Challenging the most able students in mfl
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Challenging the Most Able Students in MFL. Alex Blagona 8 February 2010 [email protected] Challenging the Most Able Students in MFL. Session 1: Higher Order Thinking Skills Session 2: Creativity to challenge! Session 3: Using AfL to stretch able pupils.

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Challenging the most able students in mfl

Challenging the Most Able Students in MFL

Alex Blagona

8 February 2010

[email protected]


Challenging the most able students in mfl1

Challenging the Most Able Students in MFL

Session 1: Higher Order Thinking Skills

Session 2: Creativity to challenge!

Session 3: Using AfL to stretch able pupils


Challenging the most able students in mfl

Students who are gifted in MFL may have differing strengths and language skills. The student who has excellent grammatical understanding and superb reading comprehension skills is not necessarily also the student who grasps new language quickly and re-uses it spontaneously in oral interaction. Students with the potential to achieve high standards in MFL should find lessons challenging and interesting.


Identifying gifted language students

Identifying gifted language students

  • Identifying students with the potential to be high achievers in MFL can be problematic. The following list of criteria can help identify which students have the potential to work at a higher level than their peers and to plan learning activities that would provide them with the challenge they need.

  • Gifted students of MFL are likely to show evidence of some of the following:

  • using the target language spontaneously and often successfully

  • an analytical and organised approach to language learning

  • the ability to manipulate and transfer structures across topics

  • very good 'gist' comprehension and intuitive understanding


Identifying gifted language students1

Identifying gifted language students

  • perfect imitation and consistent retention and production of target language

  • internalised rules of pronunciation

  • a good memory

  • high curiosity

  • the ability and motivation to develop independent learning skills

  • seeing grammar as a 'tool' rather than a 'barrier' to their language learning

  • being a link maker

  • being an informed risk taker.


Identifying more able pupils in mfl

Identifying More Able pupils in MFL.

  • A specific aptitude for a curriculum subject or area of subject

  • Outstanding verbal ability

  • Leadership qualities

  • Team working abilities

  • Physical ability

  • General intellectual ability

  • Intellectual curiosity / initiative / originality

  • An ability to memorise swiftly

  • Quick and fluid reasoning or learning.

  • A creative ability

  • Artistic ability

  • Social emotional or spiritual qualities

  • Independent learning


What methods can i use

What methods can I use?

  • Teacher assessment by observation

  • Assessment of pupils work

  • External / Internal Test results, (NFER, QCA)

  • Public exam results, (SATs)

  • Pupil forecast assessment databases

  • Lower / Middle School transfer assessments

  • Evidence from out of school activities or pupil’s own interests


How can i spot them

How can I spot them?

  • Openly able:

    enjoying and excelling in all they do.

  • Concealed able:

    hiding within peer group by underachieving.

  • Rebellious able:

    disruptive, underachievers.

  • Creative able:

    those with unusual, divergent thought patterns, who may be intense, abrasive or difficult.

  • Talented able:

    Intellectually able, but with one particular talent.


Why i might miss the more able pupil

Why I might miss the more able pupil.

  • an all round high achiever

  • only achieves in one area

  • low motivation

  • poor handwriting skills

  • short attention span

  • no social skills

  • unable to organise


Challenging the most able students in mfl

What opportunities exist in your classroom for students to demonstrate their skills in these areas?


Challenging the most able students in mfl

  • Higher Order Thinking Skills

  • (promoted by the KS3 Framework)

  • problem solving

  • open-ended tasks

  • extending creativity

  • spotting patterns and making connections

  • pupils teaching / interpreting / testing each other

  • manipulating the tenses

  • making pupils aware of the nuances of the language

  • exposing pupils to culture and encouraging analysis of national differences

  • exposing pupils to language in different contexts and encouraging them to use it in their own work


Challenging the most able students in mfl

Evidence shows that spending a small amount of time in lessons developing the key thinking skills will yield positive gains in the understanding, by individual learners, of how language learning works for them.

Information Processing Skills

Reasoning Skills

Enquiry Skills

Creative Thinking Skills

Evaluation Skills

http://www.nationalstrategiescpd.org.uk/public_content/mfl/11_thinking/webpages/thinking_skills/thinking_skills_1_1.html


Information processing skills

Information Processing Skills

  • Locating and collecting relevant information.

  • Sort, classify and sequence.

  • Compare and contrast.

  • Analysis of part/whole relationships.

    How could you implement these into your teaching?


Reasoning skills

Reasoning Skills

  • Giving reasons for opinions.

  • Making inferences and deductions.

  • Using precise language.

  • Making informed decisions and judgements based on reason or evidence.

    How could you implement these into your teaching?


Enquiry skills

Enquiry Skills

  • Asking relevant questions.

  • Posing and defining problems.

  • Planning and carrying out research.

  • Predicting outcomes and consequences.

  • Testing conclusions and improving ideas.

    How could you implement these into your teaching?


Creative thinking skills

Creative Thinking Skills

  • Generating and extending ideas.

  • Suggest hypotheses.

  • Apply imagination.

  • Look for alternative innovative outcomes.

    How could you implement these into your teaching?


Evaluation skills

Evaluation Skills

  • Evaluate information

  • Judging the value of what they read, hear and do.

  • Develop criteria for judging the value of their own or others’ ideas.

  • Have confidence in their judgements.

    How could you implement these into your teaching?


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Advance Organisers

    Helps learners understand the connections between what they are learning.


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge1

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Analogies

    Helps learners understand what is unfamiliar by comparing/contrasting it with something that is familiar.


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge2

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Audience and Purpose

    Enabling learners to understand the match between the purpose of what is communicated and the audience for whom it is intended.


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge3

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Classifying

    Requiring learners to order and apply information in new ways.

  • Encourages pupils to classify areas of language

  • Good for encouraging pupils to use technical language to explain their classification

  • Obliges pupils to work collaboratively to arrive at their group solution

  • Provides a useful starting point for follow-up written work


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge4

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Collective Memory

    Learners working together to produce a visual image in the form of a graph, map, or diagram. order and apply information in new ways.

    Show Rachel’s Video


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge5

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Living Graphs

    These relate to graphical representations of a set of variables that inter-relate through time.

    This strategy normally involves giving students a graph and asking them to place statements on it.

  • Gives the teacher the chance to present pupils with texts which go beyond the purely transactional

  • Gives the teacher the chance to present pupils with texts of a cross-curricular nature

  • Pupils use context to deduce meaning.

  • Encourages debate and the justification of opinions

  • The strategy can be used across the full range of ability


Using thinking skills in mfl lessons to provide challenge6

Using thinking skills in MFL lessons to provide challenge.

  • Mysteries

    Requiring learners to order and apply information in new ways.

  • Good for teaching skills of skimming and scanning

  • Encourages pupils to sort the relevant from the irrelevant

  • Encourages pupils to engage with texts and to read for detail

  • Invites pupils to make links between disparate pieces of language and to infer meaning

  • Encourages pupils to search collaboratively for evidence


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Give pupils transcripts of listening exercises – they can listen for pronunciation - they don’t have to do an exercise. The transcript could be read by the class or in pairs afterwards.

  • Pupils have transcripts – teacher plays small parts of the text and pupils underline which part they think is being played.


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening1

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Pupils don’t do an exercise – they have to listen to precise details.

  • Pupils have no transcript – stop the tape and anticipate next part – predictions.

  • Use tapes to work on tone of voice and mood.

  • Give synonyms / antonyms and pupils pick out the correct words from the tape.


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening2

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Focus on numbers if they appear in a transcript, even if the textbook does not require any numbers practice in the exercise. Ask pupils to note down the price / time / age etc. Or the teacher puts numbers on the board and pupils listen to see if they are right and correct those which are wrong


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening3

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Give pupils a transcript with words/ verbs etc. tippexed out – they fill them in.

  • Ask the Assistant to record themselves talking about the topic being covered (or not!) - pupils have to find out what the Assistant likes / dislikes etc. – more realistic. They can pick out new / interesting / colloquial words which textbooks don’t introduce.


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening4

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Ask English comprehension questions to establish details on the tape. Get the pupils to expand on the information they hear wherever possible.


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening5

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Pronunciation practice - the text can be read by the class or in pairs. Competition – keep reading until they make a pronunciation mistake and pass to the next person. Who can keep going the longest?

  • Pupils don’t do an exercise – they have to find precise details.

  • Give synonyms / antonyms and pupils pick out the correct words from the text.


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening6

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Ask English comprehension questions to establish details. Get the pupils to expand on the information they find wherever possible.

  • Grammar extensions – use the text to focus on a grammar point e.g. underline all plurals in one colour, identify different tenses etc.


Practical suggestions for the classroom reading listening7

Practical suggestions for the classroom: reading & listening

  • Give cognates and pupils find the correct word(s) which belong to that word family.

  • Tippex out parts of the text e.g. past tense texts – tippex out the auxiliaries and pupils write in the correct form / present tense texts – tippex out verb endings.

  • Use authentic texts to encourage pupils to decode language and to use the language in different contexts.


Challenging the most able students in mfl

Work on improving achievement in languages identifies successful GCSE teaching strategies as being when:

  • Teachers know when to offer help.

  • Students know the objectives of the lesson.

  • Lessons are started in a stimulating manner.

  • Effective control of the leaning environment is maintained.

  • A wide range of teaching strategies is used.

  • Activities are provided which extend basic grammar.

  • The work that is set builds on strengths in the four language skills.


Challenging the most able students in mfl

Work on improving achievement in languages identifies successful GCSE teaching strategies as being when:

  • Students are encouraged to relate current work to previous learning.

  • Continuity between lessons is provided.

  • Students are taught to react and adapt in the target language.

  • Lessons are closed with whole class sessions.

  • Tasks are differentiated.

  • The teacher holds high expectations of achievement.

  • Students are encouraged to reflect on what they have learnt.


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