This seminar assessed the latest thinking on teaching Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in England’s secondary schools, and key issues for language teachers themselves.
It followed concerns over the decline in the number of students studying MFL at GCSE and A-Level and in the context of the possible impact of Brexit on the learning and teaching of MFL in England.
Policymakers, teaching professionals and other stakeholders considered the findings of the Teaching Schools Council’s review of MFL pedagogy in secondary schools, which aims to identify and share the most effective ways of teaching MFL. The chair of the review, Ian Bauckham, was a keynote speaker.
They discussed the implications of the Review, including on the use of textbooks in the classroom and second language acquisition, as well as the impact of English grammar teaching at primary level on students learning modern languages, and how to improve student motivation, both in and out of the classroom, for example through the use of technology.
Further sessions considered key issues for teaching and teachers themselves including how the classification of MFL as an EBacc subject will affect schools and language teachers, as well as steps that can be taken to ease pressures on teachers, improve the recruitment and retention of language teachers, and how teachers can be effectively supported in their professional development.