Heads of Secondary MFL Conference -
12th December 2013 New
The Heads of Secondary MFL is an annual conference where delegates are able to network, share ideas and be updated on the latest issues and policies surrounding MFL teaching as well as hear about innovative ideas to use in the classroom.
Venue: Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage
DfE clarification on Secondary School Accountability measures - EBacc and Languages
The Government has confirmed revisions to secondary school accountability measures, and there has been some confusion around the Ebacc and Languages. For clarification see:
Recent Ofsted good practice case studies on modern foreign languages:
Primary Languages Update
The Government has removed the list of prescribed languages for Key Stage 2, enabling schools to make their own decisions. The DFE has also published updated drafts of the Programmes of Study for Key Stages 2 and 3 in their latest national curriculum framework document:
The final version of the framework states: “The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.” But this freedom does not prevent teachers from also developing exciting and stimulating lessons in the compulsory curriculum.
The updated Key Stage 2 Programme of Study for languages remains short and to the point, and lists 12 things that ‘pupils should be taught’. Almost all are CLIL-friendly, ( cross curricular) including:
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help
- Present ideas and information orally to a range of audiences
- Write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
- Describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing
Just one bullet point relates to grammar, which could be taught separately using structures relevant to the cross-curricular lessons, or integrated with them.
Two other requirements that might not always feature in a CLIL lesson are:
- Explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymesand link the spelling, sound and meaning of words, and
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes in the language
But these could be cross curricular for example: scientific stories SEAL songs, PE poems and RE rhymes?
Plans for Languages in Key Stage 2
The Government has decided to make foreign languages a compulsory subject within the National Curriculum at Key Stage 2 from September 2014. In addition, the Government has decided to require primary schools to teach either French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Latin or Ancient Greek at Key Stage 2 (with the option to teach another language or languages in addition, should they wish to do so).
It sees this as the most sensible approach to establishing the range of languages on offer at Key Stage 2, as it broadly reflects the languages that primary schools intended to teach, as indicated in responses to the original consultation. It is working with stakeholders such as publishers, educational suppliers, teaching schools and subject associations to make sure that support and models of Key Stage 2 language teaching become available for schools.
The Teaching Agency is also working with Initial Teacher Training providers to influence training from 2013/2014 onwards and they will consider the possible demand for primary teachers with a language specialism.
Useful links for christmas related teaching resources:
New Ofsted Languages Subject Guidance
The new languages subject guidance has just
been published to match the new Ofsted
framework. The message about the use of target language
by students is very clear.
Generic Grade Descriptors and Supplementary Subject-specific Guidance for Inspectors on Making Judgements During Subject Survey Visits to Schools (October 2012)
September 2012 - KS2-3
Languages in Key Stage 2 to become Statutory from 2014
Letter from County MFL Adviser to Secondary Heads to update on developments in Primary Languages and to highlight the key implications of these for Secondary schools.
Strategic Learning Networks
A Strategic Learning Network is a MFL research community comprising a lively, enthusiastic and dedicated team of MFL teachers who are all at different stages of their careers. This group engenders research and shares good practice. It also provides a vehicle for teachers to review and reflect upon their own classroom practice. More...
News from ALL and CILT
Association for Language Learning - News and Events available on their website:
The National Centre for Languages - News and Events
Information about Foreign Language Assistants
- FLA's work from 1 October to 31 May. FLAs must work a total of 12
hours. You can negotiate for them to work extra hours for extra pay
arrival if so they wish - and they usually do!
- FLA's are entitled to a full day off each week.
- If you share an assistant, please plan their timetable carefully
so that travelling is kept to a minimum.
- If shared, only the host school receives the FLA’s dossier.
Please get in touch with your partner school to let them know what
is going on.
Please contact the assistant before the summer holidays to avoid any
unnecessary anxiety and sort out some temporary accommodation.
- In the case of shared assistants they should spend their first
two weeks in the host school to have more of a chance to settle
- Assistants should be allowed a period of 3 to five days’ observation.
- Assistants should not take sole responsibility for whole classes
and should not be responsible for marking pupils’ work.
- Finally, it is the responsibility of the host school to find
some accommodation for the assistant.