• Blaine Pike

Petition to revoke MFL proposals, #UKEdConf2021, Spanish resources, teaching the perfect, PowerPoint tricks, metacognition, cognates and more.

Happy Friday!

Hope you've been making the most of the Easter break!

Here's what I've squeezed into the MFL weekly email today:

  1. Petition to revoke MFL proposals

  2. #UKEdConf2021

  3. Spanish resource bank

  4. Teaching the perfect tense

  5. 10 PowerPoint tricks

  6. Metacognition in MFL

  7. Ranked: GCSE cognates

  8. Foreign-sounding accents

  9. SLT x Line of Duty

Grab yourself a cuppa and another chocolate egg, if you have any left.

Happy reading!

PS. If a friend forwarded this email to you, you can sign up to the weekly email yourself here.


Petition to revoke MFL proposals

A petition is underway on change.org which calls for:

  1. The immediate withdrawal of the (new MFL) proposals.

  2. The convening of a new, more transparent panel with a remit to draft new proposals, which will be independent of obligated conclusions.

The petition acknowledges the need to "fundamentally rethink curriculum and assessment" at GCSE in MFL. But it questions the way in which the recent recommendations have been reached, and the way in which the proposals "seek to influence how teachers teach".

Post-Brexit, students will need the best MFL education possible. If you believe changes to MFL merit broader and deeper consideration from teachers, you can add your name to the petition here.



The #UKEdConf2021 online conference took place this week. The three-day online event was made up of 70 sessions on all things education in the UK, all hosted by the UK's leading educators.

And there were a number of MFL superstars in there too, of course :)

Huge thanks to @UKEdChat for hosting, and to the wonderful @SineadMoxham for sharing sneak peeks of so many of the MFL community's presentations online, too :)

📂 DOWNLOADS Spanish resource bank

Esmerelda Salgado (Head of MFL at King's Ely School) has just updated her range of super high-quality Spanish resources on her blog.

There are already lots of resources on offer for years 8-11, but now you can download Sentence Builders for all GCSE AQA Spanish topics (and Quizlet links) under the year 11 section.

💡 INSPIRATION Teaching the perfect tense

The ability to understand and produce the perfect tense is one of the most important parts of the MFL GCSE.

It is also one of the areas that students find consistently difficult to master (I know I certainly did back in the day).

To tackle this, @MonsieurPFrench has shared his updated approach to introducing the perfect tense.

His 5-stage approach favours neither explicit nor implicit instruction, but instead introduces both at different times for best effect. This approach could be applied to other tenses, too, in any language.

🖥 APPS & SITES 10 PowerPoint tricks

Love it or hate it, PowerPoint is here to stay. (At least for the near future!)

In the first video to be published on edtech aficionado Jérôme Nogues' brand new YouTube channel, we can learn 10 tricks that can be applied to our PowerPoints immediately.

Whether you're a novice or a genius, I guarantee there'll be something here you that haven't thought of before. Enjoy these tips today, and give his new YouTube channel a follow!

🎓 PEDAGOGY Metacognition in MFL

The Education Endowment Foundation recently spoke to Sadie Thompson, Head of German at Thornden School in Hampshire, about its report on metacognition.

When it comes to learning vocabulary, how can we discourage MFL students from using Google Translate and, instead, help students learn how to learn?

For this and much more, click here to watch the interview and download the report.

Spoiler alert! Get MFL students to think of you less as a "walking dictionary" and more as an expert in different language learning strategies (something that they can become, too!)

🔁 ICYMI Ranked: GCSE cognates

Although we're not meant to introduce KS4 content to KS3 groups, wouldn't it be sensible to expose students from year 7 onwards to more cognates (even just for recognition purposes)?

Doing so could help with their motivation levels as they feel like they're making greater progress in MFL, faster.

I wrote a program to work out the similarity of words between two languages, and applied this to the whole AQA GCSE word list. Here they are!

💪 MOTIVATION Foreign-sounding accents I'm a big fan of phonetics and phonology at the best of times, but with phonics looking set to become a more significant part of the GCSE exam (under the new proposals, at least) let's all start teaching students to think of foreign-sounding accents as a sign of bravery.

😂 AND FINALLY... SLT x Line of Duty

Ever thought LoD sounds like SLT?

Over 25,000 views can't be wrong.

Thanks so much for reading this week's email, and hope you have a lovely weekend!

If you liked this email, please hit forward and share it with your colleagues.

See you next week!



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