Pedagogy And Research

December 2017

Attached to this page 'Features of Literary texts with potential for language activity' a brainstorm from Steven Fawkes

On Motivation the research of Zoltan Dörnyei gives a helpful focus for reflection. His article ‘Motivation and Motivating in the Foreign Language Classroom’ from The Modern Language Journal, 78, iii (1994) 0026-7902/94/273-284 includes a section on HOW TO MOTIVATE L2 LEARNERS.
12) Increase the attractiveness of the course content by using authentic materials that are within students' grasp; and unusual and exotic supplementary materials, recordings, and visual aids.
14) Arouse and sustain curiosity and attention by introducing unexpected, novel, unfamiliar, and even paradoxical events; not allowing lessons to settle into too regular a routine; periodically breaking the static character of the classes by changing the interaction pattern and the seating formation and by making students get up and move from time to time.
15) Increase students' interest and involvement in the tasks by designing or selecting varied and challenging activities; adapting tasks to the students' interests; making sure that something about each activity is new or different; including game-like features, such as puzzles, problem-solving, avoiding traps, overcoming obstacles, elements of suspense, hidden information, etc.; including imaginative elements that will engage students' emotions; leaving activities open-ended and the actual conclusion uncertain; personalising tasks by encouraging students to engage in meaningful exchanges, such as sharing personal information; and making peer interaction (e.g., pair work and group work) an important teaching component.

12 fiches pédagogiques pour exploiter les courts métrages en classe.
Film resources and classroom activities on a variety of themes, mostly appropriate for A1-B1 students (key stage 3)

Documentary texts , appropriate linguistically in key stage 3.

Attached to this page - a presentation from Suzi Bewell on Poetry, given at the Goethe Institut. More can be found on her blog: []
Also Suzi's Slideshare: Creative use of Poetry in MFL - []

We are grateful to Ann Swarbrick for allowing us to reproduce here scanned pages from her CiLT Pathfinder 'Reading for pleasure in a foreign language'.
This publication is no longer in print.
These are attached pages in sequence, listed below as 'AS Pf' followed by a number.

Shortly pages from her subsequent Pathfinder 'More reading for pleasure in a foreign language' will also be scanned and posted here.

The ALL website Members area contains articles from previous ALL Language publications and is searchable for themes. For articles on Literature there is a tag. This is the direct link, but NB you will need your membership log-in to access the page

' les poésies de notre enfance en musique'

The attached file '10 activities for exploiting a text' is contributed by Sarah Brough and colleagues from Durham.

French Competitions
"Dis-moi dix mots" est une opération nationale de sensibilisation à la langue française qui se déroule tout au long de l'année scolaire. Elle est organisée par le ministère de la Culture. Dans ce cadre, le ministère de l'Éducation nationale organise un concours de création littéraire ouvert aux élèves des écoles, collèges et lycées. Les élèves sont invités à jouer avec dix mots et à les mettre en scène sur tous les modes : écriture, chanson, dessin, etc.

TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling )
American Krashen-based project which talks about skills developed: listening, learning vocab, cultural understanding, reading skills, general literacy skills, grammar, writing, speaking, prediction, coping with written word ….

TALES : Stories for Learning


The main aim of the project is to develop new teaching methods and materials involving storytelling and include them as innovative approach and new content in initial and in-service teacher training courses.

Online (as well as in-person) training is available from the website, and a portal featuring resources will be created when the project ends in Autumn.Meanwhile an international digital storytelling competition is already in progress, open to classes/groups of students of all school levels, supervised by at least one teacher.

Research report carried out by CfBT's London Connected Learning Centre, on educational blogs and their effects on pupils' writing.

The research explores the differences between pupils' writing on an online blog and in their books. The report concludes that blogging inspired the pupils in this study and gave them access to new kinds of writing and a wider audience.

The report includes many examples from the pupils' blogs and focuses on four pupils in detail showing the way in which their writing differed in books and on the blog. The report is a useful resource for anyone interesting in using blogging to develop writing in the classroom - it includes case studies, outlines innovative and creative ways of using blogs and notes the factors that will help teachers make blog writing an effective pedagogical technique.

To download copies of the report and find out more please visit:

Other useful MFL specific links to blogging case studies can be found here:

Translation workshops can be a transformative experience for children in primary and secondary schools.
Translators in Schools is a professional development programme involving three days of training, including contact time with children, that aims to widen the pool of translators with the skills to work in schools. It aims also to create a bank of model workshops that can be used by translators and teachers to promote translation skills, meta-linguistic awareness and interest in studying foreign languages.
Translators in Schools was born out of Translation Nation, a project run by the Stephen Spender Trust and Eastside Educational Trust, curated by Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Holmes, and funded by Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Mercers’ Company, which has delivered translation workshops in primary schools since 2011 and in secondary schools since 2013.

From CILT Young Pathfinder 6 ‘ Let’s join in’ by Cynthia Martin with Catherine Cheater
with kind permission of CfBT

Rhymes and songs make an important contribution to the overall language development of the child as they instill in the learner’s mind a sense of the rhythm of the language and its sentence patterns. If the child is able to learn by heart and recite, then the ability to articulate and enunciate particular sounds has been mastered too. ….

.. have some visual props to hand which clearly show the meaning of what is being sung …

… once basic literacy skills have been established during key stage 2, reading in the foreign language can start to be developed as a skill and rhymes, poems and songs can be shown to pupils as written texts to be read or sung aloud.

By learning songs and rhymes a child can acquire a wealth of linguistic knowledge, and the teacher can then tap into this knowledge by making links with discrete language points when they are taught in other contexts. In this way, songs and rhymes can be used not only a reinforcement to learning but as a point of departure from which to take the child further.

Brainstorming workshop session:
Use books they have seen the film of (extracts)
Harry Potter/Hunger Games/Twilight
Les Choristes
3 musketeers
Les Miserables
Chocolat (12)

Use Song lyrics (Celine Dion – subjunctive) (Frozen – Conditional)

Thanks to Dominic McGladdery for updating his blog about French film resources (January 2018):

Dossier-pedagogique: Pourquoi étudier «Otto» de Tomi Ungerer?,d.ZGU
Chansons pour étudier le français (vidéos & paroles)
Blog pédagogique et base de données de chansons
Blog for young Francophone readers :

Bienvenue sur le blog de la Littérature au primaire!
Notre ambition est de vous proposer des extraits d'oeuvres classiques de la Littérature, adaptés aux différents niveaux de l'école élémentaire.
Vous pouvez consulter les extraits proposés en faisant une recherche, dans le bandeau de gauche, par auteur, par manuel ou par niveau de lecture.
Nous avons déterminé 6 niveaux de lecture :
Niveau 0 : textes pour les apprentis lecteurs, adaptés selon la progression de sons vus dans l'apprentissage, ces textes renvoient tous à la Page des Copines du site collaboratif "Rue des instits".
Niveau 1 : textes courts, phrases courtes, vocabulaire simple. A destination des jeunes lecteurs qui entrent dans la lecture courante. (CP, début CE1)
Niveau 2 : textes assez courts et vocabulaire simple, pour des lecteurs un peu plus à l'aise. (CE1)
Niveau 3 : textes qui commencent à s'allonger, tournures de phrases un peu plus complexes et vocabulaire (ou thème du texte) un peu plus étoffé, pour des lecteurs courants. (fin CE1 et CE2)
Niveau 4 : textes plus longs, tournures de phrases, vocabulaire et thème riches. (CM1)
Niveau 5 : textes longs ou complexes, vocabulaire fourni. Pour de bons lecteurs, ayant une meilleure connaissance du monde, âgés de 10 ans environ. (CM2)
Pistes pédagogiques pour travailler avec la littérature de jeunesse

Poetry recitation and remembering has had a troubled history in England, dating back to a “payment by results” inspection regime in the 19th century. When we started to talk about Poetry By Heart, it was little wonder, after almost a century of decline, that some people immediately invoked the spectre of “by rote”, a cruel taskmaster beating children into heartless submission.
But the wheel of fortune always keeps on turning and it interesting to see research projects which set out to investigate and understand different dimensions of this cultural and educational practice. Poetry By Heart benefits from an association with these researchers to inform our thinking about the project.
Catherine Robson’s magnificent Heart Beats: Everyday life and the memorized poem explores the 19th and early 20th century history of poetry recitation in the US and UK. Published in 2012, just as we got going with the first iteration of Poetry Bydocument Heart, it helped us develop a deeper understanding of the longer historical context of our project.’
Debbie Pullinger’s excellent paper, “In Living Memory: The Dying Art of Learning Poetry and a Case for Revival” (in Changing English 18:4, 2012) explored current teachers’ practices in this area and presented interesting arguments about why learning poetry by heart is good for us. Debbie and her colleague David Whitley will be starting a 3 year research project in 2014 to investigate this more extensively.’

In 2015-2017 a recitation competition devised by ALL and Routes into Languages East is being piloted in East Anglia under the title 'Strictly Speaking'

Blog entries on interesting texts are being published constantly.
For example:

Thanks to Janet LLoyd on
who writes about French percussion and poem performance in 'les feuilles mortes'

Solving the mystery of the person drinking the cup of coffee in 'dejeuner du matin'
Marlene Dietrich sings 'dejeuner du matin' here:

Dame Tartine

'Sept couleurs magiques' allows exploration of maps and geography links too in KS2 .

A spoken dramatic choral performance of the poem 'le jour de la rentree'

Using drama and grammar to go on an Autumn walk through a French poem:

La nuit: Unpacking and exploring a challenging poem with more advanced French language learners in KS2/ early KS3

Activities on French song 'Les crayons' : 4 skills/ creative outcomes for early lang learners word to sentence level.

Sequencing Story

Suzi Bewell has included in her blog thoughts on using Poetry:

Erszi Culshaw includes references in her blog (for Primary largely):

Steve Smith has blogged about Literature here:

and made suggestions for a specific story here:

From Lisa Stevens blog

ALL has published over time a range of articles on themes related to Literature and exploiting Texts.

Please view the attached documents which list some of these:
'Literature articles in ALL journals'

ISMLA has published articles on Literature which are attached her as 'Extracted document 1, 2 and 3'

Irene Macías at University of Bath has kindly contributed two articles in Spanish; these relate to older pupils but will still be of interest. Attached files called 'Amigos verdaderos o amigos virtuales' and 'Mañana en el instituto'

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