We want to tell the decision makers for education in England how many of you have seen the benefit of using the Principles in your language classes. We want to show them evidence of what you have seen – that the development of language skills is something that can raise motivation and attainment in the classroom. So whether you have used just one of the principles as a basis for a lesson, or all of them, please would you leave a comment under this post, to tell us what difference the principles have made to you and your students? Thank you!
If you attended a workshop last summer please also complete our short questionnaire, if you haven’t done so already. The more responses we get, the more significant our final conclusions will be.
5 responses to “The Principles have made a difference to my teaching. Discuss!”
We have very limited curriculum time in KS3 and a couple of us have trialled the Reading and Listening Principle in particular with great success: having made the skills needed to “de-code” unseen text explicit, students came up with their own, and we evaluated the results afterwards, both as individuals and as a whole class. Result now: we are using far more challenging texts: students actively enjoy the challenge and find their own resources without needing to be asked, and are really pleased and surprised by how much they can do without the teacher! We’ve been able to move on at a much greater pace, particularly in Reading, as we know our students will be able to tackle this with increasing success. We are doing the same with Listening, although this takes longer as it has to be a whole-class activity and we can’t vary the pace to suit individuals as much…. hopefully this will come! Certainly we’re teaching listening techniques explicitly at GCSE now, and hoping for better results..
Alysoun Fenn Whitecross High School, Hereford.
The principles have certainly helped me to focus my teaching much more on the language skills my pupils need to acquire and practise. I build in more opportunities for their extended use of TL and aim to help them to increase their independence. I do, however, still have a long way to go. So thanks for all the support and encouragement!
Thank you both for your comments – we know the Principles can be effective in principle (!) but its great when you hear it from teachers themselves. Remember we can support you if you need help along the way!
The reading & writing principles in particular have been invaluable for supporting weaker learners in Japanese reading/writing tasks. They are better able to use the context to work out meaning rather than giving up straight away. I’ve been able to use challenging texts with complex Chinese characters, which I wouldn’t have dared to use before.
Students are also better at expressing ideas more simply and clearly in their writing.
The principals will help every MFL teacher to support and encourage ALL learners.
Many thanks for your comment Jacqueline! It’s great to hear that the principles worked for you in Japanese and Chinese too, not just the standard French/German/Spanish. We do think the principles are applicable to any FL, and your comment illustrates this nicely. Thank you!