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MFL teachers are you doing speaking lessons on line with students?

(23 Posts)
FredericcaPotter Sun 12-Apr-20 11:09:54

Zoom or Google classroom. French is one of my Year10 DD's favourite lessons and I'm wondering how language teachers are helping students with their oral work.

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HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Sun 12-Apr-20 11:11:48

Most state schools aren't doing live teaching on advice from Unions due to access to equipment for both staff and students and safeguarding concerns.

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Sun 12-Apr-20 11:13:37

Has she tried Duolingo, it's a really good app and tests pronunciation as well. It teaches language in a very natural way and there is an assessment at the beginning to test prior knowledge and place you in the most appropriate place in the programme.

FredericcaPotter Sun 12-Apr-20 11:18:29

Thanks, I'll get her to have a look at that.

I don't understand the safeguarding concerns. They will really fall behind with their French speaking if the school don't come up with some face to face teaching.

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HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Sun 12-Apr-20 11:25:52

I think it's seen as being 1:1 with a student in a classroom, things could be said or done in screen and then it is one person's word against another.

I have had teen boys sexual harass me verbally several times in the last 6 years, fortunately because it was in school with either written evidence or other witnesses the boys were suitable sanctioned. That can't happen if it is done online.

It's imperative we safeguard both students and staff.

FredericcaPotter Sun 12-Apr-20 11:31:10

Can't the on line sessions (live) be recorded for safeguarding purposes?

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cantkeepawayforever Sun 12-Apr-20 18:25:18

DD - Y12,. language A-level, state school - has weekly 1:1 live speaking lessons BUT she has audio and text input from her teacher, not live video. I think the teacher can see her, but DD sees a 'fixed' random picture.

It's not as good as face to face, but its a whole load better than nothing.

FlamingGusset Sun 12-Apr-20 18:53:00

I am ! But I'm not in the UK and not all my colleagues are doing live lessons (more for personal reasons, i.e. children at home to look after or lack of sufficient tech than they're not willing).

I only do 1-2 hours per week and I've only started in the last week or two so am seeing how things work out before setting up a formal schedule. Prior to this, I was asking the students to send me a short audio recording every week to 10 days of an activity that we did. But that's very lengthy to correct and you have no way of knowing if they look at your feedback or not. I also recorded the texts we studied myself and told them to read the text out loud and imitate the pronunciation as closely as possible.

Even with video lessons, it's still very difficult. My younger students (year 7-8) are very unsure of the technology and it's it's difficult to know if they're not talking due to tech problems, or if they're unsure of how to answer... What I've found with the younger ones is that they don't know how to interact with you via video.

Also, the microphones pick up every single bit of background noise, no matter how small. The older ones are better at muting themselves when there's background noise, but I've already had to stop class numerous times to ask a student to mute mum/dad in the background, often someone's sleeve will push against the mic which makes a hellish static sound, TV or siblings in the other room... I'm really hoping these problems will diminish as time goes on though. Some are also not equipped for live lessons, which meant I had constant interruptions of, "miss, can you hear me?", "miss it's not working" in the chat messages.

Sometimes when they reply to me, I can't hear them and then in takes a few minutes to ascertain that they're trying and not in the loo or elsewhere, try and troubleshoot, get someone else to answer. All of which really breaks the flow of the class. Sometimes there's a lag and they hear me and vice versa, several seconds later.

What I'm saying is that unfortunately, nothing can replace real class based interactions and we just have to make do the best we can for the moment. Video lessons are hard to manage and not the magic solution we'd all like them to be.

Try and get your DD to speak at home as much as possible. Read all texts out loud, etc. Movies, songs, etc !

FlamingGusset Sun 12-Apr-20 18:57:59

I forgot to add, we don't use video simply because the connection lags too much when we have too many students. We just use audio, which I prefer !

On the app we use, the teacher can share documents and we also had an interactive whiteboard that the students see.

I imagine the worry in terms of safeguarding is that students could use their own phones to record and we'd be none the wiser until the damage had been done on social media. I know that the majority of students would be successful, but it only takes one incident to bring down a career.

Howaboutanewname Mon 13-Apr-20 01:41:56

Can't the on line sessions (live) be recorded for safeguarding purposes?

Some schools are doing this but please remember some staff and their families may well be vulnerable and that fact wouldn’t be something a school could disclose. Think women with long term restraining orders, for example, and the potential mess if students were to ‘innocently’ post on social media.

Too many parents getting on their high horses without thinking about the bigger issues. Teachers are not some kind of homogeneous group with nothing else going on for them. We have a right to privacy and having to record with our children and homes in the background doesn’t give us that.

CheesecakeAddict Mon 13-Apr-20 06:38:22

We use language it. It allows me to set speaking tasks and mark and give personalised feedback. I'm more concerned about other things with my year 10s - speaking can be salvaged with students who put the effort in.

FredericcaPotter Mon 13-Apr-20 21:52:48

Thanks for replies - really helpful.

Howaboutanewname - teachers are on full pay for working from home. If they can't do that because of childcare issues, they should ask to be furloughed.

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Howaboutanewname Tue 14-Apr-20 03:58:09

All you get from that post is childcare issues? You think it’s OK that my home should be on display? Or that my children shouldn’t speak to me for 6 hours straight cos I’m working? Or that I should risk my online lessons being taken and used for all sorts of nefarious shite by stroppy teens?

I asked to be furloughed, for what it’s worth. The answer was no. I am not sure that it is actually possible.

And our unions have said no extra planning or marking. And believe me, my marking and planning have about tripled. And I’m not yet doing the online lessons expected of me.

FredericcaPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 09:38:18

How will your home be on display? DH is working from home, doing video calls and and not fretting that someone might glimpse the cupboard behind him.

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olivo Tue 14-Apr-20 09:43:12

I am teaching live online but both students and teachers were told no cameras for safe guarding. I have a sticker over mine just in case I forget.

Howaboutanewname Tue 14-Apr-20 12:24:16

OK, Federicca, you win. I’m utterly shit at my job and wrong to have any concerns whatsoever that my abusive ex might find us if anything with my face and/or voice ends up online. I am glad you don’t live in fear like I do. Safeguarding me and my family shouldn’t be any kind of consideration, should it, when your little darling isn’t getting speaking practise. Your utter lack of empathy is outstanding.

SansaSnark Tue 14-Apr-20 17:52:12

There's no option for teachers to be furloughed though? And if they were furloughed, you'd be getting no teaching at all?

The issue with recording is that the recording needs to be stored remotely to cover all safeguarding bases (otherwise it could be edited by the teacher), and this is only possible if a school has a really decent remote access system (and every teacher has decent broadband).

Also, there's very much a feeling in most schools that we shouldn't offer something unless the majority of students can access it- this won't necessarily be the case for live speaking lessons.

I hope you are able to find a solution for your DD, and maybe her teacher will be able to provide something, but live teaching is not going to happen in most (all?) UK state schools.

FredericcaPotter Tue 14-Apr-20 18:31:15

Thanks SansaSnark

What are art and drama and PE teachers doing? Surely they should be furloughed.

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HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Tue 14-Apr-20 20:25:46

There's plenty of work for teachers to be getting on with that doesn't actually require them to be stood in front of a class. The things that they normally do at home or after school long after the contact working hours are over. Before the Easter break I was modifying Schemes of work, compiling lists of tier 2 and 3 key vocab lists and the etymology for each word for all of the units we teach, as well as giving feedback to students about their work and setting new work. Art, drama and PE teachers can still set work it may not be practical but could be about researching and analysing a particular style of art or acting, could be about the rules of a game or biology tasks about muscles and stretching etc. To suggest they aren't doing anything is pretty offensive to those teachers. Those subjects are key for developing cultural capital, setting the backdrop for other subject areas.

OxanaVorontsova Tue 14-Apr-20 20:31:14

No, because they have plenty of other things to be doing - vocab learning, reading and listening comprehension, writing tasks, translation to/from TL, preparing speaking tasks like role plays but actual live speaking is something that can wait until we're back.

LaProfesora Sun 19-Apr-20 09:37:41

Oh ffs!!! Another one of these threads! Can you just fuck off?! Honestly, I've had enough. Schools are not teaching live lessons because most students won't be able to access them.
And recorded lessons would not help your precious child practise live speaking anyway so I don't know why you're even suggesting it. Maybe because you just want to have a go at teachers.
And I'd happily be furloughed. My kid's nursery is closed and I have to have him at home, interrupting me every 5 fucking minutes while I'm planning and marking and answering to 50 emails a day. Honestly, can everyone just fuck off with those teacher bashing threads.

LaProfesora Sun 19-Apr-20 09:40:03

*answering 50 emails a day not TO 50 emails a day.

LaProfesora Sun 19-Apr-20 09:42:34

PE teachers are teaching coursework (sport science).
Same for drama teachers.

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