Teaching film in Year 12
One of the pleasures of teaching 6th form MFL has always been the opportunity to study a film or literary work. The cultural and linguistic richness which this brings to the study of a language has the ability to light up the experience of learning a language. Usually, however, I have been used to teaching this in Year 13, where it has been much more about learning about a film, play or novel in the medium of the target language. With the majority of the students that I’m currently teaching, I’m not yet in a position to do this in the way I was used to doing – most of them are simply not linguistically advanced to be able to cope with the material I’ve developed. Simply put, the needs of my Y12s are very different from the needs of any previous Y13s I have had. As my school is entering all Y12 for the AS, I also have the eye-wateringly tight time constraints imposed by external deadlines to contend with. All of this means that my current teaching materials for teaching a film are in dire need of an overhaul. In this post, I’m going to reflect on the ways in which I’m going to have to adapt the way I teach a film or a text at Year 12 needs to change to reflect the different stage in learning which are students are at.
What do my students need?
Some of my students still need intensive practice of verb conjugation and work with the cases. That means incorporating lots of follow-up grammar practice, much of which can be done in their independent study sessions or as part of homework. It also means identifying the key verbs / vocabulary for each session and giving them more prominence.
Teaching new grammar – I am going to need to introduce more complex relative clauses, the use of weak masculine nouns, for a start.
Essay-writing practice. Although it will be a while before they can write a full essay, they can write structured paragraphs from the start which could form an essay, and that teach essay-writing language.
Summarising skills – summarising is now part of the requirement at AS. This needs practising in general, as well as in the specific way it is required for the exam.
Ideas for starters:
· Summarise what happened in the scenes from last lesson
· Screenshot – describe the picture – note techniques / who is doing what
· verb games using the verbs from last lesson
· prepositions and cases gapfill
Ideas for follow-up work:
Each week needs a mix of the following:
· Grammar work with the identified focus – gapfill / word order / cloze text
· Translation – either from the script or from the language work provided
· Summary of the action – choose a tense to do it in – practise imperfect / perfect or even present tense
· Structured paragraph “exam-stylee” focused on either how the themes are developed / how technique is used / the role a character plays / what we learn about society from these