Modern Foreign Languages Project/Collaborating Schools
The below testimonials have been provided by teachers who have participated in our pilot studies and conference events. Should your institution be interested in taking part, then please contact a project lead.
Claire Robinson (Teacher - Suffolk One, State VI form college)
"Linguistics really delivers on equity - this came home to me as a really pressing need [given] how [MFL] uptake is narrowing to become the preserve of elite schools, and again as a huge opportunity highlighted by the fact that anyone can 'do' linguistics in relation to their own L1, thus giving the lie to students who think it's 'posh' to talk about language.
XX's talk has inspired me to resurrect some materials I used to use years ago to introduce L2 teaching, as I'm offering a 'Tongue Twisters' session on our 'Raising the Bar' day when we invite Year 6 students from primary schools in Ipswich to join us for a taste of sixth form life.
I really enjoyed hearing from the some of the linguists who've seen several cycles of fashion in curriculum design go round."
Janette Swainston (Head of MFL - Longsands Academy, St Neots)
"The Linguistics in MFL Project has brought benefits to both my students and my own teaching practice. I have a personal interest in linguistics and I was keen to explore how study of linguistic form can engage students and improve their competence in second language acquisition. Delivering the project in the summer term of Year 12 also provided a valuable enrichment to studies as students began to consider university choices.
My A level students engaged positively with the course materials, enjoying the opportunity to learn about French as a language as opposed to learning the language. The discussions surrounding phonetics and morphology particularly in relation to verb endings had a discernible impact on their pronunciation, deepening their understanding of the differences between written and spoken French. I was also able to make explicit links to our study of la Haine when delving into the area of socio-linguistics and highlight the significance of ‘verlan’ in the film to reflect social identity.
My involvement in this project has also been hugely beneficial for my wider teaching practice. In particular, it has caused me to reflect on the way in which I teach listening skills. I routinely use dictation so that students are more aware of the differences between written and spoken form. I have also designed linguistics starter activities to enable students to become more proficient at identifying patterns of language and build word families.
A greater appreciation of morphology leads to greater resilience in decoding language."