Essay Example on Modern Foreign Language teaching in the UK










Assessment is an important issue of Modern Foreign Language Education. The aim of this essay is to dive into a featured topic of Modern Foreign Language teaching in the UK specifically to investigate assessment activities in the MFL schoolroom. In order to do so, this essay will focus on different research papers that have been produced on this issue. The essay will first provide the issue of Assessment with general definitions which are necessary to understand how Formative and Summative Assessment is working in the MFL classroom. Then it will provide an explanation of this issue used during my placement activity. Within this part, the essay looks at my experiences as well as the reasons they are used. Finally, the essay will summarize its findings and provide a brief conclusion on its takeaways. Introduction. I come from Hungary where I have spent many years both as a learner and an MFL teacher of mainly Russian, French and Italian. Teaching is for me a profession which means that I set my standards and share the love for MFL learning. In my opinion, an MFL teacher does not have to teach students only to take an exam however, I am a teacher who believes that studying a Foreign Language means a lifelong enjoyment in that field. In addition, I am a lifelong learner too so I can exactly understand what my young students feel when they come into in MFL classroom and try their Speaking, Reading, Listening and Writing skills. In Hungary, we have a long experience of MFL teaching.

During the assessment process, students are given marks for their performance. They may be tested at any time without any previous warning to take a test to write an essay or to answer questions in front of the class. The marks are from 1 to 5 the 5 is the best. These marks define the final mark for the whole school year for each subject they learn. Marks also decide on the secondary school entry for each student. Concerning the MFL learning at the end of the Secondary School education students are requested to take also a school-leaving exam where there is a chosen MFL exam too. Students can get a university degree unless they have a valid exam pass in an MFL at a level B2 according to European Language Proficiency. 

Frame descriptors. Therefore marks and summative assessment is part of the entire school system as well as for language performances from year 4. In the UK as a PGCE Secondary MFL trainee, I have found a totally different approach to teach and assess students' activity in Primary and Secondary school.

The aim of this paper is to show how assessment activities are fundamental in MFL day today in the UK. Education in this changing landscape of languages as an OFSTED report described it. 1 Assessment definitions According to the 6th point of the Teacher Standards and Associated Descriptors an Outstanding teacher can confidently and accurately assess pupils' attainment against national benchmarks. They use a range of assessment strategies very effectively in their day to day practice to monitor progress and to inform future planning. Teachers systematically and effectively check learners' understanding throughout lessons anticipating where intervention may be needed and do so with a notable impact on the quality of learning. They assess learners' progress regularly and work with them to accurately target further improvement and secure rapid progress. In the UK the present assessment system is concentrated on exam tasks which can be Summative Assessment of Learning or Formative Assessment for Learning. 1 1 Assessment of Learning Summative Assessment provides feedback to students so as to be familiar with their next step Students should know the National Curriculum level descriptors to enable clearer feedback on progress. In addition, the teacher and students elaborate on assessment information by reviewing and reflecting on. The teacher should be able to develop class and individual's target setting for students progressing according to official criteria which include examinations such as GCSE and A level exam National Curriculum Guidance for England requires that MFL teaching should enable students to understand and communicate personal and accurate information related to speaking listening reading and writing skills to prepare them for GCSE exam.

 In case a student wants to study abroad he, she needs to take international or national language exams such as Delf Dalf in France DELE in Spain Cisl in Italy Telc in Germany e.g. Origo in Hungary and etc. Nevertheless, frequent summative assessment papers against national standards can cause a detrimental impact on students' motivation, particularly on low ability students. However, it is necessary to check what a student's achievements which is associated with reporting certification and selection. 1 2 Assessment for Learning Assessment for Learning AfL called Formative Assessment founded on research led by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam professors at King's College. Their study is entitled Inside the Black Box 1998. The Black Box representationally symbolizes the classroom where the learning process takes place involving interactively both teachers and students. Teachers involve students in the learning process. The better teacher and student collaboration are the better results can be achieved. Black and Wiliam concentrated on classroom relations and effects concerns of teachers day to day relationships with students. AFL means all the activities done in the classroom which makes available information on how to go on teaching and learning. There is a variety of ways to motivate students in the classroom however some pedagogical approaches work well with one group of students but are not operative with another class.

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