Thursday, 23 July 2009

Compelling Language Learning Re-visited

In April last year, I was blogging about the meaning of “Compelling Language Learning”, one of the pivotal concept of the new Programme of Study (PoS) for MFL.
As I am preparing to review our Y7 Sows and roll the new PoS into Year 8, I have been trying to find more ideas to make our learners’ experience more compelling.

What should compelling learning look like?

· It should have clear learning outcomes in terms of what students need to know and understand and the skills and attributes they will develop.

· It should be done in a real and relevant context through which students “recognise for themselves the importance of learning to their lives, both now and in the future”.

· Students should take an active engagement with and responsibility for their own learning, therefore gaining a sense of autonomy and also benefiting from opportunities to think critically, make decisions and manage risks.

· Opportunities should be provided for group work and real cooperation and collaboration.

· The learning context should broaden students’ horizons and raise their aspirations, offering them opportunities to be challenged and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone.

· It should motivate learners by a giving them a clear sense of audience and purpose.

· It should highlight the connections between different curricular areas or its relevance through the development of Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

Last year, my definition of compelling language learning included the fact it...

• Has clear objectives shared with students
Engages students
• Is authentic
• Develops creativity by making connections between ideas
• Is regularly assessed in different ways and with shared criteria
• Is active learning
• Can be problem-based
• Can be enquiry-based
• Is cross-curricular and includes literacy, numeracy, citizenship
• Can be themed work
• Can be joint curricular work

What has changed?
As I review our Y7 SoWs and roll out the Y8 ones, I will be looking at:

· How learning outcomes are expressed and shared with students.

· Providing more opportunities to widen the learning context provided, enabling more personalisation of our SoWs.

· Make more use of online surveys to gain a students’ perspective and fully evaluate the impact f new approaches and discreet new activities.

· Continue to look at how other curriculum areas can provide motivating contexts for learning for Years 7 and 8.


Chris Harte said...

Great Post Isabelle - would be really interested to share some of our schemes of learning with you as I think we are working along the same lines. I am very interested in the difference between engaging the students and challenging them - is engagement always enough?

IC Jones said...

Thanks for the feedback, Chris!
I would love to share some of our SoWs as I think like you, engaging and stretching are two different things... On a different note, what is engaging for some can also be off-putting/patronising for others, hence the difficulty to map out compelling learning experiences for the whole ability range...