFL Matters" group is pretty good (if a little repetitive). The advantage is that you don't have to log into a different site - if you already log into Facebook on a daily basis, everything is in one place. And you get notifications when people reply to your posts so can reply quickly. Things move a lot faster on there so I know if I want a quick piece of advice I'm more likely to ask there than here (where a thread may get no replies for several days, or just one or two). I would post here more if there was anyone to talk to!

    (And on an aside note - I rather like translation, as do my pupils. I told my Y9s they would be the first year to be assessed on Translation in addition to the other skills and they were pretty happy. They like the idea of just being able to focus on getting the language right for a small section of their exam, without having to come up with their own ideas at the same time. I think Vladmir is a bit out of touch with the current generation of teachers though, as from my anecdotal experience, teachers my age (late 20s) are more old school than our slightly older colleagues (late 30s/40s) as we were at school in the early 2000s, raised on a diet of group work, posters, role-plays and no grammar, and have reacted against the way we were taught).
  19. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    No sure it's due to lack of traffic. I think this is how younger teachers (not just on the ML forum) who come to TES seem to function. They come for the resources and if they ever post on a forum, it's to ask a specific question. They are not interested in any debate which is pretty much how they are in a real staffroom. As Vladimir might know, as he post on some of the more lively parts of TES,the most active posters tend to be older.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  20. Gummibaren

    Gummibaren New commenter

    I think it's probably all of the above.

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