Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Becoming more attractive.
Before you start to get worried, this post is not about my impending visit to the plastic surgeon, but rather some thoughts on improving the way in which students at my school view modern languages.
I've recently started a new job in a much nicer, bigger school. The staff are friendly enough and the students are mostly keen and well behaved. The department is well managed and the students achieve well, right through to A level.
I'm really enjoying it.
This week, though, I discovered something which worried me. I found out that languages is the most unpopular subject in the school among the current Key Stage 3 students (11-14 years old).
You don't look surprised to hear this, but I was genuinely shocked. After all, Key Stage 3 students are the Key Stage 4 students of tomorrow. Without Key Stage 4 there won't be a department.
So, I have made it my mission to improve the way in which students view the subject and I'm also going to continue to try to get my departmental colleagues to do the same.
Using ICT is a no-no because the school system isn't up to the job. We still have IE6 and we aren't even able to install Flash (or download anything) onto the computers.
Most web2.0 tools are blocked and mobile phones are banned.
(Yes, I know. I wasn't going to mention phones again, was I? Did I tell you about the BBC? Oh, I did. Sorry.)
I don't want to worry you but you might want to sit down for this next statement. Ready? OK, here goes....a modern languages lesson in ICT usually involves students using Powerpoint or Word to redraft work.
We can't go on like this.
I already have some ideas for next term (thanks to Joanna Pickering et al) and I hope to pick up some advice from MFL Show and Tell next week.
I'll share my improvements with you as and when.
Watch this space. We might both learn something.