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John Connor
 Boys:
◦ Risk takers
◦ Intrinsic (WIIFM)
◦ Instant gratification
◦ Single hemisphere
◦ Confident
◦ Honour and justice
◦ F...
 Two-fold objective for pupils:
◦ Learn structures (content)
◦ Use structures to interact with native speakers
(communica...
 Content is also the vehicle for its dissemination –
message and medium inextricably interlinked.
 No real content as su...
Rachel Hawkes
 Specific demands of independent skills
 Skills are complex and interrelated
 Rule-based grammar content which must be
...
 Sound L1 literacy necessary for good
performance
 Accuracy rewarded more than ideas
 Need to be organised and systemat...
 Class size
 Time allocation
 Lesson distribution
 Seating arrangements
 Working partnerships
 Potential for individ...
 More pronounced in MFL than other subjects
 Firm, fair and consistent management
 Good rapport – more important than t...
 Be aware of individual needs
 Devise activities that are fun, varied and flexible
 Guidance, parameters, targets
 Rea...
 Ownership of content, task and strategy
 Fun
 Humour
 A learning challenge
 Thinking skills (HOTS not MOTS)
 Active...
 Too many mistakes (implications for marking and
feedback policy)
 Irrelevance
 Boredom
 Repetitive, low-level tasks
...
 Variety of activity
 Pace
 Physical activity
 Competition (“I’ll bet you can’t...”)
 Fun and humour
 Clear explanat...
 C hallenge – cognitive as well as linguistic
 R elevance – “Voici la mercerie..”
 A udience – blogging and podcasting
...
 What do we want our boy learners to look like/be able to
do by the end of the year/term/half term, etc.?
 What are thei...
How easy is it to do a
500 piece jigsaw
without seeing the
picture on the box lid?
Languages – it’s a guy thing
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Languages – it’s a guy thing

Presentation given in ALL webinar on 9 May 2014. Gender-specific learner characteristics, boys' perceptions of languages, some inherent challenges, straetiges to engage boys more in the language learning process

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Languages – it’s a guy thing

  1. 1. John Connor
  2. 2.  Boys: ◦ Risk takers ◦ Intrinsic (WIIFM) ◦ Instant gratification ◦ Single hemisphere ◦ Confident ◦ Honour and justice ◦ Fight or flight  Girls: ◦ Risk averse ◦ Extrinsic ◦ Delayed gratification ◦ Both hemispheres (corpus callosum) ◦ More self-critical ◦ Compassion and nurture ◦ Slow burn
  3. 3.  Two-fold objective for pupils: ◦ Learn structures (content) ◦ Use structures to interact with native speakers (communicative competence) and make them part of behavioural repertoire (“muscle memory”)  Organisational frameworks: ◦ 4 skills, separately assessed ◦ Accuracy requirements ◦ Cumulative acquisition of non-negotiable linguistic information
  4. 4.  Content is also the vehicle for its dissemination – message and medium inextricably interlinked.  No real content as such  Progression problems with the Word-Sentence- Text model – pupils reverting to lower levels at each change of topic
  5. 5. Rachel Hawkes
  6. 6.  Specific demands of independent skills  Skills are complex and interrelated  Rule-based grammar content which must be made explicit  Different languages work in different ways  Standard model presented in school  All lexis is new  Demands on long-term memory  Proficiency requires perseverance and continuous practice
  7. 7.  Sound L1 literacy necessary for good performance  Accuracy rewarded more than ideas  Need to be organised and systematic – good reference skills  Need to be more responsible for own success, and more independent (family often can’t help)  Psychological and emotional barriers  Intercultural awareness
  8. 8.  Class size  Time allocation  Lesson distribution  Seating arrangements  Working partnerships  Potential for individual monitoring  Gender balance
  9. 9.  More pronounced in MFL than other subjects  Firm, fair and consistent management  Good rapport – more important than teacher gender  Positive working relationship based on mutual respect
  10. 10.  Be aware of individual needs  Devise activities that are fun, varied and flexible  Guidance, parameters, targets  Realisable but challenging expectations (Vygotsky’s ZPD)  Monitor progress closely, spot underachievement early and intervene
  11. 11.  Ownership of content, task and strategy  Fun  Humour  A learning challenge  Thinking skills (HOTS not MOTS)  Active learning  Purposefulness and transparency  Intrinsic motivation  Real contact with real people
  12. 12.  Too many mistakes (implications for marking and feedback policy)  Irrelevance  Boredom  Repetitive, low-level tasks  Copying  Lack of clarity in tasks and activities  “Jamaica Inn” recordings
  13. 13.  Variety of activity  Pace  Physical activity  Competition (“I’ll bet you can’t...”)  Fun and humour  Clear explanations of how grammar works  Clear understanding of the purpose of the activity  Authentic communication with real people
  14. 14.  C hallenge – cognitive as well as linguistic  R elevance – “Voici la mercerie..”  A udience – blogging and podcasting  P urpose – big picture, tangible outcomes, real experiences
  15. 15.  What do we want our boy learners to look like/be able to do by the end of the year/term/half term, etc.?  What are their actual starting points? (pre-assessment – vital in Y7)  Understand what progress looks like in a topic & communicate it to boys  What evidence will show that they have made that progress?  Select activities that enable that progress to take place
  16. 16. How easy is it to do a 500 piece jigsaw without seeing the picture on the box lid?

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