Pedagogy and teacher expertise

Primary foreign language learning and teaching - how can we improve our MFL provision for all learners?

The important thing is to establish a community of learning and practice

Essentially, this means providing all teachers - those already teaching, and new trainees - with the tools (language and cultural knowledge and pedagogical practice) to enable them to teach a modern foreign language confidently, enjoyably, and effectively.

Teachers are enthusiastically teaching MFL - what help would they like and what help might they need?

Empowering classroom teachers to teach MFL is a two-way process. Established teachers already have good pedagogic skills and a wealth of teaching practice and expertise to draw on, which means that individually-tailored MFL-teachingĀ  programmes specific to teachers' particular needs are helpful.

Depending on a teacher's specific needs and desires, a programme might include, for example:

  • a boost in linguistic knowledge;
  • help with language-teaching methodology;
  • developing an awareness of children's language-learning strategies;
  • confidence in dealing with the four skills in a foreign language;
  • knowledge of age-appropriate programmes available, and how to create additional materials.

As a practising teacher, I don't have much time for extra training, and the school budget is tight - what can I do?

> CPD intensive training days impart a lot of information and workshop practice, but they can be expensive for a school.
> Peer-to-peer support from within a school is an excellent way of enlisting whole-school support; so too, is peer coaching across the cluster.
> Networks online and on the ground can be great providers of support, and encourage an exchange of knowledge.
> Classroom-based research allows a classroom teacher to try out new things whilst receiving expert feedback.

Our Bibliography section has a list of practical books for practising teachers, and do check our Presentations section for a powerpoint on teaching literacy to young learners.

If you are interested in knowing more about pedagogy and teacher expertise in the primary school, and / or if you would like to join our network and contribute to the development of these pages, please contact Gee at this address: g.macrory@mmu.ac.uk