Modern Foreign Languages
Language teaching at Michaela is like nothing you have seen elsewhere. We don’t use pictures, PowerPoints, games, pair work or group work. Neither do we do large discrete blocks of grammar. “Today we are “doing” the Perfect Tense.” are words you will never hear at Michaela. We also take a very pragmatic stance on the use of target language.
At Michaela, we do not believe in the orthodoxy of the communicative teaching approach. Indeed, pretty much everything that you’ve ever been told about “this is how to teach a foreign language” we reject. Instead pupils read aloud lots and we are real sticklers for excellent pronunciation. We place a heavy focus upon target language phonics. Weekly spelling tests are key, and yes, written accuracy is paramount!
Everything we teach focuses upon memorization and the ready mastery of past, reasons, opinions, future, and subjunctive. We adopt this approach from the start of Year 7 across the ability range.
N’ayez pas peur ! Il faut tout simplement se jeter à l’eau!
We teach proverbs, idioms, eye-catching expressions. We want our pupils to stand out from the crowd. And they really, really do. When you visit you’ll be amazed by their accents, their ability to break language down and build it up, their range of expression, their spoken and written accuracy. And we do this by completely rejecting MFL teaching orthodoxy.
If you are a parent and you really want your child to excel in French, in a way that no other school can offer, then Michaela is a clear winner. If you’re a teacher, tired of the games and pictures that yield so very little, you’ll be inspired and amazed by our methods and our pupils.
Look at some of our pupils’ work by clicking here.
Ms Staw, Head of Languages
“I became a teacher because of my love of the detail, intricacy and beauty of languages, but was disappointed by the lack of rigour in many language classrooms. When I came to visit Michaela, I saw that there was another way: pupils with stunning accents (far better than mine at their age), a fantastic range of language, extraordinary accuracy and a real passion and enthusiasm for learning French. I knew then that I wouldn’t want to teach, and have my pupils learn, any other way. The combination of our teachers’ exceptional subject knowledge and our pupils’ hard work and dedication is unbeatable, and will produce linguists who rival the best and the brightest of the private schools for knowledge and understanding of French.”