The Haberdashers’ Company has fully funded the Modern Foreign Languages Independent State School Partnership in their development of these high challenge A Level film resources. This partnership of 11 schools has worked in close collaboration with London G&T to support and assist teachers in developing innovative strategies to engage students’ enthusiasm for and to significantly increase A* at both GCSE and A level in Modern Languages. This has been supported by a transformative training programmes for over 30 teachers with a focus on issues of high challenge content, rich tasks, intellectual curiosity and the development of critical thinking.
We are MFL THROUGH FILM.
We develop teaching resources to aid teaching MFL through film.
The experience of film goes far beyond the cinema as it can play a significant role in students‘ social and cultural immersion. There is no doubt that film helps pupils to appreciate the cultural conventions in other countries through direct visualising and through different audience expectations. It provides a far more realistic backdrop than textbooks can and informs learners about contemporary events in the country of their target language, whilst giving a great opportunity for personal engagement and discussion. It takes away the boundaries of textbooks, and builds on pupils’ skills and gives them access to colloquial language and cultural perspectives.
Classroom learning is often at its best when engaging with challenging issues and contexts, which make learners question, interrogate and extend their view of the world. Conflicts and dilemmas played out in many films provide not only the context for learners to immerse themselves in the issues, but also to mediate these.
Moving away from the textbook and the approaches that they routinely use – and looking instead at relevant and more interesting contexts can be liberating. Remember that almost any context is valid for developing language. Watching a film in the target language and then discussing it in the target language is developing all of a student’s language skills. When applied to the meaningful content that film provides and injected with the interactivity that technology offers, these have become powerful learning materials.
Seeing the value of languages in practical contexts is hugely significant in encouraging learners to make positive choices to study languages as well as in challenging the negative perceptions that some may have. Using film encourages an authentic language approach which when supplemented by high challenge activities creates a far greater engagement with the cultural context.