Colleagues at NCELP here outline the development of their work, and describe the resources and support available from their website.

The National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy (NCELP) was set up in December 2018. NCELP works in partnership with university researchers, teacher educators and expert practitioners, and Specialist Teachers in Leading Schools across the country acting as language hubs, to improve language curriculum design and pedagogy, leading to a higher take up and greater success at GCSE.

NCELP is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and co-directed by The University of York and The Cam Academy Trust.

The NCELP package of support includes professional development tools, teaching resources, and workshops, and takes forward the recommendations made in the Teaching Schools Council’s Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review led by headteacher and linguist Ian Bauckham, and ensures they are achievable and effective in schools.

‘Our work is to:

  • Connect classroom practice and research
  • Develop pedagogy, with resources to deliver it
  • Improve intrinsic motivation and increase GCSE uptake

NCELP’s Schemes of Work and resources build on the findings of the MFL Pedagogy Review and develop pedagogy and resources that are research-informed and practice-informed. Key aspects of NCELP’s rationale are as follows:

  • Practice is frequent, spaced, meaning and form-focused, and involves an element of struggle. Please see the rationale on meaningful practice, and separate rationales for teaching phonicsvocabulary and grammar and a verb lexicon.
  • The rationales for teaching the core strands of phonics, vocabulary and grammar inform the rationale for our Schemes of Work.
  • Learning is carefully planned to support progression for the vast majority of learners at KS3 within a low exposure foreign language setting.
  • Progression is determined by the functions of grammar, and the frequency and usefulness of vocabulary and phonics, and avoids introducing too much language too fast.
  • ‘End points’ denote planned progression to the end of KS3 and KS4:
  • Phonics – confidence in understanding and producing the key Sound Symbol Correspondences (SSCs) is established by the end of KS3.
  • Vocabulary – 360 words approximately are taught per year at KS3 and KS4 with systematic revisiting of vocabulary within a month, within a term, and within a year. The focus is to teach the most frequently used vocabulary of the language.
  • Grammar – high-frequency grammar functions are taught and revisited several times over KS3 and KS4, in particular features for persons, subjects, tenses and aspect and a range of key syntax (word order and relations between words).

NCELP resources meet the requirements of the Ofsted Framework and also align with the proposed contents of the draft GCSE MFL Subject content. More information about how NCELP resources align with influential thinking and wider policy can be found in this collection.

All of NCELP’s resources and support for teachers can be found on the NCELP Resource Portal which is an open, searchable and sustainable database for materials supporting learning and teaching, particularly in the areas of vocabulary, phonics, grammar, meaningful practice, corrective feedback in interaction and motivation.

The Resource Portal holds fully resourced Schemes of Work and lesson resources for French, German, and Spanish for Years 7 and 8 that can be freely downloaded in two clicks. We are currently working on Year 9. It also contains professional development PowerPoints, screencasts and related documents for teachers and rationale documents that detail the underlying research-informed principles for our resources and assessments.

NCELP lesson resources are 2-lesson PowerPoint / Google Slide sequences with phonics, vocabulary and grammar activities. Each lesson contains speaking, listening and writing activities accompanied by extensive teacher notes with aims, timing and procedures for each slide, as well as suggestions for differentiation and extension activities. NCELP also provides downloadable homework activity and answer sheets with links to NCELP-made Quizlet sets, language guides to support student learning in class and at home and assessment tests. Our lesson resources also link to video lessons for French, German and Spanish via the Oak Academy.

Our website also provides links to other resources made by NCELP including the Gaming Grammar website / app, and the MultilingualProfiler text profiling tool. Our resources also link wherever possible to other publicly available research summaries and tools.’

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