Any MFL teachers around?

(30 Posts)
HexBramble Tue 18-Mar-14 20:17:04

This sounds lame, it truly does.

I'm a year on from my NQT, in a school that had OFSTED visit twice since the time I started. So between NQT observations, coaching (for up and coming inspection), external Mentor observations, I racked up 15 Observations in one academic year. They must like me because they've kept me on.

Anyway, I'm on 'normal' observations for my CPD now, so this will be my 2nd since September. The first was disastrous and I was told by my kindly Head of Dept, that it wasn't good enough - he didn't put it down on my CPD form but instead wrote satisfactory. He really is a gem of a Head of Dept. My next Obs is Thursday and I'm at a loss of how to teach to keep everyone happy. I am truly out of inspiration.

So, as lame as it sounds, are there any MFL teachers out there with an 'Observation' lesson that they could show me. I'm on a particular unit of work at the moment so I would adjust it to suit (I'm not trying to get out of it - I PROMISE! - I'm am totally without idea for this). I have a starter task sorted, and I'm not at a stage where I can consolidate what I've taught them - so still very much at 'teaching' stage.

I hope this makes sense. I've been sat at my laptop for days and feel I am without any inspiration for that all out singing and dancing literacy lesson. <sigh>

Thanks if you've made it this far.

RudolphLovesoftplay Tue 18-Mar-14 20:21:26

I'm no help at all, but curious. What does MFL stand for?

BackforGood Tue 18-Mar-14 20:23:29

Erm - I'm not MFL, I'm Primary, and you have massive sympathies from me for your observation burnout, BUT, wouldn't it make sense to talk to your HoD about what it was that made the lesson disastrous, and what he would have done instead of what you did, and if there were any parts of it that were OK, as a base to build on.
Thing being, every single person that inspects you is looking for something different, so it you are lucky enough to have a supportive HoD, then surely they would be the person (who also knows the pupils and knows what resources you have, what strengths you have, etc.) to point you in the right direction ?

BackforGood Tue 18-Mar-14 20:23:55

Modern Foreign Languages... so French or German or Spanish probably

KatAndKit Tue 18-Mar-14 20:24:38

Year group? Topic? Learning objectives?
You can't just take a generic observation lesson and tweak it. You need to work from the learning objectives. I personally found it easier to be observed teaching mfl at the introducing new language stage than the consolidation stage. If you give me a few details about your lesson I can suggest some activities that I would try.

Hi - I'm an MFL teacher. I don't have an 'observation' lesson to show you really but didn't want your post to go unanswered. Presumably you got feedback - what were the areas which needed improvement?

I'm a Head of MFL. If you pm me your email addressing will send you my latest observation lesson plan.

HexBramble Tue 18-Mar-14 20:30:29

BackforGood - it's my HoDept that's observing again and he's such a good egg that I don't want to let him down IYKWIM.

My strong points is my relationship with my pupils - Year 7's. I'm firm but fair so discipline is never a problem with me (thank God).

KatAndKit - School subjects is the lesson and I'm at the stage of extending out their likes and dislikes beyond a simple adjective. I want to introduce another reason (because the teacher is.....) .

I have tons of consolidation lesson obs that kept everyone happy, but nowt for this sad. We've had such a heavy drive on literacy but the goalposts keep shifting and I feel exhausted of ideas.

fourcorneredcircle Tue 18-Mar-14 20:30:58

Year, topic, group would help us to help you. smile

KatAndKit Tue 18-Mar-14 20:33:30

Is it a mixed ability class?

Stopmithering Tue 18-Mar-14 20:33:50

General rules:
What do you want them to know and be able to do by end of lesson? Start here and keep referring back to progress made towards targets.
Differentiate as many tasks as you can,.
Have starter ready and at different levels of entry.
Include collaborative learning strategies such as QQT or rally coach
Include speaking task
Clearly level tasks and get feedback so you and they can see progress
Reward attempts to use TL
Ensure they do most of the work

What lang topic etc you doing?

HexBramble Tue 18-Mar-14 20:35:31

Yes, mixed ability.
Some need for writing frames, but that's easily sortable.
year 7, topic - school subjects. They've so far had all their subjects, how to express (in various ways) likes and dislikes in the first person. We won't be tackling 3rd person for a few weeks. I want to move onto who teaches the lesson, and what kind of teacher they are.

Stopmithering Tue 18-Mar-14 20:35:51

Have you got mini white boards?

But basically, at my school we have objectives as good, great, even better if and these are progressively more difficult. Make sure you have covered opportunities for literacy and SMSC, numeracy if possible.
Active learning is obviously a big thing, so I do readings where they are given the questions and the answers are on different sheets around the room that they have to find.
Running dictation works well for grammar, as do card sorts where parts of a sentence are cut up and must be stuck back together correctly.
Sometimes I have them in groups with mini whiteboards and each person must write part of a sentence on their board. Then they arrange themselves into the correct order, stand and show me. I have my classes in small teams and give points for every good thing.
The other thing I do to show progress is give them a sheet with the objectives on at the start of the lesson. Establish they know none of it, then have tasks set up to cover each objective in turn. After each task , have them tick off if they can do each one, write an example and also what level it will help them achieve. Then at the very end,have them write what they need to know more of to improve.
Make sure you have work fully differentiated- e.g expectations for role plays, how much information they are expected to listen for in listening tasks.

HexBramble Tue 18-Mar-14 20:39:06

Yes, got mini white boards.
Really like these ideas.

Stopmithering Tue 18-Mar-14 20:40:46

I'd focus on them being able to say and write opinion + justification e.g. J'adore les sciences parce que c'est interessant.
How about a reading where there are texts round the room and they have to answer "who ...?" questions. Then find key phrases which you incorporate into sentnce builder. Practise using mini boards. Have a competitive speaking task where they get more points for better sentences followed by rally coach

Fairenuff Tue 18-Mar-14 20:42:13

I was told by my kindly Head of Dept, that it wasn't good enough - he didn't put it down on my CPD form but instead wrote satisfactory

So he lied then. Doesn't that breach some kind of rule? Otherwise what is the point. It only leads to unsatisfactory teachers being employed when they shouldn't be surely? confused

fourcorneredcircle Tue 18-Mar-14 20:48:18

If you can PM your email to me I think I have a speaking activity that could work for you - just tried to explain it but will be easier to 'show'. I have a mixed ability French Y7 group too. Do you have RAG cards or use thumb-o-meter at all?

HexBramble Tue 18-Mar-14 20:52:41

Fairenuff, 14 of my obs we're excellent, so technically, yes he lied. I think he could see that I was on my knees by the last obs and feeling very low. Yes, he shouldn't have done it, but I'm grateful to him all the same. I don't want to repeat perfomance so am desperate to get things right.

indieakka Tue 18-Mar-14 20:54:28

You say that you have done first person but won't be tackling third person for a couple of weeks - I mean this kindly so hope it doesn't come across as criticism (and you may be tied into a prescriptive SOW) but couldn't they manage to do the third person sooner than that, perhaps as part of this lesson? In German and French, and I think also Spanish, it shouldn't be too great a leap in this topic area...? Perhaps you could do it as a 'deductive' extension task? Pattern spotting and so on? Also, if it happens to be German you're teaching, 'entweder....oder' and 'weder....noch' are nice ways to extend beyond basic opinions... Deep breath, I'm sure it will all go fine! Come back and let us know how it goes!

indieakka Tue 18-Mar-14 20:55:27

You say that you have done first person but won't be tackling third person for a couple of weeks - I mean this kindly so hope it doesn't come across as criticism (and you may be tied into a prescriptive SOW) but couldn't they manage to do the third person sooner than that, perhaps as part of this lesson? In German and French, and I think also Spanish, it shouldn't be too great a leap in this topic area...? Perhaps you could do it as a 'deductive' extension task? Pattern spotting and so on? Also, if it happens to be German you're teaching, 'entweder....oder' and 'weder....noch' are nice ways to extend beyond basic opinions... Deep breath, I'm sure it will all go fine! Come back and let us know how it goes!

indieakka Tue 18-Mar-14 20:55:51

You say that you have done first person but won't be tackling third person for a couple of weeks - I mean this kindly so hope it doesn't come across as criticism (and you may be tied into a prescriptive SOW) but couldn't they manage to do the third person sooner than that, perhaps as part of this lesson? In German and French, and I think also Spanish, it shouldn't be too great a leap in this topic area...? Perhaps you could do it as a 'deductive' extension task? Pattern spotting and so on? Also, if it happens to be German you're teaching, 'entweder....oder' and 'weder....noch' are nice ways to extend beyond basic opinions... Deep breath, I'm sure it will all go fine! Come back and let us know how it goes!

indieakka Tue 18-Mar-14 20:56:36

You say that you have done first person but won't be tackling third person for a couple of weeks - I mean this kindly so hope it doesn't come across as criticism (and you may be tied into a prescriptive SOW) but couldn't they manage to do the third person sooner than that, perhaps as part of this lesson? In German and French, and I think also Spanish, it shouldn't be too great a leap in this topic area...? Perhaps you could do it as a 'deductive' extension task? Pattern spotting and so on? Also, if it happens to be German you're teaching, 'entweder....oder' and 'weder....noch' are nice ways to extend beyond basic opinions... Deep breath, I'm sure it will all go fine! Come back and let us know how it goes!

indieakka Tue 18-Mar-14 20:56:43

You say that you have done first person but won't be tackling third person for a couple of weeks - I mean this kindly so hope it doesn't come across as criticism (and you may be tied into a prescriptive SOW) but couldn't they manage to do the third person sooner than that, perhaps as part of this lesson? In German and French, and I think also Spanish, it shouldn't be too great a leap in this topic area...? Perhaps you could do it as a 'deductive' extension task? Pattern spotting and so on? Also, if it happens to be German you're teaching, 'entweder....oder' and 'weder....noch' are nice ways to extend beyond basic opinions... Deep breath, I'm sure it will all go fine! Come back and let us know how it goes!

Bodeccia Tue 18-Mar-14 20:57:23

Hi,

I'm a head of mfl, I observe a lot, and my first piece of advice is to move away from the idea of an "all singing, all dancing" lesson. This isn't about performance on the day, it is about improvement (both student's progress and the improvement in your practice).

My advice would be to focus on this:

1) learning: make sure the kids understand why they're learning something - the big picture, what they need to do to show at they have made progress (criteria for level whatever? Raising confidence in speaking/listening?), how are they going to know when they've learned something? Do they have opportunities to improve (reflection on what they've done). Are they acting on feedback?

2) culture: really try and get something current in there. With youtube/twitter/internet whatver, there is no excuse for us to be rolling out faded resources from page 10 of a text book.

3) passion and interest in your subject: use lots of target language, get the kids using it too, get them interested in France/Germany/Spain. Surprise them.

This kind of thing you only really see over time, so focus on one thing and work on that.

Lastly, the process going from nqt to experienced teacher really does need time, we are learners too! In your mind, think about what the kids are doing/how are they benefitting from your activities?

Use twitter for ideas too: #mfltwitterati is a wonderful community of great ideas and conversation.

Bonne chance!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now