Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Are the poorest students really missing out on languages?

I've just read an article on the BBC website:

Language lesson gap means poorest miss out, says report.

It has made me quite sad and a little angry.

(Oh no, not a ranty post, Dom. Yeah. Sorry.)

In my experience, the reason students are "missing out" is because many schools are looking  for "good results" rather than taking into consideration the motivation, preferences, needs or abilities of their students.

I've lost count of the number of students who have loved learning a language in KS3 only to be told that they can't (or shouldn't) do it at GCSE because...
  • it's too hard*
  • you won't enjoy it, it gets much harder next year*
  • you've got a better chance of getting a 4 in (another subject)*
  • you won't like the teacher*
* delete as applicable

Our students aren't missing out; we are doing them a huge disservice.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Live Tweeting Boule de Suif

I'm currently studying Maupassant's Contes de Guerre with my Y12 Advanced Level class.

Tomorrow, we are going to imagine that the characters in Boule de Suif have a smart phone and are "live tweeting" their experiences. 

The students can write a maximum of 14 tweets (it's all I could fit on the paper) and are limited to 140 characters per tweet.

Yes, I know twitter now allows 280 characters but only Donald Trump writes tweets this long.

They have to convey the character's experiences and feelings whilst including the key moments from the story.

I made this worksheet for them to fill in as, sadly, all social media sites are blocked at school. 

Also, I'm not sure it's a good thing for a 17 year old student to be masquerading as a  French prostitute on social media outlets.

Even one from the 19th century.

Because of the 140 characters limit I have imposed, the students will have access to's French text slang page... 

...because that's what people in 19th century Rouen did. I imagine!