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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Learning to Fly

These are the skills and habits which outstanding students of MFL develop. Do as many of these as possible to become completely independent in the subject and to develop the skills and knowledge needed to attain 8/9 at GCSE and A* at A Level. Remember that just doing what your teacher tells you - in your lessons and beyond - is not enough to develop your full potential in the subject.

In your lessons

  • Focus on the language you’re learning throughout the lesson
  • Express yourself in the language to the teacher and other students – practice makes perfect
  • Don’t worry too much about making mistakes – you learn from mistakes (yours and other people’s)
  • Try to work things out for yourself before asking the teacher – use Brain (think about it) -Book-(look it up) – Buddy (ask a friend) –Boss (ask the teacher)!
  • Make sure you do ask the teacher if you’re still unsure

Between your lessons

  • Looking back over your notes and activities from the last lesson. Try to do this as soon after the lesson as possible, before you forget it!
  • Writing down questions about words and ideas you don’t understand to bring to your next lesson.
  • Contact your teacher to ask for clarification and guidance if you’re stuck – don’t wait till the next lesson
  • Use the teacher’s feedback to redraft your work and make sure you’ve really understood (you may be given time for this in lessons too)
  • If you have missed a lesson, make sure you find out what you missed

Beyond your lessons

This is generic advice. Your language teacher will guide you to materials specific to the language you are learning. Moodle has links to many of the recommended resources.

KS3:

  • Use language learning apps and websites e.g. Languages Online, Zut, Kerboodle, Duolingo, Memrise, Quizlet, kahoot to practise vocabulary and structures. You can compete against your friends!
  • Use YouTube songs and videos e.g. Extra to help with listening and memorising skills

KS4:

  • Use any of the apps and websites above
  • Watch the recommended online language learning videos e.g. Easy German, Videoele
  • Talk to your friends and family about what you have read/ watched. Maybe set up a Group Chat – using the language!
  • Use the online kerboodle textbook for French, German and Spanish for extra practice of specific areas. There are interactive exercises which give you instant feedback.
  • Change the setting on your phone so date, time, routine messages are displayed in the language. This will reinforce the language painlessly!
  • Keep a learning diary or blog of your independent learning including new language learnt

KS5:

All of the advice for KS4, plus:

  • Keep up to date with current affairs by browsing the websites of broadcasters and newspapers/ get podcasts or news summaries sent to your phone. It’s helpful to look at/listen to stories you’re aware of from UK sources e.g. refugee crisis? Brexit? The environment? as your prior knowledge will help you understand. Watch films in the language –there’s a good selection in the school library.

Of course we recognise that our students have busy lives and that this level of engagement is not always possible all the time - but this is what you should aim for if you want to reach the highest level in the subject.