• Blaine Pike

At the end of this week, we found out about the new MFL GCSE proposals and celebrated International Women's Day 2021. Read ahead for more.

Happy Friday!

As we come to the end of the first week back, we found out about the new MFL GCSE proposals, celebrated International Women's Day 2021 with our classes and much more. So, without further ado, let's jump straight in!

📜 News: The new UK MFL GCSE proposals

For those of you who also love data (!) many of the new GCSE MFL proposals will sound very welcome.

For one, it looks like we could be moving away from prescribed themes and instead focusing on the mastery (both productive and receptive) of the most frequently used ~1,500 words in a language.

Elsewhere, it looks like we could be seeing a boost in the importance of phonics, too. This can be seen in the proposed introduction of dictation exercises in MFL listening exams, and the proposed introduction of "reading aloud" exercises in speaking exams.

If you have time this weekend, you can read the full 31-page proposal (for first teaching in 2023 and first exams in 2025) here.

Alternatively, though, I would recommend you read Steve Smith's very comprehensive summary of the proposals here.

👊 Feature: MFL x International Women's Day 2021

The MFL resources shared for International Women's Day were so creative and inspiring this week - massive thanks to everyone for sharing 100s of fab resources! These were my favourites.


  • Sarah Creighton (@se_creighton) shared a full French lesson PowerPoint, complete with reading activities, grammar activities and even a song with an accompanying gap-fill text.

  • Mike Elliott shared a one-page true story from 100 Femmes Françaises Extraordinaires and suggested that it could also be used to teach the GCSE volunteering topic!


  • Sarah Creighton shared a full German lesson PowerPoint too, complete with reading activities, comprehension quizzes and grammar activities to celebrate the day.

  • Sadie Thompson shared a PowerPoint match-up activity in which students had to match up the successful women to the closest "job" name (all of which ended in -in, of course!).


  • Vane Macia (@vane_mfl) shared an epic 41-activity Wakelet page full of reading texts, grammar activities, authentic videos and comprehension quizzes. An utterly brilliant collection!

  • The PROFEdeELE website shared a whole page of online activities with reading materials and comprehension questions, grammar quizzes and authentic videos!

Download these materials for your team for International Women's Day 2022 or – much more preferably – use them to celebrate the fantastic contributions of women all year round.

🛠 Resources: Free online textbooks! (Spanish, French and ESL)

Caroline Guitton (@mmeguittonmfl) shared an amazing link this week: Le Livre Scolaire.

This is a fantastic website with full online textbooks and activity workbooks for Spanish! Slight catch: they're meant for French students. So you'll need to ignore the French rubrics. But the language level is great and the wealth of content is fab! (Links: KS2-3 books, KS4-5 books)

In addition, they have a range of free French textbooks. Slight catch: the focus is not on teaching French as a foreign language, as they're for French speakers. However, they're full of authentic advanced content to stretch your more able students. (Links: KS4-5 books, KS5 book)

For anyone supporting students with English as a Second Language (ESL) needs, this site has full textbooks. Again, they're targeted at French-speaking students, but they all provide relevant and accessible English-language texts and resources (Links: KS2-3 books, KS4-5 books)

✅ Pedagogy: On teaching high-frequency words in MFL

As mentioned above, it looks like the new MFL GCSE is going to focus on students being able to both understand and produce the highest-frequency words in the target language.

After all, several studies have shown that the top ~2,000 words in a language make up 80-90% of a given piece of language (spoken or written). That'd be an amazing achievement for our students!

However, there's a HUGE catch. Teaching the top words alone won't be enough. Here's why.

🔁 ICYMI: MFL GCSE past papers - all under one roof

Here are some of the most recent posts from the MFLDATABLOG, in case you missed any!

🤣 And finally: English mums vs. French mums

Cast your mind back.

When it came to schoolwork, was your mum more of an "English mum" or a "French mum"?

Watch this short TikTok clip and decide for yourself :)

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In the meantime, thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a lovely weekend.



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