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what is the role of target language in MFL teaching

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Marlies, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Marlies

    Marlies New commenter

    As a trainee teacher of MFL I am very concerned that the pupils in my class are not responding bery well to the use of target langauge in my lessons.
    I would like to know how other teachers introduce target language into their lessons (gradual, only at certain times etc).
    And also what they think the benefits of target language is for the childrens confidence in their language learning (or not)?
     
  2. It's not unusual for language learners of all ages to react negatively to 100% TL teaching. My experience of teaching MFL goes back to the mid-1960s, and I have always found that a judicious mix of L1 and L2 is advisable. I always used L2 to explain points of grammar and always translated new words and phrases into English. When I was involved in teacher training I sometimes used to blast my trainees with recorded conversations in Hungarian to see how they felt about 100% TL teaching. Most of them hadn't a clue about what was being said. Hungarian is not a language that you can easily decipher on your own: no prepositions, no possessive adjective, all kinds of prefixes, suffixes and infixes that change meanings, six different forms of "you", and a word order that is fundmentally different from word order in English and most other European languages. Vocab bears little resemblance to anything you have ever seen before in any other language, and there is, for example, a common greeting that men use to greet women but women never use to greet men. When I learned Hungarian I was grateful for frequent explanations in English.
    Regards
    Graham Davies
    Emeritus Professor of Computer Assisted Language Learning
     
  3. Whoops! I meant to say, " I always used L1 - i.e. English - to explain points of grammar and always translated new words and phrases into English."
    Regards
    Graham Davies
    Emeritus Professor of Computer Assisted Language Learning
     
  4. Have a look at the St Martins thread going on at the mo as that is about TL use
     

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