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Finding the time to cover the 9-1 GCSE content

Posted by James Simms on January 17, 2019


Oh the MFL 9-1 GCSE! What a beautiful creation. A course conceived with the purpose of making sure that our students can actually speak the foreign language to an intermediate level, rather than be able to regurgitate whole paragraphs of text they have been memorising for the best part of two weeks without spending a single minute thinking about what they’re actually saying. Is there anything wrong with wanting a course which equips students with the ability to express themselves and understand the language and gives them good foundations if they want to progress onto doing A-levels? Well, it looks like when it comes to delivering the course, the reality of the classroom can get in the way.

I have met many great MFL teachers in my time: full of ideas, full of energy, really hard-working,... And I have also seen how some of these great teachers start despairing as the GCSE exams loom and they feel they are nowhere near covering all of the topics. Indeed, it can be very tricky to make sure that all the grammar and topics are sufficiently seen and practised whilst also paying attention to practising the speaking and writing skills, together with doing sufficient listening and reading past papers because we all know that, come the exams, students need to be ready for all eventualities. And even then, they will probably be faced with some odd topic, such as a reality show for nuns, just to really throw them off guard and test their resilience!

Imagine a classroom where the more “mechanical” elements of the language did not need to be presented at one-pace-fits-all. Wouldn’t it be great if, Jade, who needs a bit of time to assimilate ideas and concepts, could pause and rewind grammar explanations and make notes, while Matt, who picks things up really quickly, moved on to learn some more complex vocabulary on the topic of Environment? And all this at the same time as you are giving Rosie some quality feedback on her last writing task.

This is possible with The EverLearner. The Spanish GCSE Grammar and Vocabulary courses allow you to:

  • Devote less lesson time to presenting information such as grammar or vocabulary sets.

  • Increase the time spent in the classroom practising speaking with individual students or small groups.

  • Increase the time spent giving good-quality feedback on the written work produced by your students.

  • Easily direct students to particular grammar tutorials or vocabulary tutorials when you notice that they are struggling in one or more particular areas.

  • Have an overview of what areas of grammar and vocabulary your students have covered and to what extent they are feeling confident with these.

  • Devote more time to properly developing and discussing listening and reading skills, be it as a whole group or, even better, in smaller targeted groups.

They always say that practice makes perfect. So if it is perfect (or near-perfect) that we need, the only way to achieve it is by freeing-up lesson time for that good old practice!