Top tips on how get the most out of languages revision

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Posted by Bethany School

Mr Willis, Head of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Bethany School, gives an update from his department including top revision tips and exciting news of trips to France and a virtual Spain.

As we gear up towards the end of course examinations for Y11 and Y13, and with other year groups having exams this term, many pupils are naturally focused on how to revise effectively and how to get the most from the exams process. Here are some of our top tips for Languages revision:

  • Do a little bit each day – much more effective than long periods which can be very unproductive.
  • Make sure you nail how tenses are formed; especially past, present and future.
  • Use Memrise to nail that pesky vocabulary.
  • Don’t forget your common sense when you open the exam paper – do you have to write all 3 essays or just 1?
  • Make sure you answer every single question in the reading/listening papers, even if it’s a guess.
  • Use websites to help you like pastpapers.co

We have also been reviewing how we mark and give feedback in MFL. As part of the process we are looking to introduce marking codes to aid pupils to improve their written work, particularly longer answers. This will be embedded in lessons from September although we are trialling it this term and will review how it has worked.

For those pupils who want to challenge themselves, they should try one or more of these ideas to use your language more creatively and to stretch your understanding:

  • Create a vocab list for a friend to learn;
  • Find a YouTube video on a topic you’re learning and share it with the class/your teacher;
  • Write a poem in the foreign language;
  • Change the settings of your Netflix language to a foreign language or include subtitles in the foreign language;
  • Teach a grand parent what you’ve been learning;
  • Google news in easy Mandarin/French/Spanish and see how much you can understand;
  • Find out what the next topic you are going to learn is and create your own vocabulary list;
  • Try out an unusual language – Finnish, Mongolian, Klingon, Esperanto.

Next term, we hope to have some exciting events happening. For pupils taking Spanish we are planning a full day immersion course which involves taking a virtual trip to Seville. We are also exploring the possibility of a Christmas market trip to Lille. More details to follow nearer the time!