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Why do Teachers make French lessons so boring?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by crunchie, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. I have to say, I do wake up every morning thinking of the most boring way to teach my subject. That's what motivates me. And because I am so boring, that means all the language teachers in the country are boring.
    Maybe your daughter would get better in French if she, you know, did some work in the lesson.
  2. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

  3. Well, we'll see what happens on Monday in her test, after I've taught her some French!
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm afraid I would be telling my daughter that sometimes as students we have different perceptions and after all the object of the lesson is to work to get that qualification at the end of it. Liking a teacher, or the teacher making it 'fun' can be a bonus but is not essential.
    At the end of the day, it's about learning to become mature and take responsibility for our own learning which is the goal of each and every teacher, whatever the subject.
    Not all learning is interesting all the time, sometimes it's hard work (especially in languages). The teacher can direct learning but each and every child has to put in the effort to acquire the skills and vocabulary to enable them to succeed.
    Sorry if that sounds a little harsh.

  5. No,I understand that it's hard work. I suppose i blame myself really for not having tried to teach her when she was younger. She has cousins who are bi-lingual and she is very keen to learn. I shall go for a long walk with her, as I did before the last speaking test, and she will learn what she needs to pass the test and she will enjoy the learning with me. I know that in the long run she will become fluent in French.
    I wonder how teachers approach different learning styles in their MFL teaching.

  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Believe me, although initially MFL trained I've taught many subjects in many different schools across all phases, most MFL teachers have always been 'ahead of the game' with adapting and catering for different learning styles, using technology etc. and most use parts of all in most lessons.
  7. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I'm an MFL teacher and I hate to tell you, but the children who say "this is boring" are usually the ones who don't make much effort, distract others and take little responsibility for their learning.
    MFL is one of those subjects where teachers very rarely sit down. We are constantly presenting and reinforcing vocabulary in a variety of imaginative ways, using plenty of visual aids.
    Quite often, we have to get down to the nitty-gritty and hammer away at some grammar. This, too, can be presented in a palatable manner, but you cannot escape the fact that mastering a foreign language takes a great deal of effort and commitment. Teachers are not there to entertain, but we do our best to inject an element of fun.
    Only today, as a response to some in-service training on how to motivate learners, I distributed coloured card, food and drink pictures, glue, scissors and vocab sheets. The objective was to make a set of dominoes, in groups of three, and then play the game. Learning and having fun at the same time.
    The result? Messing about. It did not go the way I imagined. Granted, this was a bottom set, last lesson, but I think I shall stick to more "boring" activities from now on.

  8. @Dunteachin

    I recognise everything you say here. One complaint I often get is that she doesn't get taught anything! Today's complaint was that the teacher claimed that she could not possibly learn what she needed to without writing it down! She now has the view that her teacher believe that only her (the teacher's) way of doing things is right.

    I agree completely with the "fun" that you tried to inject into the lesson.....
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Actually this is a brilliant example of using those different learning styles you were talking about! The action of writing it down, especially whilst saying it quietly in one's head or looking at a picture help re-inforce learning for audio, visual <u>and</u> kinaestethic learners.

  10. Thank you for that addition. I'm afraid the teacher managed to annoy her a few years ago....but she's too polite to tell her.....I'm not really sure what it is.....and I think the teacher is beginning to panic now. We shall see. I know that my daughter is determined and hard-working. I've seen the evidence in other subject areas....including a GCSE that we "made" her re-sit....and resented....but she still did the work for it.

  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Does your daughter have perfect recall of everything she hears, including knowing how to reproduce the information in written assessments with perfect spelling?
    If not, she needs to follow the teacher's instructions and put pen to paper when the teacher has planned some writing work.
    It's not really your daughter's role, nor yours, to decide how the subject should be taught!
    Bear in mind that it requires different strategies to teach a class of mixed ability children as opposed to giving 1:1 tuition. Confrontational attitudes from pupils disrupt lessons for everyone else and often mean that the teacher cannot teach everything that they planned for the lesson.
    I'm fed up with the idea that we should be creating 'fun' lessons. Fun lessons are often heavy on gimmicks and light on learning. Games should be extension activities when the core work has been done; otherwise they involve a massive waste of time and teachers often have only 2 or 3 hours per week to teach a new language.
    Learning can be enjoyable without being 'fun' entertainment but it requires co-operative pupils, not antagonistic children who think that they know more than trained and highly qualified adults.
  12. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    It sounds like your daughter is holding a grudge and perhaps being a little awkward. Her teacher is correct; she does need to write down vocabulary and practise written skills.
    Her teacher will be well aware that she and your daughter don't see eye to eye. She won't be panicking, though. At the end of the day, if your daughter is not willing to co-operate, the teacher can only do so much before she turns her attention elsewhere.
    I presume you have spoken to her at a parents' evening? If not, it might be worth ringing her to see what's going on. Your daughter won't be giving you the full picture, rest assured!
  13. Even really good teachers have some pupils that just don't 'get' the way they teach. Also, some pupils (often girls in my experience) bear grudges against teachers for years - often for something pretty minor.
    As a parent, I don't think you are helping matters by reinforcing her negative views and criticising the teacher. You should really be telling her to stop complaining and get on with it!
    As has already been mentioned, 1 to 1 teaching is somewhat different - of course you are going to make better progress like this, but it is something we teachers don't have the luxury of in school.
  14. musiclover1

    musiclover1 New commenter

    Sounds like your daughter is being awkward and not making the best of a given situation. She needs to be polite and cooperative with that teacher in order to get the most that she can out of the lessons.
  15. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I think your daughter may have learnt how to trigger your disapproval to play you off against another adult by using the b word the now dreaded 'boring'. One of my sons used to try this on - it usually meant he had been told off when he proclaimed a lesson as boring. It may also be that she knows she can rely on you to get her through her exams and therefore has the luxury of not needing to focus fully in the lesson. Obviously it's great you are helping her - I'm not criticising that.
  16. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    She should take Spanish or Mandarin. As these languages are clearly more relevant, as no one outside France speaks French, this would solve the problem completely.
  17. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Ouch! That hurt! Excuse me whilst I lick my bleeding Swiss wounds.
    (I do hope you were being sarcastic...)
  18. Learning styles do not exist.
  19. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Dear TimTutor,

    I teach 2.5 days a week (French and Spanish), for which I spend one further day planning and preparing so as to make the lessons as interesting and as mutually successful as possible. I know that I am absolutely not alone in this.

    Is the title of your thread deliberately inflammatory? It is very hurtful, and if I wasn't so tired I'd throw things at my computer screen. It's one thing to have Gove and his minions and all of the press constantly dissing everything that you do, but when people come on to your professional forum making sweeping statements based on the reported observations of one child.........
  20. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    And there are quite a few Canadians who would also disagree with you.

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