Professional Development Consortium in Modern Foreign Languages

Led by Suzanne Graham (Reading) and Ernesto Macaro (Oxford), the project seeks to close the divide between what research indicates are the principles of effective language teaching and learning, and current practice in MFL classrooms.

Teachers from Oxfordshire and Berkshire have been using a series of eight teaching and learning principles based on research evidence to bring about effective language learning in lessons, and thus raise attainment.

Teachers are concerned about the demise of MFL take-up at GCSE and the emphasis that is placed on topic-based work at the expense of teaching according to pedagogical principles. As a result, skill acquisition by students is faltering; they may be able to recite vocabulary but are unable to produce language spontaneously. Ofsted findings support these concerns, highlighting ‘insufficient emphasis on helping students to use the language spontaneously for real situations’ (2008), and the lack of target language use in the classroom to support students’ routine and spontaneous use of the language (2011).

The consortium aims to address these issues by inviting MFL teachers to engage with language researchers and ITE tutors at a series of six free workshops. Video based materials will be used to stimulate discussion and the lead teachers and researchers on the project will give detailed descriptions and examples of how the eight principles can be used in practice.

You can read more about the project here.

For more information and to register for a workshop click here.