Ideas for Outstanding MFL lessons

Having watched Malcom Gladwell’s TED talk recently on tomato sauce and how the perfect tomato sauce doesn’t exist!  It made me think about how the ‘perfect’ lesson might not exist but how there are lots of perfect lessons for lots of different students and topics.

With this in mind, of course I do believe there are many common traits that should appear in all lessons such as an objective and other not so tangible qualities! During my training year I began collecting ideas for Outstanding MFL lessons through reading, observing others teach and watching the Outstanding series on Teachers TV. On the first of January 2012 Ofsted produced a subject specific criteria alongside a ‘generic’ description using 5 grade descriptors:

  • the achievement of pupils in the subject
  • the quality of teaching in the subject
  • the quality of the curriculum in the subject
  • the quality of leadership and management of the subject
  • the overall effectiveness of the subject.

Here is an example of Outstanding from the first description of pupil achievement in MFL

The full document can now be found on the Ofsted website, scroll down for ML.

So in my quest for ideas and criteria I thought; what might lessons look like if you could tick all the boxes? I began a list of ideas which turned into a mind-map and this is what I came up with. I have, where possible included examples of how activities/resources could fulfil criteria.

*NB. I also think there are some things that can’t be boxed into a mind-map such as the teacher’s values, character and thus how they interact with the students.

This mind-map is just an idea I had and definitely a working document so I am sure there are many more options to consider but it’s a starting point and it got me thinking if nothing else! It would be great to hear your thoughts or suggestions

Click on the image below to see it bigger:

Here is a wiki I came across called Outstanding Lessons which has an ongoing collection of resources and ideas worth looking at.

Update: Since writing this, a teacher included a link to my post on a TES Forum discussion on the same topic. The idea of outstanding teaching appears to be a controversial issue among those who commented but there are some really thought provoking perspectives from both sides of the argument that are well worth reading.

Click here for the link:

24/5/12 Dominic McGladdery has also blogged about this topic with some interesting arguments


About Miss Cairns

Secondary MFL teacher from North West England
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2 Responses to Ideas for Outstanding MFL lessons

  1. Fiona says:

    I have made your mindmap into an A3 poster and put it on the back of our staffroom door! Very inspiring 🙂

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