Friday, 19 June 2009

The National Languages Strategy Update, Manchester 8th June 2009-Secondary

The situation of the language offer in Secondary schools was discussed from different perspectives:

How do students learn?
=>rich input of language
=>interaction through and with languages
=>motivation to learn, use “meanings that matter”

How do teachers develop?
=>support and partnership
=>innovation and evaluation
=>network and discussion
=>development and dissemination
Developing reflective practitioners is key.

A New Secondary Experience should include the following:
*take account of transition and what has been done at Primary
*recognition of achievement (e.g. through Asset Languages)
*variation/ personalization of the new curriculum
*engaging curricular content, use “Meanings that matter”
*opportunities for teachers to reflect and develop (CPD)

From Compulsion to Expectation
In January 2006 Jacqui Smith, then Minister for Schools and 14-19 learners, wrote a letter to schools advocating a target 50-90% uptake for languages at KS4.
Although the A*-C target is not limited to GCSE, there is still limited incentive for non-Language Colleges to extend the language offer through alternative qualifications at KS4.

A More Engaging Curriculum

*The New Secondary Curriculum
*Revised KS3 Framework linked to KS2
*New approaches, CLIL (using languages to access real content)
*New languages: intensive course in Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Russian …
*Open School For Languages to be launched next autumn.

The new approaches must be rooted in the situation of individual schools.
The renewed KS3 Framework will be re-launched at the end of June 2009.
5 strands:
*Listening and Speaking
*Reading and Writing
*Intercultural Understanding
*Knowledge About Language (KAL)
*Language learning strategies

Revised Assessment Framework
Reforming GCSE: controlled assessment in speaking test (revised speaking test)
Promoting alternative qualifications to GCSE. The Openqual site is useful for this.
Asset languages/Asset for the world of work (French and Spanish) can be alternatives to consider in a more flexible vocational context.
The Diploma: Languages and International Communication

Principal Learning: How languages work
Identity and internationalism
Languages in context
Professional communication
Languages in the work place
Becoming an autonomous learner
Using languages for:
*investigation, gathering information , doing research
*exchanging ideas, networking, interacting, discussing
*accessing imaginative work

Support for teachers
Networks: SLNs, Secondary Curriculum,
Focus on regional support: Links into Languages to replace Comenius Centres.
Linked-up (National Teacher Research Scholarship for Languages): funds available to work on specific projects e.g. CLIL, KS2/ KS3 transition (more information to be found on the website as scheme starts in September)
TDA initiatives: upskilling secondary teachers who want to go and teach in primary schools

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