Sunday, 31 March 2019

Updating resources and keeping it relevant.

One of the reasons I've never been a fan of MFL text books is that they date so quickly.

Even the most recent text books we have in school have almost ancient photos of sports stars, actors, and singers, and don't even get me started on the technology and cultural references...

This was made clear to me this week when a Year 7 student (12 years old) asked what an "internet café" was. There was one on a map of a town they had to describe in Spanish.

Remember, these students don't remember a time without smart phones, let alone the internet...and also have no idea who Thierry Henry is...or Robbie Williams (so it's not all bad!).

I update my resources regularly, but I'm now a very old man and I'm a little out of touch with what goes on in the real world...

The people who make text books and the exam boards, too, are also so out of touch...

...nobody watches TV any more, so asking students "What's your favourite TV programme?" is a redundant task you could have got 2 lessons out of three years ago.

"What's your favourite youtube channel?" would probably be a better task.

Mine is "Don't Trust the Rabbit" by the way...
It's the best place on the web to learn about German culture and language, but not always suitable for school use....

Young people these days don't have favourite singers or bands, either. They listen to play lists and don't even know the names of most of the artists filling their airbuds.

Why would they? They only listen to the first 12 seconds of a song before touching a virtual button and getting their next fix...

So the old "keeping it relevant" line is more important now than ever before.

How do we do this?

Speak to the students.

Find out what they like.

Who are the "celebrities" they admire?
Even if you're in your 20s, you won't know any of them!
And you'll hate them all!

What types of music are they listening to?
It's probably K-pop and you have no idea what that is!

My advice to you?

Keep it relevant.

Keep it real...

...and remember that google is your friend, youtube is your enemy's enemy and wikipedia might just save your life.

Good luck!


Mr Gorse said...

I like K Pop videos

Dom said...

Thank you Mr Gorse. I would never have guessed :)

Unknown said...

The main things I remember from my GCSE German textbook are Niebelungenleid in comic book form and an annoying pig (possibly called Franzi)

Dom said...

Showing your age there, Mr Houston ;-)