• homework meme
    Teaching Tips

    Homework Ideas for French German and Spanish Classrooms

    According to a 2015 article in the Independent Newspaper “Homework […] is an important component of education for students in the middle and upper grades of schooling.” Homework – Do Your Students Do It? Looking at the results of a (somewhat crude!) Twitter poll which I recently carried out, attracting 87 responses, if homework is an important component of education, why is homework only handed in to an acceptable standard and submitted on time to 6% of teachers?  The Homework Struggle Is Real! Homework is easy enough to set. But, despite working in a Grammar school this year with a clear homework policy, getting students to do homework to a…

  • French,  German,  Reflections,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized

    How To Plan Lessons for Visual Learners

    Why Plan Lessons for Visual Learners? When I did my teacher training a couple of years ago, I was taught about Neil Fleming’s VARK (Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic) model. This sensory modalities learning model suggests that people acquire information differently and this should be taken into consideration when preparing lessons. So, when my mentor and other language teachers advised using visuals in my teaching materials, I understood that this would help visual learners to acquire what I was teaching them better. What is Visual Learning? Visual learning is a way of learning in which information is associated with images or graphics and according to research, 65% of people class…

  • speaking practice with verbs and tenses
    French,  French GCSE,  French GCSE Speaking Skills,  German GCSE Speaking Skills,  MFL GCSE Speaking Skills,  MFL Skills Development,  Teaching Tips

    No Prep Spontaneous Speaking Activity for Languages

    Who doesn’t love a great no-prep spontaneous speaking activity in the MFL classroom? Last week, I spent a lesson working in the role of Foreign Language Assistant (FLA) with four year 10 German students. Their class teacher wanted them to practise forming sentences verbally; mainly to develop spontaneous speaking and tense practice, which I thought was a brilliant idea. The teacher quickly explained the activity to me and the boys. Below, I will give you her no prep spontaneous speaking game instructions and resources. However, I have also added my own reflections, additions and a free downloadable 15 minute starter activity to do a quick bit of practice on tenses.…

  • Essen und Trinken Emojis
    French,  French GCSE,  French GCSE Speaking Skills,  French GCSE Writing Skills,  German,  German GCSE,  German GCSE Speaking Skills,  German GCSE Writing Skills,  MFL GCSE Speaking Skills,  MFL Skills Development,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized,  Vocabulary Learning

    Emojis Vocabulary Builder – Condensed Version

    The Emoji Mindmap Trend Last year, I saw Dannielle Warren using the Emoji Mindmap that she had put together from a Google image, which included a massive number of emojis to annotate on to recap and improve vocabulary, the idea for which she got from Miss Meyrick. As soon as I saw this imaginative teaching resource, I felt my students would absolutely love to try it to revise vocabulary. It was an ‘on trend’ vocabulary builder idea which could also be combined with spontaneous writing/speaking skills. As with many other creative teaching ideas found online, I put the Emoji Mindmap on my to-do-list to help student improve vocabulary and kept…

  • Quizzes for Learning
    French,  French GCSE,  German,  German GCSE,  MFL Skills Development,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized,  Vocabulary Learning

    3 Free Language Learning Apps To Improve Vocabulary

    How To Learn Vocabulary with Free Language Learning Apps – A Review/Comparison ‘Quizzes should be learning experiences for our students and we can make them into powerful ones’ (Fink, 2003) With the advent of the internet, it has never been easier to learn languages online and with this in mind, I wanted to put together a review of three of the most useful free quiz based learning apps and websites for the classroom and home that I have found and/or used. I recommend them when my students ask me how to learn vocabulary for French or German, or request a language game to help improve vocabulary or for grammar practice.…

  • asking questions
    French,  French GCSE,  German,  German GCSE,  MFL Skills Development,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized

    How To Ask Questions Language Edition

    The art of asking can be quite a daunting task for many in their own language, let alone a foreign language. This post aims to discuss why we need to know how to ask questions, provide a comprehensive explanation of how to ask questions in French, Spanish, English and German, as well as suggest some helpful and innovative resources for practising the art of asking questions and replying to them in French, German and other languages. Why Do We Need To Know How To Ask Questions? Questions help make sense of the world, they empower people as learners and are pivotal for solving problems, finding solutions and enacting change (Godinho,…

  • behaviour management
    Reflections,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized

    Behaviour Management Strategies For New Teachers

    Behaviour Management – Issues When I was doing my QTS training, one of the worries I often had was about classroom behaviour management strategies. I had loads of questions: ‘what if the students don’t listen?’ and ‘what if I can’t keep control of the classroom?’ This made me anxious every time I went into a lesson with a trickier class. Behaviour Management – Is There Really A Magic Answer? Even after reading all the literature I could find on behaviour management strategies by Bill Rogers, for example, and doing external behaviour management courses lead by training providers as part of my CPD, I couldn’t really find a magic answer to…

  • retrieval practice
    French,  French GCSE,  German,  German GCSE,  MFL Skills Development,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized,  Vocabulary Learning

    Retrieval Practice Grids in MFL

    The Practice of Retrieval ‘When we think about learning, we typically focus on getting information into students’ heads. What if, instead, we focus on getting information out of students’ heads?’ (Agarwal, 2017) Whilst I feel the quotation is useful in introducing retrieval practice, which the Oxford Dictionary defines as: ‘the process of getting something back from somewhere’, it’s a process teachers do automatically on a daily basis. This could be in the form of recaps at the beginning of lessons, through questioning or activities during the lessonas well as in a mini-plenary or a final plenary. It is also the idea of summative assessments at the end of a unit or in KS4, for GCSE…

  • teacher marking
    French,  French GCSE,  French GCSE Speaking Skills,  French GCSE Writing Skills,  German,  German GCSE,  German GCSE Speaking Skills,  German GCSE Writing Skills,  MFL GCSE Speaking Skills,  Teaching Tips,  Uncategorized

    KS3 French and GCSE French Writing Marksheet

    French Writing GCSE and KS3 Marksheet I started teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in an adult education college in 2009 and although I did set writing homework, it was voluntary. So, I wasn’t obliged to do lots of marking and therefore didn’t appreciate the levels of marking teachers actually have to do. So what changed?! In 2015, my life changed (!) and I began teaching KS3 French and GCSE French in secondary schools. At this point, I was expected to set and mark written homework for 8-11 different classes on a regular basis. Therefore, in the evenings, like many other secondary school language teachers, I spent hours marking…

  • how to learn vocabulary effectively for modern languages
    French,  French GCSE,  French GCSE Speaking Skills,  French GCSE Writing Skills,  German,  German GCSE,  German GCSE Speaking Skills,  German GCSE Writing Skills,  Teaching Tips,  Vocabulary Learning

    How To Learn Vocabulary for Modern Languages

     How To Learn Vocabulary Effectively For modern languages, you need vocabulary to communicate well. However, students often find it difficult to remember words and sentences they are taught in the classroom between lessons. Some learners equally struggle to know how to learn vocabulary outside of the classroom, which can therefore present a problem in the ability to communicate verbally or in written form, as well as understand information aurally or through reading. If students are unable to complete the tasks required of them in the MFL classroom, then they will feel demotivated which will lead to its own issues including de-motivation, and even a feeling of failure or frustration. I started…