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Showing posts from September, 2021

Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: A rapid evidence assessment (2020)

I was interested to come across this 2020 report for the EEF (Education Endowment Foundation) written by the University of Oxford Education Department. For some reason, it passed me last year. I don't recall it being widely publicised, which is a shame since it has interesting things to say - and not just about what the title refers to. Of most interest to me were its findings about MFL pedagogy. First. here's the link: Foreign_language_learning_and_its_impact_on_wider_academic_outcomes_-_A_rapid_evidence_assessment.pdf ( The authors were: Victoria Murphy, Henriette Arndt, Jessica Briggs Baffoe-Djan, Hamish Chalmers, Ernesto Macaro, Heath Rose, Robert Vanderplank and Robert Woore. The report attempted to answer three research questions, the first of which interested me most. This is it: i) the research identifying what approaches to teaching FLs are being used and what variables impact on the effectiveness of these approaches (p. 2) All I'm g

Intermediate reading on frenchteacher

It's a time of year when many schools and tutors are signing up to Some are brand new subscribers, most longer term addicts. Reading comprehension tasks are a staple of the site and can be found on every page. Every one involves some close reading and language manipulation, in line with what research suggests about how we best acquire vocabulary and language patterns (grammar). Writer and grammar expert Michael Swan has called this 'intensive input-output work'. Below is an example of a reading task from the Y10-11 page of the site (around A2 level CEFR, or intermediate-low in the USA). Help yourself. There are many more similar resources on the site. I often label them 'texts with exercises'. Apologies for any slightly dodgy formatting, which happens when you copy a Word doc into Blogger. Futuroscope – commentaires de Tripadvisor   A          Très bonne expérience. Le parc est très bien conçu et donne la possibilité même aux enfants de pouvoi

Video listening on frenchteacher

One of the staples of the frenchteacher site are the video listening tasks. They can be found for every level, but given how tricky it is to find level-appropriate authentic videos, most of mine are in the Y10-11 and a-level sections of the site. Below is one I uploaded fairly recently, based on an A-level topic: family life in France. When I am selecting videos I look for: interest, relevance to the syllabus, length (short) and clarity/speed. I'll embed the video so you can see it straight away. Isabelle - mère célibataire   3m 06 Regardez, écoutez et répondez. Le vocabulaire dans la case vous aidera.   un boulot – job             une femme de ménage – cleaner    une grande surface – supermarket le SMIG – minimum wage          à la minute pres – to the exact minute        conjoint – partner à l’amiable – on good terms   Un HLM – council flat    allocation logement – housing benefit    le RSA – universal credit            

Climb the Wall listening task

In our book Breaking the Sound Barrier: Teaching Language Learners How to Listen (2019) Gianfranco and I described well over 200 different activities to model the process of listening, to exploit interpersonal listening and to do task-based listening. When you break down the process of listening into component parts, you get the sub-skills or micro-skills of listening, as researcher John Field described them. One of these micro-skills, probably the most important, is the ability to recognise vocabulary in the stream of sound. If you don’t recognise words and phrases, you just don’t understand. In the book we devoted a chapter to lexical retrieval and included a range of activities to help develop this skill. One of them is ‘Climb the Wall’ (you could call it rock climbing too). Below is a French example I recently posted on What I like about this is the amount if built-in repetition of generally high-frequency you get, as well as the motivation provided by having to