It seems like the ultimate challenge for the MFL teacher is to plan and create opportunities for spontaneous talk to occur in the target language.
Greg Horton has developed Group Talk – ‘an award winning project to encourage students of MFL to use target language in an authentic and spontaneous way’. See video.
We are experimenting with this at the moment and it is proving successful, particularly with younger students. We show images of a generic topic that everyone can relate to like ‘TV programmes or celebrities’ and give students cards/vocab sheets to help them discuss in the target language. They are aiming to give their opinions and explain them and have a mini debate. Here are a few ideas we have used…
Top 5 Tips for encouraging more spontaneous language in the MFL classroom
- Have key phrases on the wall so they can use them when they want – e.g. ‘I would like…’
- Take all opportunities to encourage students – ‘I need a pen’
- Give as much support as possible – literacy mats/vocab sheets/peer help
- Reward bravery!
- Build it into routines like entering the classroom (hold up a MWB of a key phrase at the door like ‘opinion in French’ and they have to give an example as they come in. That way each child has said something in TL before you’ve even done the register!)
Any more ideas/useful links, please do share…