Monday, March 14, 2011

Grammar in Year 11 French class

My Year 11 French surprised me last week. No, they did not buy an Ipad although I made it clear to them that I would be very happy getting one :-)

Instead of an Ipad (or an Iphone!!) I got some revelations which I was not expecting at all.

My lovely class told me that they would like to spend 20 minutes in each lesson doing some grammar exercises and conjugate verbs.

I have to admit that I was very much gob smacked !

As I have been their teacher for the last 3 years, they have not been used to do grammar exercises. So they are not looking for some comfort in my class. The reason why they want to do grammar is not clear at all for me. When I asked them they said that if they take French is to do some serious work. “Doing fun stuff is not proper learning” were their own words. “If we take French it is because we don’t want to mack around”.

I have to add that they were not complaining about my teaching at all. The class likes me, and I know that because they told me during the same week that I was as cute as Dora the Explorer ( No, I do not have a backpack on !!!). So their request was not about revolting.

I took notes of what they were asking, and at the end of their suggestion I told them that the way they want me to teach is the opposite that we as language teachers are asked to do. I added that it is advised to teachers not to use the word “grammar” as “students find it scary and boring”. I also pointed out to them that the way they want me to teach is very much how languages were taught 40 years ago.

But the best comment came from Eden. When I told them that in all the conferences I go to we teachers are told not to teach like that, Eden said “ Maybe we should be invited to your conferences and teachers should listen and ask us the way we want to be taught”

I am very much gob smacked !!!!

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  1. Learning@school 2012 for students by students?

  2. LOL I think you are right, maybe we should speak to Core :-)

  3. Loved this blog post...passed it onto my Twitter network :)

  4. So it sounds like they want exercises so that they feel like they are doing work. Is that right?
    I wonder if giving them a grammar test would show them they are learning what they need to know and give them confidence that they can do the grammar.