A strategy guide for the
Exploration of the methodological
implications of the MBE classroom in terms of planning, teaching, assessing, and
Here are some issues, which can start you thinking
about the day-to-day decisions which a MBE teacher must make. (NB: You stands
for the teacher). For the sake of simplicity, they have been put under the
following categories, although there is some overlap:
Planning and Preparation
- Where do you find resources which are suitable for
the age range and motivational levels of the pupils concerned whilst appropriate in terms
of linguistic difficulty?
- How do you adapt authentic material? Do you adapt
its linguistic content? Do you simplify / augment the cognitive demands?
- How do you equip the pupils with the skills and
knowledge required to find their own authentic material? How do you encourage them to be
- How do you plan a unit of work? Do the objectives of
the unit of work relate to both foreign language and content matter? Is progression
planned for in terms of linguistic terms and structures?
- How do you deal with the necessary delay compared
with the monolingual colleagues unit of work? Do you go for a series of lessons in
the FL and then a series of lessons in the mother tongue to ensure pupils are equipped
with mother tongues specialist vocabulary? Do you set homework in mother tongue so
that they acquire the specialist vocabulary independently?
- How do you assess pupils? Do you assess their
linguistic skills separately from their content knowledge? If the assessments are
conducted in the foreign language, how do you deal with linguistic errors? How do you
modify marking criteria in order to cater for the MBE context? How do you record progress
in both content and linguistic skills and report this to parents and colleagues? Should
you compare the pupils attainments in their content knowledge with those of their
- How do you plan a lesson? What place do the
linguistic objectives have? What is the balance between linguistic and content matter
knowledge and progression?
- How do you tackle the pupils different
abilities and learning styles in both language and content matter?
- How do you maintain motivational levels whilst
ensuring progression within learning?
- How do you make yourself comprehensible in the
- Which Modern Language Teaching strategies can you
employ to teach content matter?
- What strategies do you teach the pupils in order for
them to cope with being taught in the foreign language?
- What strategies do you use for the teaching of
difficult concepts? How do you keep the linguistic skills progressing so that the pupils
can deal with ever increasing levels of cognitive demands?
- How do you train the pupils to use both narrative
and descriptive types of discourse?
- How do you train the pupils to understand and
respond to an ever-increasing level of classroom commands and instructions?
- How do you encourage the pupils to use classroom
commands and general instructions with one another?
- Who owns the discourse? Do you provide real debates?
How can you encourage the pupils to communicate rather than merely regurgitate?
- How do you encourage spontaneous conversations with
the pupils and among pupils?
- Ho do you handle their language errors? How do you
intervene in their conversations or explanations? What decision should you make about
accuracy of language versus message?
- How do you handle code-switching, i.e.
reverting to mother tongue when competence in the foreign language is insufficient to
express opinions or facts.
- How do you ensure pupils learning and organise
- How do you teach them suitable discrete skills which
are appropriate for both content matter and language (e.g. dictionary skills, independent
learning skills, etc.)
- How do you create a suitable environment in which
pupils feel rewarded for taking risks and learn to become more autonomous?
- How do you manage central and peripheral discourse?
How do you encourage pupils to use the foreign language when talking to each other and to
you about matters not pertaining to their learning (social, administrative and pastoral
- How do you encourage pupils to assess their own
learning whilst using the foreign language?
- What decision do you make regarding turn-taking;
regarding who owns the discourse; who has the right to speak, when and about what?
- How do you administer discipline whilst using the
- What is the balance between group work, pair work
and class work?
- How do you encourage the pupils to use the foreign
language whilst working in pairs or groups?
- How is the seating arrangement conducive to the type
of classroom atmosphere which you wish to create?
- How can you bring together good content teaching and
good language teaching methodologies and techniques?
click here if you would like to contact us for more information
As you can see, the partners have already drawn up
quite a number of questions regarding the MBE classroom. Please, feel free to ask us any
questions regarding the list above or to add to it.
You are invited to take part in our discussions
which will soon be on the forum. We are eagerly waiting for your comments and advice as
well as your queries. Whatever your interests, we will be happy to hear from you. the
forum. We are eagerly waiting for your comments and advice as well as your queries.
Whatever your interests, we will be happy to hear from you.