A slew of MFL resources

Earlier in the year our department had language-specific INSET from Barry Smith who left us inspired and attempting some new types of activity.

At the heart of his training were these questions, which form five of seven of his thinking. The full seven are in this blog post.

What do my kids find hard? Why?

How can I teach differently so the hard bits become accessible?

How can I do that without dumbing down?

How can kids hide in my lessons?

How can I pre-empt the most common errors through precise and concise teaching?

Some activities he suggested for that included: vocab sheets with exercises in which you tell them what to write; “Find the French” exercises in which you give them really specific co-ordinates to find the language; and dictionary tasks where you pre-empt the “it’s not in the dictionary!” wail by checking the word is there and giving them the dictionary page number to back it up. Tricky in my classroom where I have a variety of different dictionaries!

Below are links to resources I have made that follow these principles and that I have been using successfully with my classes.

These are resources that expect all children to be working individually in silence; that are really specific about what you want from them, and that they can check carefully to see if they are doing it right. Children can’t hide because they can’t talk, they have no excuse for not completing the work, and simply walking around can show you who is doing it and who is not.

I have tried to include everything on the sheets that is needed to complete the sheets, because in common with many ML classrooms, I have a number of students who despite using a word every week; despite three years of German education, and despite having the word stuck into the front of their books and pasted to the wall, cannot remember that aber is the German for but.

Since they require individual silent work, and minimal expert input once the resource has been made, they are also helpful for meaningful cover lessons and detention work and for sending up as work to excluded children.

I thought my students would hate these tasks, but I have had positive feedback from them. The overwhelming majority produce good language in their books using them. I have had several comments to the effect that they enjoy the structure and clarity of the task. The most vociferous complaints come from the sort of student who turned up with no intention of doing any work anyway and resent not being able to hide idleness for a lesson.

World of Work – French

Job titles – dictionary exercise

Family jobs sheet – what do you parents / siblings do, do they like it. Some past tense but mostly L4 sentences

Reading comprehension crossword

Future plans vocab sheet

(used in combination, family jobs and future plans just about includes enough vocab for students to write a L6 piece.)

World of Work – German

Job titles – dictionary exercise

Family jobs sheet – what do you parents / siblings do, do they like it. Some past tense but mostly L4 sentences

Future plans vocab sheet

(used in combination, family jobs and future plans just about includes enough vocab for students to write a L6 piece.)

Work experience “find German” task

House and home – French

Last weekend at my house – a resource for introducing or reinforcing perfect tense including irregular verbs. With lesson plan ppt and extension task crossword.

My ideal home – vocab sheet with set sentences to write, including some interesting vocab like shark pond, space ship in Mars etc.

Media – French

Writing film reviews in French

Mobile phones and young people – structured approach to authentic material that gets learners to find the language then rebuild it into paragraphs of their own.

TV opinions, my favourite TV show

Media – German

Writing film reviews in German

Review of film Turbo – a highly complex task considering A Level if not degree-level standard authentic German that nevertheless I put in front of my KS3 students without too much whingeing.

Please let me know if you like them / use them / find mistakes!

Please rate and review on TES as that makes it easier for others to find them.

Please share similar things you do!

Especially German as German word order makes some of these tasks much harder.

Annoyingly, TES won’t let me add a link to this blog from each of these resources.

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Two weeks’ food

Meal plans in retrospect, once they become meal histories.

There’s been some casual plans and some moving around and slightly more takeaway than planned.

Last week

Sunday & Monday – spag bol

Tuesday – sausages from the freezer, with frozen corn on the cob and fresh steamed carrots that barely cooked at all. It turns out frozen corn is too heavy for the pan top steamer. We have several packs of sausages in the freezer, I discovered, because of BOGOFs in the past. This is served with gravy made with Bisto poured over fried onions, and an apple and a bunch of mushrooms that have been pushed through a grater. When the first cook has happened, pour in a glass of red wine and reduce before finally adding in the Bisto.

Wednesday – leftover sausage pasta

Thursday was Glamorgan burgers. I thought after two days of sausage related food, we needed to shape the traditional Welsh vegetarian dish slightly differently.

Thursday was before a GP appointment for my annual drug review. I’ve been on lansoprazole since 1995, back when I was 75kg, and this year, apparently, there’s been new research to show that people on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) need to be careful of food hygiene, as, with less stomach acid we are more susceptible to “bowel infections” (is that food poisoning?) and also we need to take care about bone density. This means eating a lot of calcium and taking some sort of explosive exercise – not just walking, but that’s good, but also something that involves jumping. In effect, my GP told me to eat more cheese. (Whilst also being careful not to take on too many calories.)

Friday we had takeaway, phoning Dominos.

Saturday I don’t remember and Sunday I made soup from the veg box – potatoes, leeks, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes. That went for lunches too. Mostly this term I’ve been having tinned soup for lunch as a low calorie, low carb plan that can sit in the cupboard for weeks until I need it.

Monday we made this baked potato and leek dish again – it’s become a firm favourite since we first made it.

Tuesday – Greek salad. More cheese! But some rather nasty bullet hard unseasonal Spanish tomatoes.

Wednesday – came home from the gym via the chippy.

Thursday – I don’t remember, but Friday I made a rather nice chicken tikka with a tiny bit of rice and bulked out with some extra veg – onions, mushrooms and peppers.