Practitioner Focus collection

The Practitioner Focus collection takes a more in-depth look at various topics of interest to teachers, with practical suggestions and advice to support your success in tackling learning and teaching issues, as well as developing specific skills in language learning.

Using the Target Language

Julie Hall explains why being able to talk creatively in the classroom is so important and the principles she has developed to give her students the confidence to do so.

About the author:

Julie Hall is a languages teacher at Ponteland High School in Northumberland and is passionate about improving students’ independence and the creative use of target language in the classroom. Julie recently established the Target Language Support Group in the North East.

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Embedding Phonics in Language Lessons

Sue Cave explains why the teaching of phonics should be an integral part of every language lesson.

About the author:

Sue Cave has taught in the primary, secondary, adult education and TESOL sectors. Currently, she is an independent primary languages consultant and trainer for Cave Languages.  Her published works include ‘Physical French Phonics’ as well as primary language resource books.

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Linguistics in and beyond the languages classroom

Sarah Campbell looks at how the study of linguistics can add another dimension to language teaching.

About the author:

Sarah is a consultant and trainer with an academic background in linguistics, as well as over 10 years’ experience as a language teacher. She currently works with the Linguistics Association of Great Britain and the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad, developing materials and promoting linguistics in schools

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Learner Independence

Terry Lamb explains the benefits of encouraging students to take control of their own learning.

About the author:

Terry taught French and German in secondary schools for 16 years and is now Professor of Languages and Pedagogy at the University of Sheffield. He directs the iPGCE, an online programme aimed at practising teachers around the world and he has published widely in the areas of learner autonomy and multilingualism. He is founder editor of the journal Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching.

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Literature and Language Learning

The Programmes of Study at Key Stage 2 and 3 talk about helping learners to “discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing… appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes…” and at KS3, to “… read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials… understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material… read literary texts… to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture.” In recent years the attention of language teachers has been elsewhere, and the idea of integrating something called literature into lessons which are already packed with content could seem intimidating!

This special feature, looks at the theory and practice of using a wide variety of literature in language learning.

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Is the UK Language Rich?

Hundreds of languages in one place does not necessarily constitute multiculturalism – language learning is still critical for the future of the multilingual city.

About the author:

Lid King established The Languages Company in 2008 in order to support the National Languages Strategy, and was National Director for Languages from 2003 to 2011. A languages teacher in secondary, higher and adult education, advanced level examiner and materials writer, Lid was Director of CILT from 1992 to 2003, and is co-author – with Lord Ron Dearing – of The Languages Review. He has represented the UK on languages at both the European Union and the Council of Europe. He is a long-time member and now Fellow of ALL.

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Resilience

How can we support and nurture resilience in language teachers?

About the author:

Anne Lise Gordon is President of ALL and has a range of experience in languages – as a teacher and Head of Department, a local authority advisor and an ITT tutor. Her doctoral research has focused on the resilience of early career teachers and how they are best nurtured in  the profession.  At a time of challenging recruitment and retention in languages, this is more important than ever.

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Using ‘The Gruffalo’ to inspire language learning

Children’s author Julia Donaldson inspired students and teachers at a multilingual ‘Gruffalo day’

About the author:

Jane Harvey runs multilingual ‘Gruffalo’ workshops for local schools. She is a member of ALL’s Council and also runs the ALL Border Marches Network, which hosts a full calendar of events throughout the year for language practitioners across all Key Stages.

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Focus on assessment in Key Stage 2

With no specific guidelines on assessment, how should we be assessing pupil progress at Key Stage 2? There are plenty of options. Since September 2014, the National Curriculum requires pupils and teachers to focus on making “substantial progress
in at least one modern or ancient foreign language”. Government advice on KS2 assessment is open – pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study and schools are invited to use
their own system to demonstrate how well learners have achieved this. ALL members are of course professionally concerned about comparability and consistency in their judgements.

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Action Research

Jane Jones and a supporting line up of authors outline why student teachers are well placed to undertake Action Research.

The complexities of the classroom and of teaching and learning lend themselves readily to teacher research activity. Teachers, as inquisitive, questioning professionals are natural researchers and have a rich terrain in which to plant seeds of enquiry and research. Student teachers are especially well placed to undertake teacher research projects given the exploratory nature of their training and that there is time embedded into the training course to observe, reflect critically and to undertake research.

About the author

Dr Jane Jones, Senior Lecturer and Subject Director MFL Teacher Education, King’s College London

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